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‘Rev. Bev’ to deliver last sermon on Sunday

By Staff | Feb 10, 2011

Pastor Laki Ka‘ahumanu will succeed Rev. Beverly Powers at Garden Chapel by the Sea at Kaanapali Beach Hotel.

KAANAPALI — During her long career as a Hollywood actress and minister on Maui, Rev. Beverly Powers said she experienced many “bona fide miracles.”

The Living Ministry leader is stepping down to detail them in an autobiography.

Rev. Powers will deliver her last scheduled sermon this Sunday, Feb. 13, at 8 a.m. at the quaint Garden Chapel by the Sea at Kaanapali Beach Hotel. All are welcome.

She said the sermon will cover “God’s Timings” and touch on her own life, from her 70 television shows with comedian Red Skelton to the three feature films she made with Elvis Presley and the tantalizing portrayal of herself in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” with Audrey Hepburn.

“My intention for writing my autobiography is to give God the glory for all he has done in my life. From where I began — unwanted, uncared for, lost and forgotten — to the person I am today, completely transformed by his unwavering love,” she noted.

Beverly Powers worked with Elvis Presley in “Viva Las Vegas,” “Kissin’ Cousins” and “Speedway” during the 1960s.

Pastor Laki Ka’ahumanu will succeed Rev. Powers at The Garden Chapel by the Sea.

A direct descendant of Queen Ka’ahumanu, Pastor Laki is well-known throughout the islands for his prison ministry and service at Harvest Chapel in Lahaina, which gives far-reaching aid to the homeless.

“I feel this is the time in my life to ‘pay it forward,’ “ Ka’ahumanu said, “by repaying the Lord for the blessings he has bestowed upon me and mine.”

Ka’ahumanu will blend well with the hotel’s Hawaiian heritage, a church member said, and continue the chapel’s purpose “to offer every traveler a place of worship.”

“The community is being blessed by this favored man of God,” Powers said. “He is wonderful, and the people are going to adore him.”

Twenty-four years ago, Powers arrived on Maui from Hollywood. Leaving behind her long and successful career as an actress, a personal and new spiritual experience led her to exchange her “Hollywood wardrobe for a minister’s robe.”

Her past movie scripts became the stepping stones “for the most important role of my life: turning my scripts into scriptures,” she explained.

When she arrived on the island in 1987, Powers studied under Pastor Clarence Kamai at the Maui County Correctional Center.

“I pastored under him for nearly two years when, in 1990, the Lahaina Baptist Church asked if I would take over for them at The Sheraton Maui, one of their church outreaches,” Powers said.

“I said, ‘Yes,’ and have been saying ‘yes’ ever since.”

She stayed at the Sheraton for seven years preaching outside at “Black Rock,” never missing a Sunday.

When the Sheraton closed for renovations and Lahuiokalani Congregational Church in Honokowai asked if she would come and co-pastor to their visiting “snowbirds,” again she jumped at the chance. What was to be a temporary assignment lasted another seven years.

Then, in 2004, Kaanapali Beach Hotel came calling, asking if she would be interested in founding a nondenominational Sunday morning church service, where visitors and guests alike could come to pray and give thanks.

Without hesitation, she accepted the challenge of building a church from scratch.

Another seven years have passed, and since its inception, more than 12,000 people have graced the portals of this modest seaside chapel.

“I feel privileged that I’ve had a part in fueling such a holy place of worship,” Powers added.

Lori Sablas, director of Po’okela at Kaanapali Beach Hotel, said, “The Reverend Beverly Powers of The Living Ministry has been a true blessing to the Kaanapali Beach Hotel for these past seven years. While we may be the ones who take care of the physical needs of our guests, ‘Rev. Bev’ takes care of the spiritual needs of the guests. We regularly receive positive comments from our guests, telling us how much attending her weekly Sunday service has enriched their Maui vacation experience.”

“I can’t tell you how many lives have already been touched by the generosity of (General Manager) Mike White and his hotel, KBH. The chapel’s not closing. People from all walks of life, and from every corner of the globe, have found themselves visiting this warm, nondenominational Sunday morning worship service. So far, thousands of visitors have been touched at this modest chapel since it began. I can only imagine how many more souls will be touched in the future,” Powers said with a smile.

Her plans for the future include completing her book and continuing to serve as one of the chaplains at Maui Memorial Medical Center.

Her book, “Passing the Baton of Light,” will be released later this year.

“I have had numerous bona fide miracles that must be recorded — many that have taken place here in Maui… miracles that have taken place over the span of my lifetime,” she said.

“I can’t go home to Heaven and say to the Creator, ‘I’m sorry. I just didn’t get around to finishing the book and telling people about those miracles You gave me.’ “

After 24 years of ministering to hundreds of people every Sunday morning, it’s going to be an adjustment for Powers “to learn how to be served on Sunday mornings instead of doing the serving.”

She will visit various churches and continue to care for teenagers and others in need, as she has done in the past.

“Nothing is changing,” the feisty senior pastor proclaimed.

“I’m not retiring. I’m just moving into another season of my life. One that includes completing the book God has given me to finish,” she concluded.