• 107 Years in Puna

  • 13,217 people have heard the Gospel of Jesus

  • 51 missionaries supported

  • 12 Churches planted


How we live and work


Not to be confused with a movie in the 1980s, we are challnged by Jesus to make disciples of all the people and ethnic groups to follow Jesus. The very first thing that the new church did in its history was to gather together as noted in the first two chapters of Acts in the Bible. That gathering was done at the temple in Jerusalem on every Sunday and also from house to house everyday during the week. At those gatherings, Acts 2.43-47 records they praised in the temple from day to day,they ate together, worshipped, and had all things on common and gave as had need. Acts 5.42 gives us the same information of how much fellowship and gathering was done. Covenant Church is a member church of the Evangelical Christian Church, which has historical ties to the Swedish Reformed Movement. The pastoral staff and the members of the congregation work within the Puna community to engage in needs-based ministries.

When we gather we like to eat and talk “story” about what is going on in our lives and what the Lord is doing in us and around us. Gathering, eating, teaching the way of Jesus is part of our DNA. It is out of this type of fellowship that people see Jesus in a new way and desire to grow in the goodness and grace of God.


Puna Covenant Church is a member church of the Evangelical Christian Church, which has historical ties to the Swedish Reformed Movement. The pastoral staff and the members of the congregation work within the Puna community to engage in needs-based ministries. As people have needs, we desire to provide support and aid in spiritual, emotional, physical, and social ways. When these components are healthy in a community, the people flourish and prosper. For us, we believe that Jesus is the only real way to bind a community together with care and love. As people grow in Jesus, people can share Jesus in practical and meaningful ways to those who are hurting or in need. The ultimate call of the church is to help people become followers and then disciples of Jesus. Not becoming professionals but loving and caring, everday people to reach everyday people in need. Some needs are great and some needs are not as great. Regardless of an arbitrary level of need, everyone of us is meant to experience love and fellowship. Our In-Church ministries are meant to develop the Christian to care for self, others, and ultimately those who do not have Jesus as Lord and Savior.



Missionaries brought the Gospel of Jesus to Christ in the early 1800s and many missionaries have been sent from Hawaii to the uttermost parts of the world since that time. Chiefess Kapiolani was one of the first great leaders of Hawaii to become a follower of Jesus Christ. She supported her people and her nation by sharing the love of Jesus and leading the Hawaiian people into the fullness of life in Jesus. She supported the work of Christians to help the local people of her island to understand the ways of Jesus and share that love with people. It is a historical recorded that in October 1825 Kapiʻolani was baptized. “Commanding the respect of the people, she kept order in her districts of south Kona and Kaʻū, and often traveled to help the less fortunate. This was very different than the strict isolation of the upper classes that was the tradition in ancient Hawaii. She is described as not being ‘hard and puritanical’ but rather having a ‘nature-loving spirit’” as noted by Penrose C. Morris (1920). "Kapiolani". All about Hawaii: Thrum's Hawaiian annual and standard guide.

hPuna Covenant Church supports 15 missionaries across the world. It is part of what Jesus commissioned the first church and still is part of every active churches’ engagment with the world. We support young people who go on church-sponsored short-term missions like the Australian Core Mission of 2019.


Of course, Christianity would likely not have become the chosen cultural and religious beliefs of the Hawaiian people had it not been for Henry Opukaha`ia, who in 1815 became one of the first Hawaiian Christians. His efforts helped translate the Bible into Hawaiian and developed what has grown into the Hawaiian Alphabet. He became a follower of Jesus while at Yale University. He is credited as starting the conversion of Hawaiians to Christianity. The future Reverend Edwin W. Dwight, a senior in Yale College at the time, met him in 1809, when he discovered`Ōpūkaha`ia sitting on the steps of the college. When `Ōpūkaha`ia lamented that "No one give me learning," Dwight agreed to help him find tutoring.[2] `Ōpūkaha`ia took up residence with one of Dwight's relatives, Yale president Timothy Dwight IV, a founder of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, who instructed him in Christian and secular subjects.[2] He had studied English grammar and the usual curriculum in public schools by the time he converted to Christianity in 1815, during the Second Great Awakening.[3] Even before this school opened, Edwin Dwight wrote in 1818, `Ōpūkaha`ia had begun "'reducing to system his own native tongue. As it was not a written language, but lay in its chaotic state, every thing was to be done…he had made some progress towards completing a Grammar, a Dictionary, and a Spelling-book.'"[5] However, these books no longer exist. Samuel B. Ruggles, one of the First Company of missionaries to Hawaii and a fellow student of `Ōpūkaha`ia at Cornwall, mentions in an 1819 letter that his own grammar was "much assisted by one which `Ōpūkaha`ia attempted to form." Elisha Loomis, who was to be printer for the first mission, was inspired to join it by reading `Ōpūkaha`ia's memoirs, edited by Dwight in the year of his death from fever, over a year before the First Company set sail from Boston.

`Ōpūkaha`ia planned to return to Hawaii himself to preach, but contracted typhus fever and died in 1818 in Cornwall at the age of 26.

For us at Puna Covenant Church there is a relationship to Gather, Grow, and Go. It is also a philsophy of ministry for us and is our simple and enduring mission that honors the great leaders of Hawai’i ‘s past and propels into helping our world walk in the light of Jesus.


““Puna Covenant Church exists to equip and inspire people to follow Jesus.” By loving Puna like Jesus, our island and state become more like Jesus.”



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