Church of God in Hawaii Continues Relief Efforts

General Overseer Tim Hill and Secretary General Gary Lewis conducted a Zoom call on Wednesday, August 16 with Hawaii State Overseer Rob Taylor, who gave an update on the efforts of relief and recovery following last week’s devastating fires on Maui.

The International Christian Fellowship (ICF) Church of God in Lahaina was completely destroyed by the wildfires which has wiped out the town and left more than 100 dead as of Wednesday.

Taylor reported that the outpouring of relief on the state has been overwhelming.

The site of the former International Christian Fellowship Church of God in Lahaina shows utter devastation (click photo to enlarge)

“Response by the Church of God family has been amazing,” Taylor said. “We have been able to transport over 5.5 tons of supplies, including toiletries, diapers, food, and water. Goods have come from all the islands, and local air services shipped the initial supplies for free. This direct touch outreach has been a blessing to watch.”

Taylor described that the home of Benny Mariano, pastor of the ICF Church, was miraculously spared from the fires, but they are now housing nine families.

“Benny is a tremendous leader,” Taylor said. “Two of their staff lost their homes and are now staying in Wailuku, much like the 12,000 residents of Lahaina who have dispersed across Maui and to the other islands. While hotels and shelters on Maui are full, these fires have affected all of Hawaii.”

“The first wave of relief has been delivered, but much of the supply is tapped out,” Taylor continued. “Unfortunately, you can’t load up an Operation Compassion semi and drive a truck full of product to Hawaii. Everything has to arrive by air or ship which can take weeks, not to mention the expense and red tape. By far, the best way for folks desiring to help can do so through contributing funds to purchase supplies already here in the islands.”

The former sign for the church stands in the foreground of the church which is a complete loss (click photo to enlarge)

We are standing with Pastor Benny, you, and the Church of God in Hawaii,” said Hill. Lewis, who serves as the Covenant Team leader for Hawaii said, “This is going to be a journey, and we are going to continue to pray for God to receive the ultimate glory through it all.”

Taylor ended the call sharing the heart of the Church of God going forward as three-fold: 1) Relief, the supplying of basic needs, 2) Recovery, determining the new normal for those affected by the disaster, and 3) Rebuild, looking for the best approach toward rebuilding the historic Lahaina church.

To give directly to the Church of God Maui relief efforts, visit This interview has been posted to the Church of God Facebook page. To view, visit @COGHQ.

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