About Puna Covenant
Our early history - Our Japanese Plantation workers start it all.
Puna has been a place of historical importance throughout the history of Hawai’i. From the days of the monarchy, Puna provided agricultural and human support to the people of Hawaii. Around 5000 people lived in Puna from the time of the monarchy until the mid 1980s when the population grew to over 10,000 people. It has always been an hub for agriculture.
In 1912 Japanese plantation workers in Puna invited a Christian minister of the Gospel of Jesus from Japan to move to Puna and help pastor them and they formed a church. 15 years later, Filipino plantation workers invited a minister to shepherd them. In 1954 these two congregations merged to form what we know today as Puna Covenant Church. Several members of our congregation still remember their great grandparents and the Kahu of those early years that guide, lead and direct our church and the communities within Puna.
Our history - Our filipino families extend the church
1927 was an important year for Puna. Celebrating and worshiping Jesus is a vital part of Puna Covenant’s DNA. Every generation and people group has unique ways to express love and worship for Jesus. When Filipino families moved into the district and were seeking to worship Jesus in ways that were important to them, they quickly planted a new church. This significantly increased the opportunity for people to hear about Jesus and see Jesus through interpersonal relationship. Families still living in Puna trace their heritage to these Filipino Kahu, parents, plantation workers and church pioneers.
Our heritage and our legacy
Both the Japanese and Filipino congregations that merged in 1954, which has become Puna Covenant Church.
Immerse - Bible Series
Books of the Poets
Puna Covenant Church Immerse: Sermon Series and Bible Study.
This sermon series and small group study takes us through the age of the Poetic books of the Bible.
this SERIES delivers Scripture to the reader as it was originally created: without chapter or verse breaks. While references are made available for ease of finding specific Scripture references, those references do not appear within the actual text of Scripture. This makes for uninterrupted reading of God’s Word. Created with the look and feel of a paperback book, and written using the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, the most readable translation available, Poets enables you to easily read and understand the Bible.
Should you desire to be involved in a Bible Study group, contact the church office at (808) 966-9622 and we can assist you in finding a study group for you. We have several all over puna.
Immerse: POETS is the fifth of six volumes in the Immerse Series:
Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, and Lamentations
Poets presents the poetical books of the First Testament in two groupings, dividing the books between songs (Psalms, Lamentations, Song of Songs) and wisdom writings (Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Job). These writings all reflect the daily, down-to-earth faith of God’s people as they live out their covenant relationship with him in worship and wise living.
The first books in this volume (Psalms, Lamentations, and Song of Songs) are collections of song lyrics. These song collections . . . are closely tied to Israel’s life and history, expressing the agony of their trials and the joy of their celebrations. . . . These Hebrew songs are primarily expressed through parallel lines of Hebrew poetry. Most Hebrew poetry is written in groupings of parallel lines (usually two lines, though sometimes three). These lines work together in various ways, often using rich metaphors and other poetic features, to state and then revisit their points. Second and third lines can reinforce, extend, deepen, or even talk back to the opening statements. The final books in this collection (Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Job) come from Israel’s wisdom tradition. These books share customary features with the wisdom writing of the ancient Near Eastern cultures, but they have the invaluable advantage of seeing life from within the context of a covenant relationship with God. They proclaim that “fear of the Lord”—Yahweh, Israel’s covenant God—“is the foundation of true knowledge.”
About Our Senior Pastor
It all started In Puna for Pastor Jack and His wife, Mahi when...
...their family moved to Volcano in 2009 for a year of sabbatical and to help care for Mahi's aging parents. The Snells had been living in Asia since the early 1980s and had spent the previous 25 years working in China. Jack had spent the last 5 years pastoring at the Beijing International Christian Fellowship.
In early 2010 when Pastor Bob Thompson retired, Puna Covenant Church called Jack to take on the role as the church's Lead Pastor. In 2019 he begins his 10th year giving direction to the church staff and overseeing the teaching ministry of the church. In Ephesians 4:11-12 Paul instructs church elders to "equip the saints for the work of ministry", a responsibility Jack enjoys and takes seriously.
The Snells have 3 children: Christopher and his wife Michela, Jeremy and his wife Rebecca, and a daughter, Jessica, who is a college sophomore in Hilo.
Both Jack and Mahi have a strong love for the church and the people of PCC and they invite you to come be part of the PCC family.
Puna Covenant’s Mission
We exist to help people come to God. Friendships are vital to our life as a church. Jesus loves us and wants us to share His love with people. That is how we Gather. As part of loving people, Jesus has given us the mission to make disciples, which is the Great Commission. As people become followers and disciples of Jesus Christ, the last part of our mission becomes a reality. Go! That is it. Gather! Grow! Go! Our mission is the comission Jesus gives to the whole church. We GATHER out of love for God to worship, encourage each other, and recharge for life in this world. We GROW because we want to become more like Jesus and live fruitful lives. And we GO to share Jesus with friends, neighbors, and people beyond our shores because that is Christ's mandate to his church. Not just go out to go out, but to be the hands and feet of Christ, loving those around us. And we go bringing His words of hope to a world in need of our Savior. To Go is not the mission, just part of it. Gather, Grow and Go is the co-mission that Jesus has given to the church. The active part of the mission is being like Jesus to people. Puna, Hawaii, and the world is where we are to be like Jesus. Our first mission is to Puna, then to Hawaii and then to reach our world to fulfill the command of Jesus to His church in Matthew 28:19-20 and Acts 1.8. "make followers of all the nations. Baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Teach them to do all the things I have told you. And I am with you always, even to the end of the world...you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
We believe that everybody needs Jesus. Especially, to experience God’s love. So, we want to show Jesus’ love in very practical ways throughout each year.
We exist to express Jesus to the communities of Puna. Jesus is known as the greatest servant the world has ever seen. He gave His life willingly as payment for the sins of the whole world. He willingly was baptized in water by John the Baptizer. He willingly submitted to His earthly parents, Joseph and Mary, and never ridiculed the political leaders of His day and never resisted physical trials. He lived this way because He wanted to please His heavenly Father through His whole life.
Our purpose as a church is to live the same way as Jesus, so people in our community can see Jesus and not us or anything else. One of our most prominent expression of serving our community is our Puna Covenant community bazaar. Donations come from our members and sister organizations throughout Puna in the form of clothes, plants, vegetables, home goods, food and other special items to bless Puna. These donations are sold at a very discounted rate and the profits go to support our Puna emergency support fund to help people and families who are in critical or immediate need. If you or someone you know has an immediate need that we can help you, please call us at 808.966.9622 or fill out the request form on our transform page.
We host a community bazaar at Puna Covenant Church to help support people with goods, produce, and plants at low prices. The profit is from our bazaars have been used to assist those in our community in emergency situations and care.
Family ministry to parents, youth, and children makes up our largest segment of ministry. Women, men, college and young professionals are vital parts of our ministry also.
PCC partners with Young Life, Hawai’i throughout the year to reach high school student with the love of Jesus.
As part of our international ministry is supporting missionaries throughout the world. Also, we take small teams to other parts of the world to share Jesus with people and to encourage other Christians in their faith.
Our pastoral staff and leaders care for the spiritual needs of members, visitoprs and attendees through Sunday worship services and weekly activities. Being strong in our faith in Jesus ensures we serve those in need throughout Puna, Hawai’i and the world.
Some of the best moments of our community bazaars.
Just helping and serving others is a huge blessing for our members.
“Serving is act of love regardless of the cost.”
John Kane| volunteer
It all started for hawai’i when…
The history of Hawai’i is very fascinating and quite exciting. Oral tradition tells us that the Hawaiian people migrated from Polynesia, and likely Tahiti around 600 AD. There is also considerable oral tradition that tells us that the original people of New Zealand, the Moari people, migrated from Hawai’i a few hundred years after the Hawaiians started living in the Hawaiian islands.
A great searfaring people, the Hawaiians, have always impacted and been impacted by the ocean. In 1818, the first known Hawaiian Christian, Henry Opukahea, found himself homeless on the Big Island and jumped on a New England whaling ship bound for Massachusetts, USA. When he arrived in the United States he expressed his desire to become a Christian and ultimately share Jesus with his Hawaiian family. His memoirs started the greatest missionary effort the world has ever seen. By the middle of the 1800s, Christianity had become the predominant cultural faith in the South Pacific. This was due to Henry’s desire to evangelize Hawai’i with the Gospel of Jesus. He did this by starting the first alphabet of the Hawaiian language and translated Genesis and two of the Gospels books from English into Hawaiian. His memoirs became a world best seller in 1818 and greatly funded the missionay efforts that followed his memoirs. He died at Yale University shortly after initiating these works and never saw his beloved Hawai’i and people again.
But his dying wish was fulfilled and by 1850, 98 percent of Hawaiians had heard the Gospel and could also read and write Hawaiian and English.
Puna Covenant Church has been a member of the Puna community since 1912. Plantation workers and families wanted to establish a Christian church and out of that desire, two churches were established. The first was planted in 1912 and the second in 1927. These two churches later merged. In 2004, this church became the Puna Covenant Church of today. Many kahu and leaders have helped developed our church and we have embraced the call of Jesus to make disciples of our community and people across the globe. Since 1912, we have been involved in the life of plantation workers, families, professionals, teachers, businesses, students, youth, and children. We like to celebrate our legacy by acknolodging our kahu, church pastors/shepherds and members over the past 107 years
They are part of our heritage and legacy of Puna and Puna Covenant Church.
Since 1912, we have been involved in the life of plantation workers, families, professionals, teachers, businesses, students, youth, and children.
We would like to celebrate our kahu, church pastors/shepherds.
They are part of our heritage and legacy of Puna and Puna Covenant Church.
Our family outreach in 2018 included a sunrise service, our local kine breakfast, Easter Egg Hunt.
Outreach is a huge passion for us a church. Young Life and Core Youth - Puna covenant Church are partnering to serve young people in puna have a safe place to hang out and hear the good news of Jesus Christ. Core Youth is designed to help each Puna youth discover God's love and purpose. So, that young people can actually have the Core of God's purpose living inside. When that happens to youth, and all people, our core gets turned into a super-powerplant of good things.
The CORE Smoothie & fun night
The Core is a bunch of young people who enjoy the most out of life and live the way of Jesus. No limits to the Core.
Games and fun
Sham battle, water nights, rad volleyball, glow nights are just a few of the games we do at Core Youth. Not every game is worthy to be played the way we have always played it, so we change the rules to have more fun and ensure that everyone plays and is safe.
Not only do we get together on our Kea'au campus at 16-647 Old Volcano Road, Kea'au, but we hike, camp, bike, BBQ, go to the beach throughout the year.
No betta place than da Core.
Can you guess how much fun we Are having?
Gallery of Core and Young Life - Past & Present
Young Life, Hawaii Island is a group of clubs that meet throughout Hawaii Island during the school year. Young Life Kea’au meets every Tuesday of the school year at Puna Covenant Church. If you want more information on Young Life, please contact the Hawaii Island office at (808) 969-9074