It can be said that Holy Nativity Church was born in a stable, for on January 23, 1949 Bishop Harry S. Kennedy held an inaugural Episcopal service in the office of the former Hind-Clarke Dairy on the site that is now Aina Haina Elementary School. In those early days, the congregation jokingly referred to themselves as St. Mary in the Dairy! Soon after, a generous land donation from the children of Senator and Mrs. Robert Hind became the site of the present-day church and school.
Holy Nativity's Montiero Chapel
Later in 1949, ground was broken on the present church site at the corner of Kalanianaole Hwy and Nenue Street. First buildings constructed were the Chapel (shown in the slide show above) and classrooms for the day school. Native stone was used in the construction. The Rev. John J Morrett was the first Vicar and also the first Rector of Holy Nativity. The chapel is named in honor of "Aunt Maggie" Monteiro, missionary, teacher, and our earliest model as a Christian Educator.
The Chapel Mural
We honor the mural which hangs in our Holy Nativity Memorial chapel. Painted by Mrs. Winnie Waddoups in 1960, this mural shows the Nativity Scene in a beautiful Hawaiian setting. Children of different nationalities come to offer gifts to the Child Jesus. The little boy who has returned from fishing was designed after Mrs. Waddoup's own son. A young Filipino girls presents a lei to Jesus. An African boy offers a mango while an East Indian girl stands nearby. A Japanese girl carries a lantern, and a Chinese boy with a white dove also comes. Golden rays symbolize the Hawaiian sunshine, and silver rays, the Hawaiian rain. Three wise men are seen in the distance as three Hawaiian Ali'i and the star of Bethlehem shines above. There is an offering of fruits, flowers and shells before Jesus, and two tall angels bow in adoration. We invite you to visit our Chapel to view our lovely mural.
Holy Nativity Clergy
John J. Morrett, Rector 1949 - 1962
Byron J. Clark, Rector 1962 - 1966
Charles T. Crane, Rector 1966 - 1988
Willard S. McGinniss, Interim Rector 1988 - 1989
John Clyde Millen, Rector 1989 - 2002
George Lane Downing, Interim Rector 2002 - 2005
Richard Vinson, Rector 2006 - 2011
David Kennedy, Interim Rector 2012
Debra A. Vanover, Rector 2012 - 2016
Today's main church was dedicated in September, 1954. Built to be simple yet attractive, it was awarded a national prize for beauty and functional design by the Church Architectural Guild of America.
The Hawaiian Church Chronicle gave credit to both the architects (Law and Wilson), and to members of the congregation, from whom came many of the ideas for the building's ambiance.
Over time there have been modifications, but the side doorways opening to quiet gardens, informal lines, the natural lava rock walls and grass-green carpeting highlighting the white marble altar and cross remain constant.