Founders return for 40th anniversary celebration at Anahola Baptist Church

In the spirit that the church was founded, all are invited to attend a special service and lu‘au marking the 40th anniversary of Anahola Baptist Church Sunday, church members said in a press release.

The special service begins at 10 a.m., and the lu‘au, with lots of live entertainment, is set for 12:30 p.m.

Dr. Arza E. Brown, now of Lahaina, Maui, and Grace Baptist Church, the founding pastor of Anahola Baptist Church, returns to the island, and is the featured guest speaker at the service.

The church is just off Kuhio Highway, mauka of the Anahola post office.

Those planning on attending should RSVP to Cyrila Pycha, 635-4495, or by e-mail at cyrila@hiinfo.net, or by regular mail to the church, P.O. Box 717, Anahola, HI 96703.

Mayor Bryan J. Baptiste has been invited, Pycha said.

When Arza and Ruth Brown were both 23, they arrived on Kaua‘i in 1965 to start a church. They returned again for the church’s 25th anniversary celebration in 1991.

In 1965, the Browns were cautioned that attempting to start a church in Anahola would be futile, that many had tried and failed before them. At that time, there weren’t that many haole families on the island.

But the Browns didn’t recall prejudices, but warm welcomes from Salvador and Emily Carvalho, and Minoru Furugen.

After school children began meeting at the old Anahola Park clubhouse every Wednesday afternoon, the first formal church service was held at the old Anahola School site on the last Sunday of December 1965.

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