Ella Holbrook

Faithful Service in Hawaii: Susannah Wesley Community Center

Holbrook, Ella

With a $500 grant from the Woman’s Home Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Ella Holbrook set out as a missionary with Japanese and Korean women immigrant laborers on plantations in Hawaii in 1899. Ms. Holbrook went house-to-house, visiting with the women and organizing English-language and sewing classes. The society sent other women missionaries to help in this work, and the Susannah Wesley Home was started for girls who were orphans, abandoned or whose parents were unable to care for them.

Over the years, the facility changed to meet the needs of a community that still includes many immigrants, some survivors of human trafficking. Today, Susannah Wesley Community Center is a multipurpose agency offering Head Start, after‐school clubs for youth, study hall programs, English classes for adults and mental health services. 

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