Gene Pisoni answered the call of God to bring the Pentecostal message to the people of Hawaii in 1967, and was ordained, commissioned, and sponsored by his church in Fremont, California.
Upon arriving in Maui, Gene accepted a position as a caretaker on the grounds of the Makawao Union Church on Baldwin Avenue. As he conducted small gatherings of people hungry for the deeper walk with the Holy Spirit, God confirmed His word with signs and wonders, including the Biblical experience of seekers being “filled with the Spirit... and speaking with other tongues.” Supernatural healings and gifts of the Holy Spirit soon followed. This became the first Assembly of God church on Maui.
Brother Pisoni moved his group to a Pool Hall in Makawao for a season, and eventually turned over the pastorate to Bill Phelps, who helped the church acquire property in Pukalani on Iolani Street. When Joe Filancia took over the congregation, they were able to purchase 2 acres on Kula Highway, and built a church, a parsonage, and a fellowship Hall. Bud Green and then George Nakagawa took the church people through a time of remarkable growth and stability. Robb Finberg came after a period without a pastor and assumed leadership in September of 1988. He remains the Pastor till today.
This account is about buildings, pastors, and addresses, and not the “Church” Jesus talked about in Matthew 16:18 – “I will build my church, and the gates of Hell will not overcome it.” That would require chronicling the hundreds or thousands of lives that have been transformed by the Gospel, and the loving community that communicates it to a hurting and needy world. As John the Apostle said in his Gospel, “Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.” John 21:25