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Historic Lahaina church invites community to help them clear their mortgage

By Staff | Apr 16, 2021

The gathering hall at Waiola Church has become a Lahaina architectural landmark.

LAHAINA — Waiola Church, formerly Waine’e Church, founded in 1823 by Sacred High Chiefess Keōpūolani has been a community cornerstone for nearly 200 years. Nestled on the grounds is the impressive hall building, host of many community meetings, birthday parties, weddings, fundraisers, and the current home of Pūnana Leo o Lahaina.

Designed in 1996 by Architect Thomas Cannon of Architects Maui, the steep, ventilated roofline suggests a traditional Hawaiian hale halawai, or gathering hall.

The broad second slope is in the style of famed island Architect C.W. Dickey. Inside the central room, the soaring 30-foot ceiling further incorporates traditional Hawaiian structure, with warm natural wood for a dramatic, spacious atmosphere.

In the late 1990s, led by a substantial gift by Waiola Church members Mary and Alexander Meruk, faithful congregants and friends of Waiola Church pledged what was thought to be sufficient funds to design and build this spacious hall to replace the deteriorated Hale ‘Ai, the former meeting hall.

Construction delays and cost overruns forced the church to secure a mortgage. The mortgage was refinanced in 2016 to capture a lower interest rate and add solar panels to significantly reduce utility expenses.

This is the mortgage the church is currently seeking to retire.

Co-chairs of the committee, Gordon Bradley and Kent Stewart, have pledged that any excess funds will help replace the defunct hall air conditioning units.

The campaign to retire the mortgage has been successful so far, and Waiola Church invites the community to join in this timely and important endeavor, thereby freeing up over $2,500 a month to focus on more immediate mission priorities.

For more information on the Waiola Mortgage campaign, visit the church website at www.waiolachurch.org or their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/WaiolaChurch.

Donations to the campaign can be made payable to “Waiola Church” with “Mortgage Campaign” clearly noted to P.O. Box 455, Lahaina, HI 96767.