Our church has been in the heart of Kailua since 1927. We were founded by Chinpei Peter Goto, who was born in Japan in 1887 and migrated to the Territory of Hawaii when he was 11 years old. Rev Goto is known as “the man of the three Bs” – a bicycle, a baseball, and a Bible. By reaching out to families on the windward side using these three Bs, he formed Kailua UMC, as well as Parker UMC and Kahalu’u UMC in Kaneohe.
By 1930 our church had outgrown the private home in which it met. A new site was located at the main crossroads of Kailua (where Bank of Hawaii now stands), and this land was sold to our church by Harold Castle for one dollar. In 1958 we moved to our current location, which includes over four acres of beautiful land alongside the Kawainui Marsh.
Rev Rhodes Martin served as the pastor of Kailua UMC from 1959-1967. His description of our church provides an excellent picture of who we have been over the course of many decades:
“Kailua Methodist Church has an abundance of dedicated people who seek to place other people’s welfare above their own and in simple trust follow Jesus as Lord. Across the years people have come together regardless of race, creed, color or condition to seek and to work, play, love and worship together – to link hearts, souls and minds to be the Body of Christ on the windward side of the island.”