Kauai Christian Fellowship
Kauai is known for its lush vegetation, crystal clear waters, and dramatic mountain cliffs. It is the northern most island of the Hawaiian archipelago and is considered the second oldest of the main islands that make up the state of Hawaii.
Kauai is a paradise escape for rest, relaxation, and revitalization.
Tucked within the beautiful boundaries of the island pulses a vitally vibrant church called Kauai Christian Fellowship (KCF). The church, serving Hawaii since 1991, is affectionately described as a youth ministry that has gone berserk. It is also known for putting an extremely high priority on reaching island youth and their families through relationship building.
Authenticity and care are ways KCF has remained vital to the people of the exuberant island. Kauai locals, according to Rick Bundschuh, one of the church’s founders, do not care about the church’s dog and pony show. Locals want a place to belong regardless of their past and current hang ups.
“There was a collection of us back in the day,” Rick said of the church’s inception. “I’m one of the gang of idiots, and we set out to building relationships. You have to invest in the community and it’s a long play situation over here.”
Rick has a rich history of developing youth ministry curriculum. He also has an illustrious track record as a freelance writer and illustrator for Surfer Magazine. In addition, Rick has independent writing works, most notably being the author of Bethany Hamilton’s story, Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family, and Fighting to Get Back on the Board.
A Relationally High Impact
Because of Rick’s immersed background in communion and storytelling, coupled with the KCF culture, the work that the church is doing is significantly meaningful and highly impactful to the locals. Kauai Christian Fellowship truly exudes the spirit of “Ohana” when it comes to building a family culture in their missional work.
“Hawaii has a unique culture that is matched nowhere else in the U.S.,” Brad Dupray, Senior Vice President of Ministry Development for CDF Capital, said. “For a church like Kauai Christian Fellowship to penetrate that culture is a testimony to long-term ministries, a dedicated pastoral staff, and people who share the gospel not only with their words, but with their lives.”
Now, with 30 years under the church’s belt of pouring into the locals and with authentic trust built within the fabrics of the families, Kauai Christian Fellowship is making faithful steps toward expanding their reach beyond the island. KCF is working to make space for worldwide ministry leadership training to happen, in an effort to replicate what they’ve done best on the island for the benefit of the Kingdom across the globe.
A Practical Learning Experience
Kauai Christian Fellowship recently took out a loan with CDF Capital to complete the build out of a one-year Bible college called Anchor House Kauai. The campaign broke ground June 2021 and the building is projected to be 6,500 square feet with a launch date of September 2022.
“The school’s intent is to bring in people from all over the world who want to have a gap year or maybe before they get into college and get a good foundation of what they believe and why they believe what they believe,” Rick said.
“It’s designed to deepen your faith through Christ-centered Bible training and hands on practical experience.”
Anchor House Kauai’s residency program will serve up to 40 students a year. The $12,500 tuition fee will cover 31 weeks of schooling, housing, and meals. The college will offer courses in Apologetics, Christian Living, Early Church History, Science, and Faith. Courses will be taught by both local staff and visiting lecturers.
“KCF’s unique approach to team ministry is a great model for their residency program,” Brad said. “Students can see how staff members have learned to love one another and work together in unity due to years of building relationships within the staff.”
Rick is extremely ecstatic for what the college has in store for its students. The land was formerly owned by the Watchtower Society and was made available to KCF for less than the asking price. And, with no money to build the school, Rick and the team stepped out in faith to move forward with their plans.
“We thought, if God wants this, then He’ll make the money show up somehow,” Rick recalled. “We’d already talked to our local banks. Nobody wants to loan to churches, especially over here.
CDF Capital Partners with Hawaii Church
“A friend of mine told me to talk to the CDF Capital guys, so I picked up the phone and talked to Brad,” Rick continued. “Brad sounded real positive and the next thing you know they’re willing to fully fund us. This has the thumbprints of God all over it.”
CDF Capital immediately knew that partnering with KCF was an easy decision to make. Brad knew the hard work the church was doing would pay off multiple folds down the line.
“We mainlanders think it would be paradise to do ministry in a place that looks and feels like paradise,” Brad said. “But doing ministry on Kauai is not for the faint of heart. It takes years to establish credibility. It’s a 5-hour plane flight from the mainland. The cost of living is very high. And it’s not a vacation. It’s work and that’s what KCF has done.”
Rick is elated that the college’s vision mirrors KCF’s desire to see hands on ministry happen outside the walls of its facility. It, according to Rick, accents what the church is already doing but on a grander scale.
KCF’s mission is to send out workers for the Kingdom. The college is not looking to birth lifelong transplants to the island but to develop seeds.
"This is a seed factory,” Rick said. “We’re trying to create kids that are going to go out and seed the world for the gospel.”