In 1861 Elekana, a deacon of a Congregational church in Manihiki, Cook Islands, received permission to begin evangelization in Tuvalu. He was trained in a London Missionary Society school in Samoa before attempting to start the Church of Tuvalu. In 1969, the Church acquired its independence from the LMS, since which time it has sent some missionaries to serve Tuvaluan migrants in Fiji, New Zealand, Hawaii, Australia, and the Marshall Islands.
The church is Calvinist in doctrine and congregational in organization. Being the de facto established church, the Church of Tuvalu dominates most aspects of social, cultural and political life in the country.