A History of the Orthodox Church in Hawaii : Two Hundred Years on the Road
A History of the Orthodox Church in Hawaii recounts the many attempts to establish an Orthodox religious community in the Hawaiian islands. While the first Christian service in Hawaii was the Church of England funeral service for Captain James Cook at the end of the eighteenth century, the first full Christian liturgy (mass) on Hawaiian soil was an Orthodox Easter service celebrated in the early nineteenth century by the chaplain and crew of a Russian ship on a mission of exploration.
Although Russian ships of the Russian America company visited Hawaii often, no serious attempts were made to establish an Orthodox church or a mission there for some time. Only toward the beginning of the twentieth century, when fairly large numbers of Russians, Greeks, and other predominantly Orthodox ethnic groups arrived in Hawaii, did some prominent Orthodox missionaries such as Father Jacob Korchinsky (who later on established Orthodox churches in Australia) attempt to establish permanent Orthodox parishes.
In 1968 the Greek Orthodox community on Oahu purchased a modest building which was repurposed as a church and invited a Greek American priest, Father Dean Gigicos, to serve as its first permanent rector. Eventually, in the 1980s, some Russians and newly converted Americans decided to establish a Russian Orthodox church in Honolulu. This Russian church was established under the aegis of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR) and was dedicated to the newly appeared myrrh-streaming Iveron icon of the Theotokos of Montreal.
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