About us

sunday service

Worship begins at 10 am. All are welcome to share prayer concerns, sing with the choir, hear inspirational messages from Pastor Linda and enjoy the fellowship of a diverse and talented congregation. Each Sunday after worship, we gather for a light lunch, often prepared with our own locally-sourced produce. Our congregation is known for its good food and hospitality—there’s room for everyone at our table! 

You’ll have the opportunity to pray and meditate with nature close at hand we worship with all the doors open and let the music of the birds join our singing! You’ll see people in flip flops and shorts, and also some people in their finest. What you wear is not as important to us as what’s in your heart. Come as you are!

As a congregation, we are former plantation workers, professionals, students, office workers, farmers, children, and retirees from many places. We're proud of our diverse backgrounds and multi-cultural community. We drive from as far away as Volcano, Hilo and points north because Hilo Coast UCC is our spiritual home. Even if church has never been your thing, our community of God’s Aloha just might change your mind.

On Sundays at Hilo Coast UCC, you will have many opportunities to hear and participate in a wide variety of musical genres, from classical music, traditional hymns and spirituals to contemporary praise songs. Perhaps the spirit will move you to join the choir and share your faith through your music. Most Sundays we have a trio of musicians playing piano, flute and bass guitar. We hope you will find that our spirited and soulful sounds enrich your experience of God. 

Linda Petrucelli

Welcome to Hilo Coast United Church of Christ in Honomu Hawaii. Our mission is to LIVE GOD’S ALOHA by creating a caring community of justice that welcomes all.

We hope you take a few moments to click around the website to discover who we are at Hilo Coast UCC. We also hope you find your way (link to How To Find Us) to our out-of-the-way and spectacular 4-acre site and drop by to worship. Please email (live link) us or call our office if you have a question or two. We’ll do our best to serve you, and to help you serve others. 

Welcome to Hilo Coast United Church of Christ in Honomu, Hawaii. Our mission is to Live God's Aloha by creating a caring community of justice that welcomes all. Our pastor is Reverend Joseph Medlin.

our purpose

United in Christ’s Love— A Just World for ALL

Hilo Coast United Church of Christ is called to serve as sign and symbol of God’s Aloha meant for everyone. Our welcome is without exception.

As an ohana-sized church, we believe we are called to unite with others to address the needs of hurting persons as well as to determine the reasons why there are those in need in the first place. We affirm that “together, we are better”.

As a church inspired by the abundant gifts of God’s grace, we are called to live life with open hands, not holding on too tightly, but gently—both giving generously and receiving generously. 

sunday service

Worship begins at 10 am. All are welcome to share prayer concerns, sing with the choir, hear inspirational messages from Pastor Joe and enjoy the fellowship of a diverse and talented congregation. Each Sunday after worship, we gather for a light lunch, often prepared with our own locally-sourced produce. Our congregation is known for its good food and hospitality—there’s room for everyone at our table! 

You’ll have the opportunity to pray and meditate with nature close at hand we worship with all the doors open and let the music of the birds join our singing! You’ll see people in flip flops and shorts, and also some people in their finest. What you wear is not as important to us as what’s in your heart. Come as you are!

As a congregation, we are former plantation workers, professionals, students, office workers, farmers, children, and retirees from many places. We're proud of our diverse backgrounds and multi-cultural community. We drive from as far away as Volcano, Hilo and points north because Hilo Coast UCC is our spiritual home. Even if church has never been your thing, our community of God’s Aloha just might change your mind.

On Sundays at Hilo Coast UCC, you will have many opportunities to hear and participate in a wide variety of musical genres, from classical music, traditional hymns and spirituals to contemporary praise songs. Perhaps the spirit will move you to join the choir and share your faith through your music. Most Sundays we have a trio of musicians playing piano, flute and bass guitar. We hope you will find that our spirited and soulful sounds enrich your experience of God. 

our church

It would be an understatement to say that we are located off the beaten path! Situated in the tiny plantation town of Honomu, we’re 13 miles north of Hilo on the Big Island, where, as they say, the sidewalk ends.

Our unique rural location reflects our historic past and the purpose for which our congregation was originally founded.

Hilo Coast United Church of Christ is the fruit of legendary mission roots. Rev. Shiro Sokabe, the founder of our congregation, arrived in Hawaii as a Christian missionary sent by the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM ) in 1894. At that time sugar plantations dominated the social and economic fabric of the Republic of Hawaii, importing immigrant contract field workers with little regard for their personal welfare.

When Rev. Sokabe arrived in Honomu, he addressed the workers’ social problems, building the Gijuku (a dormitory and orphanage that sheltered more than 1,500 individuals from 1898 to 1917), establishing a school, and founding mission churches in neighboring plantation towns. Rev. Sokabe dedicated his life to working in this fertile mission field, offering aid to widows, educating neglected and orphaned children, providing safe havens for abused family members, and preaching the life-transforming hope he himself had discovered in the Gospel.

Our congregation’s evolution has been tied to our location along the Hamakua Coast—a once bustling district whose economic prosperity and population rose and fell with the fortunes of the sugar industry. World War II was a particularly difficult time for the church in a shameful era of internment camps and racial prejudice—the Japanese school was closed, worship services in Japanese were replaced with English and many of the men enlisted in the armed services, some serving in the 442nd (Go For Broke) Regimental Combat Team.

The remarkable ministry of Reverend Sokabe quietly ended with his retirement in 1942 and the church which he founded, Honomu Christian Church, continued its ministry under subsequent pastors. During the decade of the ‘60’s, several important events took place: the sugar plantations went into decline; a new highway to Hilo was built, effectively by-passing Honomu; and Hakalau Chapel, Papaikou Filipino Church, Pepeekeo Chapel, Papaikou Pilgrim Church, and Honomu Christian Church merged their congregations and entered a new denomination to become Hilo Coast United Church of Christ.

Over the years, the old Sokabe-era buildings declined. Construction of our current Chapel and Fellowship Hall was completed in 1993. With monies earned by the Insert Ministry (a group of dedicated laypeople who worked at the Hawaii Tribune–Herald inserting newspaper ads) a parsonage, maintenance building, and gazebo were built in 2005. In the past ten years, retirees from the Mainland and other newcomer families have been moving into the area and finding their way to our doors, ushering in a new era of growth and interest in our church. 

hilo Coast
united church of christ

808-963-6330

info@hilocoastucc.org

28-1630 Old Mamalahoa Highway

P.O. Box 217

Honomu, HI 96728

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