Old Banyan

Posted by on Feb 27, 2017 in Not The West | 3 Comments

This isn’t even the real story of Keawala’i Congregational Church in Makena, Maui, though this is a very old tree. Those are all air roots that eventually become part of the trunk.

The real story is of one of the oldest Christian churches on Maui. Through thick and thin since 1832 the Keawala‘i Congregational Church has prevailed. The oceanfront land that the church is on was purchased for $80 in 1864. If I had not mistakenly turned down the deadens street the church was on, I would have missed it.

The family name, Kapohakimohewa, dominates the earliest portion of the cemetery. This is John, born in 1837. I really liked the depiction of heaven’s gates symbolically open for him. 

This man is probably John’s son. He played the ukulele. Can’t help but wonder, given the anchor at the top of John’s picture, if he wasn’t lost at sea. There are still Kaphokimohewa’s in the phone book.


And of course the old banyan tree has seen generation upon generation of Mauians who have worshiped here.

Keawala’i Congregational Church

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Keawala\’i Congregational Church
20.653060, -156.445000



  1. Pamela
    February 27, 2017

    Thanks for the history lesson and beautiful photographs as always, Bill. I wonder how the colors in John’s photo have stayed so vibrant.

  2. Carol
    February 27, 2017

    I also am in awe over the photographs on the gravestones! Or did you put them there?

  3. Bernadine miller
    February 27, 2017

    Thanks for the history lesson.


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