The first Christian church to be established on Molokai dates back to 1832. The Kalua’aha Congregational Church, now a member of the UCC, still meets in the remains of its original building constructed in 1844. At the time the membership was more than 1200 people. It is located near mile marker 14.5 in the East End on the mountain side (Mauka) of Hwy. 450.
To build the structure, coral was cut from the nearby ocean reef and stacked like bricks to make the walls. Then sea water was continuously poured over the coral so it would continue to grow, eventually growing together. This was eventually covered with wood, stone and limestone.
The building is 100 feet long and 50 feet wide and the walls are about 2.5 feet wide. A thatched roof covered the interior and buttresses were added (in the early 1900s) to help sustain the building.
Eventually the roof was destroyed and the Bell Tower fell. The original bell, made in Boston, is still stored on the property.
The congregation, though much smaller than in the 1800’s did not give up and a few years ago a new self supported roof was installed inside the building! To this day the congregation worships here once a month and each year they hold a special service where all four “topside” UCC churches gather there to share in worship.