Henry and Sarah Sato
Nearly four decades ago, Henry and Sarah Sato, two longtime members of Makiki Christian Church, Honolulu, were moved by a vision to create a new church in a relatively “unchurched” area: Hawaii Kai. Aided by Makiki Christian Church Senior Pastor Ted Ogoshi, a group from the Makiki congregation began to prayerfully identify the focus such an endeavor.
In 1983, the Makiki Christian Church Council enthusiastically agreed to support the Satos’ dream by providing an organizing pastor, Rev. Phil Mark, and financial assistance over a five-year time period.
And so, on July 3, 1983, seven members of Makiki Christian Church and their families were commissioned to be the nucleus for this “seed-planting mission.” An inaugural worship service was held that evening at Henry and Sarah’s home in Hawaii Kai. Thirty-seven people were in attendance and, from this humble beginning, the first seeds of a new church were sown.
By March of 1984, the cafetorium of Haha'ione Elementary School was established as the congregation’s Sunday morning meeting place, and was used, uninterrupted, until the COVID-19 pandemic sent the congregation into online worship format.
In 1987, less than four years after that first service was held in the home of Henry and Sarah Sato, this young church was self-supporting and self-governing, and became formally incorporated as Hawaii Kai United Church of Christ.
Received into full covenantal membership in the Oahu Association of the United Church of Christ in 1989, Hawaii Kai United Church of Christ continues to be actively involved with the ministry of its denomination.
For over thirty years, Hawaii Kai United Church of Christ has thrived and grown, under the caring and skilled leadership of Rev. Phil Mark (1983-1994), Rev. Janice Ogoshi (1996-2020) and Interim Pastor Rev. Jayne Ryan Kuroiwa (2020-present) .
Anchored by the inspiring faith of the original seven families, we, too, strive to be God’s people in and for East Honolulu. To God be the glory!
Information on this page was contributed by Pastor Phil Mark.