LAHAINA - Waiola Church marks its 185th anniversary this weekend with a day of festivities and a luau on Saturday and a special worship service on Sunday.
Events are open to the public.
Located at 535 Wainee St. in Lahaina, Waiola Church was established in the early 1800s during the reign of King Kamehameha the Great and was dedicated in 1823 as Wainee Church.
The church "was extremely instrumental in the introduction and growth of the Christian religion on the island of Maui," according to the church's Web site.
Saturday's festivities will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event features food, arts and crafts and plants. Free entertainment will be provided beginning at 10:30 a.m.
The lineup includes Earl Kukahiko and Na Kupuna 'O Lahaina, Pokipala with Poki & Friends, Noe Akima and the Akima Ohana, and kumu Kalei A'arona-Lorenzo leading the Kamehameha Schools Maui Ensemble.
The health screening staff with Hui No Ke Ola Pono will provide free cholesterol and blood screening for the first 100 people seeking the service.
A Saturday evening luau begins at 5:30 p.m. and features entertainment, including "Ainoa" with Fred Lacar and Pema Ayers, the Ho'opi'i Ohana with Richard and Ululani Ho'opi'i and Alexa Keaunui Vaught and her Halau 'O Keaunui 'O Maui.
Tickets for the luau and evening program cost $25 per person and are available at the church office. Call 661-4349.
The anniversary celebration caps off with a special 9 a.m. worship service on Sunday with kahu James "Kimo" Mersberg.
After its dedication in 1823, the first Waiola Church, known then as Wainee Church, was blown down by strong winds and later replaced by stone and wood.
In 1832, a second church building was dedicated and stood for 26 years.
In 1858, a whirlwind ravaged the roof and and church steeple, but the structure was repaired.
The church stood for another 36 years, until fire destroyed it in 1894. A new church was built, a gift from Henry P. Baldwin, and that lasted another 50 years until that was razed by another fire.
By 1954, the church was rebuilt with brick and its name was changed to Waiola Church.