During the mid-nineteenth century, Imiola Congregational Church at Waimea, Hawaii became the main base for Congregational missionary activities in the Hāmākua and South Kohala Districts of Hawaii. (Imiola means ‘seek salvation.’) The first Imiola Church was a grass hut built by order of the local chiefs for traveling missionaries. No construction date has been found for the first church, although it had been built and dedicated by King Kamehameha III before 1832.
A second church lasted for only a little over twelve years. At the end of April, 1855, it was determined to be unsafe and was abandoned. On June 11 of that year, the roof collapsed and was described by Lyons as “a mass of ruins”. On August 29, 1855, the cornerstone of the new church was laid. By 1857, the church was completed and dedicated. The ceiling rafters, floor, and exterior clapboard were made of koa, a Hawaiian hardwood.