Waiola Church
            The First Christian Church on Maui
       Founded 1823

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Waiola Church Cemetery
(formerly Waine'e Church Cemetery)

Waine'e Church about 1851

From the Lahaina Historical Guide:

The Waine'e Church cemetery was the first Christian cemetery in Hawaii. Here are buried the great and obscure of Old Lahaina.

Notables include the following:
  • The sacred Queen Keopuolani, the highest royalty by virtue of bloodlines in all Hawaii, born in Wailuku in 1780; she was the first Hawaiian baptized as a Protestant. Wife of Kamehameha I, mother of Kamehameha II and III. (1778 - Sep 16, 1823)

  • King Kaumuali'i, the last king of Kauai. His island was the only one that Kamehameha the Great never took with force.(1780 - May 26, 1824)

  • High Chief Hoapili, a general and King Kamehameha I closest friend; Hoapili married two of Kamehameha's queens, Keopuolani and Kalakua. (unknown - Jan 3, 1840)

  • Hoapili Wahine (Kalakua Kaheiheimālie), governor of Maui from 1840 to 1842, who donated 1,000 acres of land to start Lahainaluna School. (1778 - Jan 16, 1842)

  • Kekauonohi, one of the five queens of Kamehameha II, born in Lahaina in 1805, served as governor of Kauai from 1842 to 1844. (1805 - Jun 2, 1851)

  • High Chiefess Kuini Liliha, granddaughter of King Kahekili, daughter of Hoapili; Liliha visited King George IV with her husband, Boki, Kamehameha II and Queen Kamamalu. In 1830 Liliha started a rebellion with 1,000 soldiers on Oahu while she was governor there. Her father, Hoapili, forced her to give up her office and return to Maui. (1802 - Aug 25, 1839)

  • Princess Nahienaena, darling of the high chiefs and the Hawaiian people, sister to kings Kamehameha II and III. (1815 - Dec 30, 1836)
Many missionary children are buried in Waine'e Cemetery, as is Rev. Richards. The oldest Hawaiian Christian gravestone in the Islands is that of a Mauian who died in 1829 from "fever." A Hawaiian man who died in 1908 at the age of 104­- living through royal rule, the breaking of kapus, constitutional government and the establishment of Hawaii as a U.S. territory­-is also buried here. Visitors should be aware that Hawaiians consider this site sacred.

More details on these can be found on the website "findagrave.com".

Cemetery or Graveyard?
The two words, cemetery and graveyard both refer to a place where the dead are buried. Although these two words are often used interchangeably by many people, there is a subtle difference between cemetery and graveyard. The main difference between cemetery and graveyard is that a  graveyard is situated close to a church whereas a cemetery is not situated near a church.

By the late 18th century, the population of Europe has increased significantly; graveyards were no longer sufficient for burial purposes. It was only then that the concept of creating burial grounds away from the church began to be introduced. This kind of burial ground, which is not close to a church, is called a cemetery. So, a cemetery is a large burial ground which is not situated in a churchyard. The term cemetery comes from Old French cimetiere which originated from the Greek koimeterion meaning sleeping place or dormitory. 

By this definition, the name would be Waiola Church Graveyard or Waine'e Church Graveyard prior to the 1953 name change. However, newspaper articles as far back as 1911 refer to the Waine'e Church Cemetery.


Reverend Richard
                            Williams grave
Reverend William Richards: August 22, 1793 - November 7, 1847

Waiola Church
535 Waine'e St.
Lahaina, HI 96761

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