We are Hāmama Community Church, “Followers of Jesus, Ohana in Practice”. Our mission is to make disciples of Jesus and mentor believers towards maturity. Like other church plants, we joyfully serve our community and leverage our denominational resources. But what makes this mission unique is our strategy of perpetuating the Hawaiian culture appropriately. 

The vision for Hāmama came about before we were ever here. Pastor Jason Hew, a Gateway alum that served in this area, shared a similar vision. We found out later that Lainee Pegelow, a Christian Challenge director in Arizona, prayed for God to do something in this place several years before we arrived. Now, she is a partner and brings college students to serve alongside Hāmama. In California, God was refining my (Ikaika) call and clarifying the vision with the help of Gateway faculty and fellow students. Originally, I (Ikaika) intended to serve the Hawaiian community on Maui while Stacey went to seminary to prepare to return overseas as a full-time missionary. However, God had other plans. Through various means, we answered the call to plant a church in Kahalu’u, O’ahu.

We have a strong conviction to plant an indigenous church. Part of our ministry is incorporating local farming for the community. People ask, “Why did you choose to do farming?” Our answer is simple: we didn’t. Our target community values such work, and we believe it is the vision for the property we steward. As we cleared overgrown bushes and trees, we found a spring that is now used for wetland taro farming. Community members, both believers and non-believers, value aloha ‘aina – the care for their land. They volunteer their time and energy in weekly work days while farmers share their experience, their heavy equipment, and donate plants to bring the farm to life. They are a part of restoring a sense of place, a pu‘uhonua – a sanctuary.

What once used to be commonplace has now become treasured cultural practices. Many kupuna, or family elders have passed away taking family traditions with them. It became much easier to cater Hawaiian food, quicker to purchase from a lei stand, and more comfortable to only dream of learning the Native Hawaiian language. Many broken ohana look to the good old days. God has equipped Hamama with core church members who are authentic cultural practitioners. In addition to farming, we teach families to make poi using a board and stone, to make lei using things we grow on the farm, to set an imu to cook food, and to earn Hawaiian as second a language using the Hawaiian Bible translation. We are able to teach it all for free with no strings attached because we want our community to know God cares about what they hold dear.

Some have wondered why we started with youth. It was completely a direction from God. The most common understanding of ohana is extended family. Ohana literally translates to that which is of the same oha, or taro stalk. In Hawaiian communities of the past, children or keiki were fortunate to be raised in strong communal systems. Elders, aunts, uncles, and cousins, as well as parents – all contributed to the healthy upbringing of the next generation. Today, almost no ohana is immune to integral family members being affected by drugs, prison, alcoholism, or the need to move for economic opportunity. The result is brokenness. God knows this and opened the door for us to work with an after-school program to become ohana to many hurting youth and parents. The church of Jesus is a multigenerational ohana filled with many members that are connected by the blood of Christ – the living stalk that will never be broken.

“Followers of Jesus, Ohana in practice” is not just a tagline or a gimmick. It is how Hamama has been lead to fulfill our mission of making disciples. The ohana or the extended family is the backbone of the Hawaiian community. And right now, it is hurting. God desires to bring life and healing to the ohana. Hamama Community Church is His story. Though we struggle in the midst of hard work and patient laboring, we know that God’s ways are perfect. He revealed a vision, He appointed the timing, He is bringing the right people, and providing the resources to fulfill His mission in Hawai’i.

Read More


Dr. Iorg provides four ways you can start reinforcing contentment in your life.

Jeff Iorg
Dr. Jeff Iorg is the president of Gateway Seminary. Prior to his service at the Seminary, Dr. Iorg was the Executive Director of the Northwest Baptist Convention for almost ten years. He was also the founding pastor of Greater Gresham Baptist Church in Gresham, Oregon, and has served as a pastor in Missouri and a staff pastor in Texas.

God’s Sovereignty in Esther

The implicit language of Esther maintains the mystery of God’s sovereignty—a topic human beings naturally are unable to comprehend.

Sang Boo
Pastor of Canvas Ministry, Good Community Church of Torrance
Pastor Sang joined Good Community Church in June 2014. He earned two degrees from Gateway Seminary: the MDiv in 2009 and the PhD in 2017.


Study Isaiah
November 21, 2022

King Cyrus: Servant of God – Isaiah 40-41

In this episode, Dr. Wegner introduces the next palistrophe: Isaiah 40-48. He loves palistrophes.
Lead On Podcast
November 20, 2022

Cultivating Contentment

Dr. Iorg discusses checking personal ambition and achieving contentment and provides four ways for leaders to grow and practice contentment.


Spirituality of Jonathan Edwards | JEC at Gateway Seminary

Dr. Chris Chun hosted a digital symposium with Dr. Michael Haykin and Dr. Robert Caldwell to discuss Edwards’ spirituality, devotional life and theological impact in American Christianity.

Chris Chun
Professor of Church History | Director, Jonathan Edwards Center
Dr. Chris Chun is the professor of Church History and the director of Jonathan Edwards Center at Gateway Seminary. Chris’ doctoral research at St. Andrews University was focused on the eighteenth-century Edwardsean Baptists in Britain. He also has served as president of The Evangelical Theological Society (Far West Region).

Faculty Dialogues: Dispensationalism or Not

In this episode of Faculty Dialogues, Dr. David Rathel and Dr. Paul Wegner held a live discussion on their views on dispensationalism.

David Rathel
Associate Professor of Christian Theology
Dr. Rathel is the associate professor of Chrisitian Theology at Gateway Seminary. Prior to Gateway, Dr. Rathel supplied pastoral care to churches in the United States and Scotland, served as an Adjunct Professor of Theology and Philosophy for the Baptist College of Florida, and provided teaching assistance for the University of St Andrews.

Get updates on new content!