Bud Stonebraker was born in 1971 at Wahiawa General Hospital under the supervision of Doctor Bunzo Nakagawa. His father Bill moved to Hawai’i in the 60’s to shape surfboards for the legendary Lightning Bolt brand while his mother Danita split shifts as a cashier at the Haleiwa IGA and doing maid service at the Kuilima Hotel (now the Turtle Bay).
Bud’s childhood was spent at Sunset Beach where he lived with his parents and two older
sisters in their little house on Huelo Street. When he wasn’t in school he played soccer, rode
horses and had the ocean as a playground. He practically lived at the beach, mainly at Sunset,
Ehukai, Pupukea and Velzyland. He loved his yearly May Day celebrations at Sunset Beach
Christian School. When Bud was 11, his family moved from the North Shore into Honolulu. It
was quite a change to go from country to town. He even had to get used to the sidewalks.
He continued playing sports, and excelled in wrestling and football at Kaiser High School (Go Cougars!), winning two Hawai’i State Wrestling titles. He graduated in 1989.
During the next few years Bud’s schooling took him from California, where he trained for the
ministry, and on to Oregon where he wrestled for Pacific University and won the NAIA national
title. During these years Bud travelled extensively and lived in various countries around the
former Soviet Union (Russia, Poland, Czech, Ukraine) as an ambassador for the sport of
wrestling and minister. These experiences profoundly shaped Bud’s political worldview. Having
witnessed the devastating effects of both fascism and communism, Bud developed a passion
for economic freedom and the free exchange of ideas.
In 1997 Bud met his wife Keren at Pacific University. They returned to Hawai’i to be married in
Waimānalo where they now live and raise their six children.
Bud served as a State Representative in Hawai’i’s legislature (2000-2006) where he was instrumental in passing such measures as ending the quarantine on residents’ pets traveling back to Hawai’i. Always an avid pet lover this is one of Bud’s happiest achievements during his time in the legislature. Bud left politics in order to pursue his charitable work and ministry.
As a minister Bud has traveled several times to Africa. In tours to Uganda, Sudan and South Sudan his relief work enabled him to teach and train chaplains on the front lines during their battle for freedom from genocide and slavery. His grappling experience enabled him to work along side Sudanese combat training teams. The Sudanese eventually gained their independence in 2011 when they voted to be free from the northern Islamic Regime.
Bud’s work also took him to Cambodia where he labored in the building of an orphanage and school near the infamous ‘killing fields’ outside of Phnom Penn. His support of the survivors of the Khmer Rouge and Pol Pot genocide of the late 70’s is ongoing. While in country he founded ‘The Hundred Wells’ project which drills wells to provide fresh water for the rural Khmer villagers.
In 2014 Bud started a charitable clothing company (Nasrani Shirts) designed to fund refugee
relief efforts in ISIS impacted Syria and Iraq. These were the victims of persecution and sex
trafficking during the period that the Islamic State was rampaging through the Middle East.
When at home in Hawaii, Bud enjoys surfing and bodysurfing with his father and children. He
continues to train on the mat, periodically assisting MMA fighters to prepare for upcoming
bouts. He is an avid cyclist as well as an amateur triathlete. He loves playing guitar and has
recently taken up learning slack key and Gypsy Jazz.
Bud currently pastors a small church in Waimānalo where he started a kalo farm. He enjoys
hand crafting instruments (pohaku and papa) for kalo pounding and is an advocate for
sustainable farming in Hawai’i. “If the ancient Hawaiians grew their own food and fed their
families without a single foreign import, we should follow their example and move toward
sustainable farming in our islands. Why should we import mangos from Peru and bananas from
Ecuador when we can grow our own food right here?” Bud says.