Mission Cemetery

The Mission Cemetery, established in 1823 on the grounds of Kawaiah`ao Church and maintained by the Hawaiian Mission Children's Society, is the oldest Christian graveyard in Hawai`i.  

A walk through the Cemetery is a trip back in time, with Binghams, Bishops, Alexanders, Chamberlains, Castles, Cookes, Armstrongs and Gulicks buried on the grounds. The first adult missionary buried here was Elizabeth Edwards Bishop (1728 - 1828), the second wife of the Reverend Artemas Bishop, who came to the Islands in 1823 with the Second Company from New Haven. She shares a plot with her husband and her son, the Reverend Sereno Edwards Bishop, who was only a year old when his mother died.

Also, of three Hawaiian men schooled in Connecticut by the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions that returned to their native Hawai`i to aid the missionaries, one, William Kanui (ca. 1796 - 1864) is buried here.

Burials still take place in the cemetery. Missionary descendants from Hawai`i and around the world continue to be buried in or near their family plots, where they may rest with their ancestors. Any person descended from the individuals and families associated with the Sandwich Islands Mission may be interred at this burial ground. Contact the Society Relations Director Mary Ann Lentz at (808) 447-3922 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 
Listen to former Hawaiian Mission Houses membership coordinator Lee Wild share her memories of managing the cemetery

Lee Wild - Kawaiahao Church Cemetery