The dedicated service of the women and men of the military is deeply appreciated by Pali View Baptist Church and we welcome them and their families to our family.
Lt. Colonel & Mrs. Adriel Lam, U.S. Army
While on my multiple TDY and deployments, Pali View has become a home of support and fellowship for my family and me. We first came to the Windward side to enjoy the beautiful Koolau mountains, cool breeze and warm afternoon showers of Kaneohe Bay. We were blessed even more by the warmth of the Pali View Ohana; experiencing the love, care, faithfulness and forgiveness of Christ so richly shared.
If you’re only here for a short year or two, join us at Pali View Baptist Church. It started only as an 18-month assignment, but the Pali View family has embraced us for the past ten years and counting.
Major & Mrs. Gary Hockett, U.S. Air Force
When we first arrived at Pali View we felt right at home. The fellowship was such a blessing. Pali View has a wonderful blend of contemporary worship, local atmosphere and people, and military families. The worship was uplifting and scripture-based and perfect for our family of diverse age-groups. We could always feel the spirit moving and among us!
Senior Chief Petty Officer & Mrs. John Williams, U.S. Coast Guard
My husband, John, and I relocated to Oahu from Mobile, Alabama in August 2005 after he received orders to serve three years on the USCGC KUKUI. We were elated by his orders and happily boarded that 12-hour flight with our 2-year-old twin sons not yet knowing what awaited us. With all the excitement of living in an island paradise, admittedly I felt a bit discouraged that I’d be unable to find a church family like I had on the mainland. For four years, I had attended a small, Southern Baptist church where everyone felt like family. It was comforting to me to know everyone’s face and to have direct access to our pastor who was such an encouragement to everyone. Soon after arriving on island, I began checking out local churches in search for a new home church.
Prompted by a neighbor, I spent two Sundays at one of those large churches in the area, yet I found the Foursquare gospel worship style to be a bit too contemporary for my comfort level. There were also too many in attendance for me to imagine having any personalized or mentoring relationship with the pastor, hence their need to divide up the congregation into “mini-churches” led by different ministerial staff and church leaders. The congregation seemed too vast for me to get to know more than just a fraction of those attended, imparting a city-feel to the church rather than a family-feel. For some church goers, I recognize this might serve as an advantage to them but it didn’t feel like a good fit to me so I kept looking. I then spent the next few weeks visiting smaller churches throughout the Kailua-Kaneohe area. I should mention that my husband has always rejected church activities so I was attending these services alone and ultimately I felt a little uncomfortable and like an outsider at many of these churches. Folks were friendly but I still sat by myself; furthermore, I wasn’t too impressed with the childcare situation at some of these churches. Pali View Baptist was probably the fifth or so church I checked-out and I’m so grateful that I did!
From the get-go, I loved how Pali View included a mixture of both contemporary and traditional music throughout their worship service. I was happy to discover that they shared the same core beliefs and teachings as my Southern Baptist church back home. Each Sunday I attended, the church grew on me. I believe a big part of this was because I also chose to attend Sunday School, not just the Worship Service. During Sunday School, I quickly became on a first-name basis with a handful of people and this made attending a new church much more comfortable. I found the pastor to be engaging and knowledgeable, the music to be uplifting and very personal, and the congregation to be the friendliest around. Several folks went out of their way to make me feel welcome and I really appreciated it. It also helped that many wore name tags which made matching faces with names fairly easy. While worshiping at Pali View was somewhat different from my past experiences (let’s face it, island-culture is very different from mainland-culture), I could certainly feel God’s presence there and I knew I wanted to be a part of it. I even began attending a mid-week Bible study group at a church member’s home where I became close friends with a handful of other church goers.
Of course, the single most deciding factor in whether Pali View was the church for us rested in their children’s program. One of my sons has autism and I knew I had to find a church that would not only be a loving and engaging place for him and his brother to attend but I needed a church that could minister to my family’s special needs. Not only were Pali View’s Sunday School teachers prepared with fun hands-on activities but they had extra helpers for added supervision. They kept the children secure behind a latched door where they were not released until their parents came to sign them out. At another church we had visited before Pali View, they only had their youth members babysitting (i.e., no structured lesson plan or craft activities for the little ones) and when I went to pick up my sons after the Worship Service, I discovered my autistic son was missing (after a frantic search, I found him wandering around the property without their knowledge). This never happened at Pali View! My experience with Pali View is that the members were patient and loving towards my sons and diligently worked to connect with them and to teach them basic Bible truths.
Another advantage of my sons attending Pali View is the church’s preschool program. Although my son with autism attended a special education preschool through Hawaii’s Department of Education, my other son was able to attend Pali View’s full-day preschool program where he received a combination of Christ-centered teachings with a solid academic curriculum. When he graduated from their program, he learned how to be a good listener, a good friend, and he felt confident to begin Kindergarten.
I thoroughly enjoyed attending Pali View Baptist Church throughout our three years we were on island. The church became like a second-family to me. Before long, I found myself volunteering as a Sunday School teacher for the 1st-3rdgraders, helping out in church wide programs like Vacation Bible School and the annual Harvest Festival, and serving on the preschool committee. There was no pressure to volunteer in these capacities but I couldn’t help but feel God’s presence which filled me with a desire to serve. When my husband received orders to return to the mainland, leaving Pali View was one of the hardest parts of moving away from this island paradise. Although we may have relocated to western New York in 2008, I’m happy to report that I’m still close with many of Pali View’s church members and we still keep each other in our prayers.