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Our History

 In the beginning....

     Henry and Sarah Sato, two longtime members of Makiki Christian Church (MCC), were moved by a vision to create a new church in a relatively “unchurched” area:  Hawaii Kai. Aided by MCC Senior Pastor Ted Ogoshi, a group from the MCC congregation began to pray and work to identify the focus such a church should have in order to best serve the people of Hawaii Kai.

     In 1983, based on the report generated by this small group, the MCC Council enthusiastically agreed to support the Satos’ dream by providing an organizing pastor (Pastor Phil Mark) and financial assistance over a five-year time period.  And so, on July 3, 1983, seven members of MCC 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, Sunday morning worship and age-specific Sunday School classes were being held in the cafetorium of Hahaione Elementary School.  Developing ministries included intentional marriage and family-life enrichment sessions, inter-generational worship services (both on Sundays in the school cafetorium and in homes on other days), global mission involvement and community service participation. 

     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 (HKUCC) in 1987.  In 1989, HKUCC was received into full covenantal membership in the Oahu Association of the United Church of Christ in which HKUCC continues to be actively involved.  For over thirty years, HKUCC has thrived and grown, forever anchored by the roots of the original seven faith-led families.  We strive to be God’s people in and for East Honolulu.  To God be the glory!

     Who are we today?  Go to Who We Are.

Pastor Phil leads worship at Hahaione Elementary School, December 1984.
Sarah and Henry Sato

A new church to serve Hawaii Kai was their dream.

Pastor Phil Mark

First Pastor of HKUCC