Ko’olau Baptist Church was established in 1965 when a young missionary couple from Baptist International Missions Incorporated, Pastor and Mrs. Max Helton, arrived in Hawaii. With a small nucleus of believers they organized the Ko’olau Baptist Church. Originally they met at Heeia Elementary School before later moving to the cafeteria at King Intermediate School. Later, approximately 2.5 acres of an old banana patch were purchased in Kane’ohe and the church built a sanctuary on the location in 1967.
Under the leadership of Rev. James Warren (1972- 1976) Ko’olau Baptist Church gave birth to a new ministry by founding Windward Christian School in 1974. Approximately 30 students met in a small A-framed annex building, an old real estate office that was moved onto the Ko’olau Baptist Church property.
Under the leadership of Rev. David Marcum (1976-1980), the church and school began to grow in numbers and more room was needed. As a result, in 1978, the back of the church sanctuary was expanded for use as Sunday school classrooms as well as Monday – Friday school classes. Shortly thereafter, the name “Windward Christian School” was changed to Ko’olau Baptist Academy. This change, in name, more accurately aligned the school ministry under the Pastoral leadership and direction of the local church body (as embarked upon in 1974) of Ko’olau Baptist Church.
In 1991, Ko’olau Baptist Church called Rev. Thomas Bowlin as its pastor. Ko’olau Baptist Church has experienced numerous improvements since this time. Under his leadership the school joined the American Association of Christian Schools and helped found AACS – Hawaii in 1991. Under his leadership we have built a new church/school office and a new High School building consisting of three large multipurpose class rooms. He has also overseen the complete interior renovating of our sanctuary and began leading the way to expanding our multiplex with a new elementary two story building and a multifunctional-use building, as funds are made available. In September 2004 Pastor Bowlin resigned for health reasons.
In July 2006, Pastor John Sass took over as the new Senior Pastor of Koolau Baptist Church. While Pastor John Sass was a marine in Hawaii, He met Suzy Dias, his wife, who was a member of Koolau Baptist Church. They were able to serve together in her home church. After serving 5 years the Lord led him to the mainland to continue pastoring.
In January of 2011, Pastor Skip Woodfin was voted in as Senior Pastor of Ko’olau Baptist Church. Under his leadership and guidance, KBC sent out several missionary families, celebrated 50 years of service, and started a local Bible college, Hawaii Baptist College.
The past history of Ko’olau Baptist Church is rich with the many blessings of God who receives all the glory. The future looks bright as we wait to see how the Lord will continue to lead us as we carry out the great commission of reaching the lost and dying world for Him…as we hopefully look for His return!