Kiyo Itokazu '54

Distinguished Service to the Community (2014)

Kiyo Itokazu became a Christian as a teen under the influence of early Southern Baptist missionaries L.E. and Gladys Blackman, who also encouraged him to enroll at HBA as a freshman in 1950.

Kiyo was a member of the first graduating class of 1954, comprised of three boys. The first HBA valedictorian said his four years at HBA were vital in laying the foundation for his preparation for ministry. “This is where I learned how to study and learned to like to study.”

Kiyo earned his ministry degrees at Baylor University, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Princeton Theological Seminary and Long Island University in New York. He returned to Hawaii in 1962 to pastor the Aiea Mission which became First Baptist Church of Aiea. After six years, he was called into the U.S. Army as a chaplain during the height of the Vietnam War. He retired as a Lt. Colonel in 1988 and then served as chaplain for Kuakini Medical Center, 1989–2001. He continues to be active in ministry, teaching Adult Sunday School at Waialae Baptist Church, leading the senior adult ministry with his wife Laura, and also ministering to bereaved families.

He and Laura have three children and three grandchildren. Kiyo has published an autobiography titled A Chaplain’s Pilgrimage, which is available at

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