West Kauai United Methodist Church
History of West Kauai UMC
Past & Present
From the humble homes of immigrant plantation workers originally from Korea and the Philippines, the “circuit west” approach of spreading the gospel by Methodists, world-wide, began on dusty dirt roads which brought the pastor to the villages of Kaumakani as early as 1910. Kekaha was soon after.
Eventually, two sanctuaries were built: the first on land provided by the Robinson family “in the middle of the canefield” in Kaumakani, fronting one of the early campsites consisting of a few houses nearby. The second sanctuary was built near the houses for plantation workers at Kekaha.
From each, the voices of members were raised in song, cultural sharings, sermon-messages, and prayer. Sometimes in English
and often in the Ilocano dialect, the mother-language of most of the Filipino laborers’ families on their faith journeys with Christ on the island of Kauai.
The Kaumakani sanctuary has survived hurricane damage twice, and continues to be a haven of worship for folks throughout the west side of Kaua'i, and many others who journey from across the island to attend service and be a part of the life of the mission projects and community events. From the Kaumakani kitchen grew the desire to feed and minister to the elderly and homeless in our west side. the Managan Tayon: Let's Eat Program has been serving many with a well-balanced nutritional meal twice a month and delivered to our neighbors in Eleele, Hanapepe, Kaumakani, Waimea and Kekaha.
The Kekaha sanctuary was a single-walled wooden structure that hosted rough wooden benches as pews in it’s original location but was demolished after the dedication of the new church in 1947, which is still currently in use. The fellowship hall is named “Runes Hall” after the organizing pastor who used it for worship during construction of the sanctuary.
The hurricanes were instrumental in bringing the congregational members from the two churches merged together in worship.
While the Kaumakani church went through a renovation in the early 1990s, both congregations decided to combine their worship service.
And so through the years of being “brothers and sisters in Christ” and being served by the same appointed pastors, there was an immediate recognition of our strength in unity which led the way to the joint decision to merge!
Thus, emerged the West Kauai United Methodist Church.