George Baybrook, 89, peacefully entered eternal life on July 28, 2018, in Honolulu, where he had made his home since 2015.
George was born to Harold and Edith (Waldo) Baybrook in Kealakekua, Kona, Hawaii, on Sept. 22, 1928, a true keiki o ka aina (child of the land). His childhood friends called him Red for his colorful hair. He attended Honakaa High School, where he earned the nickname La’e (green/money) when he found a lost wallet. He graduated from Mid-Pacific High School in Honolulu. At Oregon State University, his brother Seymour led him to Christ, and that commitment launched a lifetime Christian ministry.
George met Margie Anne Young during undergraduate studies at The Bible Institute of Los Angeles (now BIOLA University); they were married in 1951 and were partners for more than 68 years, building and serving church communities. They started their ministry in 1954 in Hilo, at Central Christian Church. In 1959, they moved to Revere, MA, where George attended Gordon Theological Seminary and earned a Master of Divinity Degree while working full-time for the First Congregational Church of Revere. In 1963, George and Margie and their three young children moved to Waimea, Kauai, to lead the Greater Waimea Parish, including the Waimea Foreign Church, Waimea Hawaiian Church and Waimea Christian Church.
In 1970, the Baybrooks moved to Wailuku, Maui, where they spent almost 20 years serving Wailuku Union Church as well as several years with Iao Congregational Church before George decided to retire — for the first time. They built a home on five acres in Hilo, and acquired two calves and a horse. George loved his animals, but he missed the ministry, and returned to work — for the Hilo Coast UCC in Honomu (1991-1993), and then as associate conference minister to ministers for the Big Island, United Church of Christ Conference (1993-1999). In 1999, he retired again – and in 2005 he went back to work. He led Kalahikiola Congregational Church in Kohala (2005-2009), through a devastating earthquake and major rebuilding project. And then, after a short rest, he was called to his final ministry with a small church, Ho’olokahi, in Kealakekua, his Kona hometown. His decades-long formal ministry ended in 2012, but his daily ministry continued to touch and inspire people for six more years.
George’s service and commitment to Jesus Christ and his church were clear in every choice he made and every word he spoke. He valued relationships, encouraged honesty and was the first to apologize to mend any conflict. He was called Kahu (shepherd/pastor) because his generous love, true service and deep faith touched everyone he met. He was unfailingly honest about his ideas, his feelings and his convictions. While he stood firm in his beliefs, he was exceptionally open to others’. He had compassion for everyone, and offered kindness and mercy to all.
He said that the Lord had taken two rather ordinary people, Margie and himself, and done great things through them.
In all things, he gave the credit and the glory to God.
George loved his family, and was proud of each of them, their gifts and what they accomplished. He is survived by his wife Margie, his children, Rebecca "Becky" (James R. Heckenbach) Baybrook, Stephen R. Baybrook and Grace L. Takamura, and his grandsons, Mark Takamura and Jon (Adrie) Takamura, who gave him the treasured nickname Booboo, which always made him smile.
Celebrations of Kahu Baybrook’s life will be held Friday, Aug. 31, at Central Union Church, Honolulu; visitation begins at 5 p.m., service at 6 p.m. and reception at 7 p.m. A second service will be held Sunday, Sept. 2, at Kalahikiola Congregational Church, Kapaau (Kohala), Hawaii; visitation begins at noon, with service starting at 1 p.m., followed by a reception.
In lieu of flowers, Kahu George would love to know that today you did something kind, forgave a slight or extended grace to someone in need. Donations in his memory would be welcomed by the American Cancer Society and by Kalahikiola Congregational Church.
Notice #: 0001124288-01