Philip Prais

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Uploaded 15 Jun 2008 — 21 favorites
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© Dennis Camp
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Photo Info
UploadedJune 15, 2008
TakenJuly 6, 2007
MakeNikon Corporation
ModelNIKON D200
Exposure1/200 sec at f/8
FlashNo Flash
Focal Length200 mm
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Photo license: © All rights reserved

This is in response to the article in the June 12 Maui News titled “Sidewalk preacher found dead”. It is with great sorrow and disappointment that this letter is written. The newspaper’s portrayal of Philip Prais was insensitive and inaccurate. He was much more than a man with “white beard and long hair” who “called out to passers-by at Banyan Tree Park”. He was a son, brother, father, grandfather, uncle, cousin, nephew, companion, and friend. He was a Native Son, being born and raised on Maui and having half Hawaiian blood that can be traced back to royalty. He was not homeless. He had a home in Hana, but he chose to live a simple life dedicating his time to spreading the Gospel in the travelers’ hub of Lahaina. He was much more than a “sidewalk preacher”. His ministry, however unconventional, spanned over 35 years. He forsook the creature comforts that most of us take for granted in order to devote himself to the Word of God; he gave freely, expecting no compensation. He conferred with rich and poor, great and small alike, and the seeds he sowed literally reach across the globe.

His dedication to his mission cost him dearly, but he didn’t compromise his beliefs or his principles, no matter what he came up against or lost personally. If you took the time to talk with him, you would find that he knew the Bible like the back of his hand, and he could find you a scripture to address any matter. He could have chosen to conform to this world. His earthly life certainly would have been much easier. But he stood by his convictions to the end, and those who love him find solace in the fact that he is now in a better place, at peace and at rest. His legacy will live on through those whose lives he has impacted. Criminal trespass? Harrassment? Disorderly conduct? It is ironic that he was found by a church called “Holy Innocents”. While man brought judgement and criminal charges against Mr. Prais, we believe that God’s final judgement can be found in Matthew 24:21: “Well done, thou good and faithful servant…enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” We know that Brother Philip is watching us from heaven, having finished his work on this earth, and has entered into his rest with the Lord. Although we take comfort in this, we will miss him and, whether or not people realize it, his passing is a loss for our community.

Passed on June 11, 2008

The Prais ‘Ohana

8 responses

  • Maria Gonzalez

    Maria Gonzalez gave props (15 Jun 2008):

    What a great capture!!

  • Paul Lavallee

    Paul Lavallee gave props (16 Jun 2008):


  • ♥ Cairenn ♥

    ♥ Cairenn ♥ said (27 Jul 2008):

    Wow.... a Beautiful Portrait you have painted here. Thank You for sharing this Soul... this Timeless Soul...

  • Aj Offsuit

    Aj Offsuit gave props (28 Aug 2008):

    Looooove this photo. The story was also wonderful.

  • :) L P

    :) L P gave props (1 Sep 2008):

    yes, of all people, my uncle phillip had the most faith of all. thank you for such a wonderful picture.

  • Mamo Heermance

    Mamo Heermance said (24 May 2009):

    1 Year Gathering for our beloved brother Phillip - God Willing, on June 11th 2009 at the Lahaina Banyan Tree, 12 noon.
    Revelation 14:13,12; Ecclesiastes 4:2
    "And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them. Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. Wherefore I praised the dead which are already dead more than the living which are yet alive."
    Mahalo Ke Akua: Lahaina Ohana In Christ

  • wendy carswell

    wendy carswell gave props (4 Aug 2010):

    I would have liked to know him, thanks to you I know more now than I did 5 min. ago. It's a reminder to us all, don't judge a book by it's cover.

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