The Land and the
Many consider Hawaii to be a tropical paradise. Few think of it as a mission field, and yet it is. Hawaii is one of the world’s greatest melting pots culturally and racially. When native Hawaiians refused to work for expanding sugar and pineapple plantations, laborers were imported in large numbers from China, Korea, Japan, Portugal, and the Philippines, resulting in an almost complete racial change of population. The culture of the people is Asian; attitudes are molded by Eastern beliefs.
Predominate religions are Roman Catholicism and Buddhism.
Past and Current
Baptist Mid-Missions’ work in Hawaii was inspired by two BMM General Council members who stopped in Honolulu in 1953 on their way to the Far East. Impressed by the need of the islands with their multiracial population, they challenged Baptist Mid-Missions to enter this field. Duane and Jean McCrum responded to the challenge and pioneered the work in 1954, beginning in rural Honokaa on the island of Hawaii. The Honokaa work is now organized as the Aloha Baptist Church. Attendance has been at its highest for the last few years, but the work is still slow and difficult.
On the western side of the Big Island, the Halelewa (Tabernacle) Baptist Church is meeting in Kailua-Kona at a community center. Halelewa Baptist is now running at capacity and is seeking the Lord’s provision for property in this unusually expensive area.
The Lord has blessed over the years, and several churches planted in Hawaii have become self-supporting. These include works in Hilo, Kailua (a suburb of Honolulu), and Pearl City.
Due to geographic isolation from North America, the missionaries in Hawaii have a separate field council and maintain the cycle of furloughs common to foreign missionaries.
Seventy percent of the people in Hawaii are unchurched—only an estimated two percent are Christians. Church planters are needed both to reach the many Hawaiians that do not know Christ as Savior and to develop faithful Hawaiian Baptist churches.