Reverend Dr Tuikilakila Waqairatu's Christian journey started from his birth home at Naroi, Moala, Lau.
His first cousin Roko Irivi Draunidalo revealed this in his eulogy delivered on behalf of the vanua o Navucunimasi, Moala, at the Centenary Church in Suva on Thursday.
An emotional Mr Draunidalo said Mr Waqairatu was a man of humility and it all started from his island home during his childhood days.
He said it was his grandfather and parents who instilled in him the Christian qualities he carried throughout his life until his passing last week.
Speaking in the iTauklei language, he said Mr Waqairatu was someone who always stood for the truth and always loved to serve his people.
He said Mr Waqairatu knew his links to the vanua and he also mastered mending relationships.
He added the late president would be greatly missed.
Mr Draunidalo said his late cousin always emphasised on the need to read the Word of God a lot, and to ask the Lord for its meaning.
He said Mr Waqairatu contributed immensely to the development of his vanua and that of the church.
Prior to the eulogies, a number of condolence messages were read by the general secretary, Reverend Tevita Nawadra, including those that arrived from mourners overseas.
The late president is survived by his wife Joana and their only daughter Roko Seini Senirewa Waqainabete who is a marine science lecturer at the University of the South Pacific.