Distinguished Service to God
Mori Hiratani was among the early group of young people who responded to the Gospel and committed their lives to the ministry under the influence of Southern Baptist missionary James Belote at First Baptist Church of Wahiawa in the early 1940s.
Mori studied at Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas and at Wayland College in Plainview. He received his Bachelor of Divinity degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. He was conferred an honorary doctorate degree from Wayland.
When Nuuanu Baptist Church started a mission in Pearl City in 1957, Mori became pastor of the mission, which constituted as First Baptist Church of Pearl City in 1958. He led the church in starting new churches in Hawaii and in supporting mission work in Samoa and Southeast Asia. The longest serving pastor in Hawaii Baptist history retired from the Pearl City church in 2003 with over 46 years of ministry.
Pastor Hiratani also gave many years of valuable service to Hawaii Baptist Academy. He was chair of the HBA Board, 1960–62 and 1972-74. In 1973 he was appointed to a special Committee of Three (with Allen Au and Stan Sagert) to oversee the development and financing of the new campus. The Committee served for almost two decades.