New England Protestant minister, the Reverend Harvey R Hitchcock, was sent with his wife to Christianize the people of Molokai. Despite Kalaupapa’s distance from that station, its residents often climbed the pali or came by sea to attend church meetings. In 1841 the population of Kalaupapa, probably including Waikolu Valley, was about 700 persons, of which 30 were church members. Then, life in the Islands, and the peninsula, changed. In 1865, the Legislative Assembly passed, and King Kamehameha V approved, ‘An Act to Prevent the Spread of Leprosy,’ which set apart land to isolate people believed capable of spreading the disease.
On January 6, 1866, the first group of patients including nine men and three women arrived. During the first year of patients arriving at Kalawao in 1866, church members came together and formed a Congregational church, they named it Siloama, Church of the Healing Spring. Siloama Protestant Church was the first church to be erected at Kalawao Settlement at Kalaupapa, it was originally constructed and dedicated on October 28, 1871 by the Protestant Congregational Church. The church was named for the pool of Siloam (the Hebrew word ‘Siloam’ means ‘sent,’ Pool of the Sent.) It was where Jesus told a blind man, “Go wash yourself in the pool of Siloam”. So the man went and washed and came back seeing. (John 9:7)