The Lyceum



The Lyceum was a town hall used by the Chinese Church as its first sanctuary from 1879-1881. The site is now occupied by the Kukui Plaza’s parking structure on the Makai-Diamond Head side of Kukui Street and Nuuanu Avenue.

In 1879, John T. Waterhouse made the facilities of the old Lyceum available. Under the leadership of Sit Moon and a corps of Y.M.C.A. workers inspired by Joseph Ballard Atherton, classes are organized to teach the Chinese English and basic Biblical truths.

On June 8th of the same year, 39 Chinese Christians citing difficulties understanding the English language services ask for a church where services could be in their own language. The Hawaiian Evangelical Association granted their petition and Sit Moon is called to become their first pastor. They meet at the Lyceum.

The Chinese Church worshipped there until 1881 when it moved to the newly built Fort Street Chinese Church facilities.

Side Note: The Lyceum also played a role after being utilized by the Chinese Church for a time as the first sanctuary for the Nu’uanu Congregational Church.