Date / Time

"... in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him." (Col 3:17)
Leeward church of Christ
in Waipahu, Hawaii
near Honolulu, Hawaii, on the island of Oahu
E KOMO MAI – "Welcome and Come In"

A History of the Leeward Congregation

The local congregation that became the Leeward church had its beginnings in October 1955 when Ben Shropshire visited Hawaii to work with F.B. Shepherd, who preached for a Honolulu congregation.  Soon after arriving, Ben began teaching a Bible class at Schofield Barracks which led to formation of a church in Wahiawa.  While working with this church, Ben taught a class at Enrique Ranada’s home; this group helped form a church in Waipahu, which met on Apowale Street. Ben and his wife Joan (married in Hawaii in April 1956) returned to the mainland at the end of that year.

The Shropshires and their children returned to Hawaii in January 1963 as a new congregation began meeting in Pearl City.  Many of this congregation’s first members were from the Apowale Street congregation in Waipahu.  Its first meeting locations included Birch Circle, Franklin Avenue, Kamehameha Highway (where the Sam’s Club is now located), and Noelani Street, before Sunday meetings were held at the Aliamanu Intermediate School on Salt Lake Blvd.

In early 1965, the decision was made to buy a small two-bedroom home at the corner of Peke Lane and Waipahu Street as a meeting place.  After much preparation, the congregation began meeting there in February 1965 and using the "Leeward church of Christ" name.  With Sunday morning attendance in the 60s, expansion was already needed.  A new auditorium was added in late 1967, followed by a baptistery, pews, and new songbooks in 1968.  The property on Henokea Street was bought in mid-1970 for the purpose of housing the preacher and his family.

The Shropshires had planned to return to the mainland in 1970, though extended until 1971 while a replacement preacher was sought.  Olen Holderby of California was invited to be the new preacher after holding a meeting in March, though it ultimately didn’t work out for him to do so.  (As a side note, Olen worked with a new congregation in suburban St. Louis in the mid-1970s, which led to this writer’s baptism.) In mid-June 1971, Ron Howes of Alaska accepted an invitation to work with the congregation, and the Shropshires moved in July to work with the Hazelwood, Missouri congregation.

Ron Howes remained with the Leeward congregation for a few years and was followed by Gordon Pennock and then John Miller.  Abe Guillermo (a Waipahu "native", who had been Ben Shropshire’s 1955 college roommate) and his family then moved to Hawaii and worked with the congregation.  Don Givens followed, leaving in 1990.  There were no full-time preachers for many years afterward, with Jim Hester, Michael Lusk, Earnest Bautista, and David Jennings doing much of the preaching.  The Shropshires returned in the mid-2000s and were followed by Anthony Genton, who worked with the congregation for over five years, leaving in late 2013. Daniel Duvall joined with us in August 2014.

— David A, based on a more comprehensive article written by Ben Shropshire
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