Apostolic Catholic Church 1992
The Apostolic Catholic Church, formerly the First International Sacrifice Valley Apostolic Catholic Church FISVACC), is an ecclesiastical self-governing denomination founded on June 7, 1992, and traces its history and teachings to Jesus Christ. It originated as a Holy Trinity Catholic movement, founded in Hermosa Bataan in the early 1970’s by Sister Ma. Virginia P. Leonzon Vda. De Teruel. The movement has spread throughout the Philippines, Hong Kong, Australia, Canada and the United States of America.
The church’s co-founder and spiritual leader in the United States is His Grace John Florentine Teruel, D.D., OMHS. Bishop Teruel, by valid order and right of Apostolic succession was consecrated Bishop on July 13, 1991 by a Synod of Bishops of the National Conference of Old Catholic Bishops.
Teruel then ordained several young men throughout the Philippines and the US as priests, deacons, brothers into the Order of the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit (OMHS).
Several women have also professed and taken vows as nuns. Others have joined the “Third Order” membership of the apostolic Mission of the OMHS.
The church promulgates the teachings of the Holy Spirit, the message of salvation in Christ, and the devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, through prayer meetings and Holy Rosary devotionals. It believes that by divine revelation, the Third Person of the Holy Trinity called Himself with the name Ingkong and manifested himself in the Philippines through the Living Covenant, Sis. De Teruel. Members are referred to as apo or tinatakan.
ACC has seven sacraments—baptism, confirmation or holy chrism, the Lords Supper or Holy Mass, the Holy Order, reconciliation, anointing of the sick, and marriage. The Celebration of the Sacred Mystery of the Holy Eucharist may only be celebrated by male bishops and ordained priests. The ACC exists in harmonious union with the Orthodox and the Roman Catholic Churches.
The leader of the global church is the Patriarch or Pontifical Bishop. In the Philippines, the head of the Church is the Chancellor to the Pontifical Bishop who supports the Patriarch in concerns under his jurisdiction. Under the Chancellor is the Auxiliary Bishop which supervises a district or cluster of parishes.
The parish, the most basic unit of the church is headed by a priest who provides spiritual guidance. Local officers under the supervision of a priest are the deacon, brother, and the toka or local community members. There are also nuns who dedicate their lives in communal prayer, taking care of the sick, the oppressed and the needy.
Year Admitted to NCCP: 1997
No. of Congregations: 192
Membership: more than 5 million
Church Workers: 136
National Organizations: Knights of the Altar, Legions of Mary, Kabisig ni San Lorenzo Ruiz, Holy Spirit Catholic Cursillo Foundation, 14 Tokas deveoted to the Virgin Mary.
Linkages: National Council of Churches in the Philippines, Orthodox and old Catholic Churches, Roman Catholic Church.
Address: San Roque II, Pag-asa, Quezon City
Brgy. Sacrifice Valley
2111 Hermosa, Bataan
Convention of Philippine Baptist Churches 1935
The work of the Convention of Philippine Baptist Churches began with the missionary work of Eric Lund and Braulio Manikan who came to Iloilo in November, 1900 to start the Baptist mission in the country.
In February 1901, the earliest Baptist churches in the Philippines were organized. Within ten years, churches were organized in almost all the capital towns in the Western Visayas. Educational and medical institutions were subsequently established.
Baptist mission in the Philippines was affected through the theological controversy that swept the United States in the late 20’s and early 30’s due to the issue of being “pure gospel” or the implementation of the Gospel in all areas of human life.
In 1924, the final split of the Baptist work when Dr. R. C. Thomas organized the Association of the Baptists for Evangelism in the Orient known in 1927 in the Philippines as the Visayan Fellowship of Fundamental Baptist Churches.
In spite of the split, the preaching of the Gospel continued, leading to more conversions and baptisms. National leaders trained and prepared for the Church’s on-going task and mission. These resulted to the organization of the Convention of Philippine Baptist Churches on May 23, 1935 under the leadership of Dr. Feliciano Sombito as President.
The years of cooperative work between the Philippine Baptist Churches and the American Baptist Foreign Mission Society based on mutual respect and trust led to the gradual turnover in 1969 by the latter of its properties to Filipino counterparts.
Mission work of the Convention was initially confined to the Western Visayas region because of the 1901 Comity Agreement where the Baptists were assigned. After the dissolution of the Agreement with the establishment of the ecumenical bodies, it sent missionaries to other areas such as Luzon and Mindanao.
The CPBC is headed by the President who is elected in an annual convention for a term of three years. The Church has the kasapulanan or association of various congregations autonomous of the CPBC.
The powers of the Convention are vested in the 15-member Board of Trustees to be elected from among the Kasapulanan Presidents and members of the CPBC with at least two of them women and youth. The Board meets thrice a year.
The Executive Committee is created by the Board of Trustees and composed of the President and four of its members executes the programs and policies of the Convention and Board of Trustees. Acting as the chief operations officer of the CPBC is the General Secretary who heads the national secretariat and oversees program implementation. He is appointed by the Board for a term of three years.
The Convention has the following thrusts: Christian education, development ministries, research, communication and publication, and evangelism and missions, which aim to maximize the utilization of maturing and committed resources at all levels in fulfilling Christ’s mission.
Various projects are initiated by the Church to meet the economic needs of its members as well as the community. As the Convention braces itself for the future, three things are foremost in their mind: to nurture, develop and equip the youth in member churches for leadership, to extend God’s mission not only in the frontier but in foreign countries as well.
Year Admitted to NCCP: 1963
No. of Congregations: 702 local churches
Membership: more than 80,000
Church Workers: 654 ordained and unordained ministers
Institutions: 1 development center, 1 family life institute, 1 Church Women concern’s foundation
Schools: Central Philippine University (Iloilo), Filamer Christian College (Roxas City)
Bible Colleges: Convention Baptist Bible College, North Negros Baptist Bible College
Christian Learning Centers: Bacolod Christian Center, Baptist Student Center, Family and Community Center, Antique Christian Center
Hospitals: Iloilo Mission Hospital, Emmanuel Hospital
Auxilliary Organizations: Convention Baptist Ministers Association, Convention Baptist Ministers Wives’ Fellowship, Philippine Baptist Men, Convention Baptist Youth of the Philippines, Federation of Philippine Baptist Women’s Missionary Unions
Linkages: National Council of Churches in the Philippines, Board of International Ministries of the American Baptist Churches, Baptist Union of Sweden, Asia Baptist Federation, Baptist World Alliance, Christian Conference of Asia
Fajardo St., Jaro, Iloilo City
Telephone: 329-0618; Fax: 3290621
Episcopal Church in the Philippines 1901
The history of the Episcopal Church in the Philippines began with the occupation of Manila by the Americans in August 1898. With the occupation forces were chaplains of the Protestant Episcopal Church of the USA (PECUSA). Chaplain Charles Pierce conducted the first Episcopal Sunday service in the country on September 4, 1898.
The Brotherhood of Saint Andrew, an organization of lay and clergy dedicated to spreading of the Gospel throughout the world joined the chaplains in April 1899. The Americans in the Philippine islands were the sole object of their mission.
However, the Church only began its work in 1901 as a missionary district of the PECUSA with Charles Henry Brent as first bishop. His Philippine missionary policy centered on the consciousness that the mission of the Church should be to preach the Gospel in areas where there are no active work of other Christian bodies.
Brent targeted three major areas for mission—the unchurched Chinese and growing Caucasian population of Manila, the native Muslims, and the indigenous tribes in Mindanao and northern Luzon who were not converted to Christianity.
Believing that the Church must take account of the totality of the human person, mission work was conducted through three channels—the spiritual, physical, and intellectual needs. Churches, clinics and orphanages and schools were built to meet these.
The governing body of the Church is the biennial National Convention which is composed of Bishops and elected clerical and lay representatives from the dioceses. The Convention may be called for a special purpose by the Prime Bishop and with the consent of the National Council. It elects the Prime Bishop who is the spiritual head and chief executive officer of the Church.
The National Council acts as interim body of the National Convention and facilitates implementation of the church’s thrusts, programs and policies adopted by the Convention.
The Council consists of the Prime Bishop, the Diocesan Bishops, and a clerical or lay representative from each diocese elected by the Diocesan Conventions. The National Council meets thrice a year or as often as necessary between sessions of the Convention. The Synod and the Council are assisted in their work by several Commissions.
The Church is divided into dioceses for more efficient administration. They hold annual synods to discuss programs and concerns. The Diocese, headed by a bishop, is divided into deaneries or clusters of parishes, led by a dean. Bishops are bishops for life even after retirement.
The Church was inaugurated as an autonomous Church Province within the Anglican Communion in 1990.
Year Admitted to NCCP: 1963
Dioceses: Northern Luzon, Northern Philippines, North Central Philippines, Central Philippines, Southern Philippines
Special Jurisdiction: Mission Center (formerly the Metropolitan See)
Local Parishes: 590 Congregations
Membership: 118,714 baptized members, 44054 confirmed members, 21,512 active members
Church Workers: (As of 1997) 10 bishops, 242 priests and deacons, 896 Layworkers
Colleges: Trinity College of Quezon City; Easter College (Baguio), Brent Hospital School of Midwifery (Zamboanga City)
International Schools: Brent International Schools (Baguio, Manila and Subic)
Schools: St. Stephen’s (Manila), Trinity (QC), Easter (Baguio), St. Mary (Sagada), St. James (Besao), St. Alfred (Besao), St. Paul (Kalinga), St. Andrew Mission School (Sultan Kudarat), Good Shepherd MIssion School (Zamboanga), St. Francis (Maguindanao), 6 elementary and 54 preparatory schools.
Seminary: St. Andrew’s Theological Seminary (QC)
Convent: St. Mary’s Convent (Sagada)
Establishments: Horeb House (QC) Episcopal Church Supply Room, Easter Weaving Room (Baguio), St. Elizabeth Dormitory (Baguio), St. Agnes Dormitory (QC), St. Ursula’s Dormitory (Benguet), Episcopal Renewal Center
Hospitals: St. Luke’s Medical Center, St. Theodore’s Hospital (Sagada), Brent Hospital (Zamboanga) and 11 clinics
National Organizations: Episcopal Church Women, Brotherhood of St. Andrew, Samahan ng Kabataang Episkopal (SKEP), National Ecumenical Church Health Worker’s Association (NECHWA), Schools for Peace and Relevant Instruction Towards Nurturance and Transformation (SPRINT), Girls’ Friendly Society, Altar Guild, Association of Clergy Spouses, Episcopal Church Retirement Plan
National Commissions: Liturgy and Christian Education, Constitution and Canons and Church Structure, Evangelism and Ecumenical Relations, Finance and Stewardship, Social Concerns and Development
Publications: Philippine Episcopalian, Journal of Ministry, The Adventurer (Northern Central Diocese), Journal of Theology, Philippine Episcopal News Service (a special news service)
Linkages: National Council of Churches in the Philippines, Anglican Provinces of the Anglican Communion and their agencies, Anglican Consultative Council and its bodies, the Lambeth Conference, Church Mission Society of England and Australia, Anglican Board of Missions-Australia, World Council of Churches, Christian Conference of Asia, Council of the Church in East Asia, United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, the Ecumenical Bishops’ Forum, in concordat with Iglesia Filipina Independiente
National Council Office:
275 E. Rodriguez Sr., Blvd., Quezon City
PO Box 10321 Broadway Centrum, 1112 Quezon City
Tel. no. 722-8481, Fax no. 721-1923
Iglesia Evangelica Metodista En Las Islas Filipinas 1909
The Iglesia Evangelica Metodista En Las Islas Filipinas or IEMELIF, the first Filipino indigenous Protestant Church was born with the Rev. Nicolas Zamora as erstwhile leader. Considered the first Filipino ordained minister, the most forceful and respected pastor in the Methodist Church, he was assigned to the St. Paul Methodist Church in Tondo to forestall a premature break in the unity of the Methodist Church because of the desire of the nationalistic lay Methodist preachers for greater voice in the church’s missionary activities.
Zamora, a nephew of martyred priest Jacinto Zamora of the GomBurZa trio, championed the aspirations of the nationalistic Filipino preachers, and hence formed the IEMELIF in 1909.
Because of its nationalistic aspirations, IEMELIF has always been self-governing, self-sustaining, and self- propagating. Being independent, the church had to finance its missionary efforts to propagate the gospel in places where there were no existing congregations. The early leadership concentrated its mission efforts in Central and Southern Luzon.
When it started, there were about 1,500 members. In 1926, membership grew to 20,000. In 1990, the membership reached 50,600, distributed to 300 local congregations, from Cagayan in the north to as far as Zamboanga del Sur in the south.
The highest policy-making body of the IEMELIF is the Kataas-taasang Konsistoryo (Consistory of Elders) which is composed of the General Officers, clergy and lay representatives who are elected for a term of four years by the delegates of the General Conference.
The Church is headed by a General Superintendent who is consecrated bishop upon election, assisted by the General Secretary, the General Treasurer and the General Evangelist. Ministers elected to the Consistory are appointed to administer various departments.
The Church is subdivided into districts composed of a group of local congregations for efficient administration and coordination of national programs. The IEMELIF Cathedral, located in Nicolas Zamora St. in Tondo, is a special jurisdiction independent from any district. On the district level, the General Superintendent carries out his administrative functions through the District Superintendents.
The IEMELIF has three levels of conferences, namely:
- General Conference which meets annually, and has the power to elect the general officers and members of the Consistory;
- District Conferences which meet annually every last Sunday of January of each year, and elect their officers for the coming year; and
- Congregational Conferences which elect delegates to the General Conference.
In recent years, the Church has vigorously pursued the implementation of personnel development, publication of religious training materials, strengthening administration and control, involvement in community development and Christian stewardship programs.
In 1997, delegates to the Annual Conference, voted to put up a non-stock corporation on business development to enhance the livelihood of the members and the church. The Conference also called for the formation of a IEMELIF Christian Businessman Club to pool, patronize and promote the professional talents, products and services of Church members.
To ensure the success of its programs, the church has mobilized its human and material resources, trained more ministerial and lay workers, streamlined organizations to make them responsive to the needs of the Church and the community. lt embarked on a program entitled “A Church Triumphant in the 21st Century”, a comprehensive blueprint for mission and development as it moves to its centennial of founding in 2009.
Year Admitted to NCCP: 1963
Districts: 12, 1 Mission program, 1 overseas congregation, and the IEMELIF Cathedral
Congregations: 137 local churches and 163 daughter churches
Membership: (as of 1997) 27,431 including migrants to the USA
Churchworkers: 158 Pastors, 86 Deaconesses, 24 Missionaries, 60 Children Tutors, 94 Predicadors (lay ministers), 1 Bishop
Mandated Organizations: Kapisanan ng Kalalakihan at Kababaihan (Men and Women), Kapisanan ng Kabataan (Youth)
Institution: Beulah Land IEMELIF Center (Novaliches), IEMELIF Bible College (Novaliches)
Publication: Ang Ilaw
Linkages: National Council of Churches in the Philippines, Christian Conference of Asia, World Methodist Council, World Council of Churches
Unit 3-A 908 Apacible St., Ermita, Manila
Tel: 524-3827 / Fax: 524-3805
Beulahland IEMELIF Center
Iglesia Filipina Independiente 1902
The Iglesia Filipina Independiente, also known as the Philippine Independent Church, was born out of the Filipino struggle against colonialism. The Church is identified as a religious, economic, political, social and ideological liberation of the Filipino nation from foreign domination. Some historians consider the Church as the “daughter” of the 1896 Philippine Revolution. Hence, the history of IFI is characterized by the nationalist and revolutionary ideals and aspirations of the Filipino people led by Isabelo de los Reyes, Sr. (Don Belong), founder of the first labor union in the Philippines—the Union Obrera Democratica.
The IF! was proclaimed in a meeting of the Union on August 3, 1902 with the Most Rev. Gregorio Aglipay, DD, an Ilocano Catholic priest as Obispo Maximo (Supreme Bishop). Thus, in the struggle of the Filipino for independence, it was truly said IFI is a ‘Church of, by, for and with the deprived, the poor and the oppressed.”
Under the 1977 Constitution and Canons, the highest governing body of IFI is the triennial General Assembly consisting of all consecrated bishops, two priests in active duty, and three delegates (representing the men, women and youth) elected in each diocese in a diocesan convention held primarily for the purpose.
During the ad interim period, the Executive Commission created by the General Assembly meets quarterly during the fiscal year. It is composed of the Obispo Maximo, as ex-officio chairperson, the chairperson of the National Lay Council, as ex-officio vice-chairperson; the General Secretary, as ex-officio secretary; the chairpersons of the Standing Commissions, the Commission on Programs and Projects and the Commission on Business and Finance; five bishops elected by the Supreme Council of Bishops, five priests elected by the priest-delegates to the Assembly; and the presidents of the national men, women and youth organizations.
The Executive Commission is tasked to act for the General Assembly, when not in session, on matters ordinarily within the jurisdiction of the Assembly, and pass upon the Church programs and budgets and submit the same to the General Assembly for consideration.
The Obispo Maximo is the the Spiritual Head, Chief Pastor and the Chief Executive Officer of the Church. He is elected by the General Assembly for a six-year term, without immediate reelection. He has general supervision over all business and financial operations of the Church in accordance with the general policies and decisions made by the General Assembly and the Executive Commission.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Council of Bishops (SCB) consisting of all consecrated bishops, is tasked with adopting amendments to the Constitutions, Canons and Articles of Religion for Assembly ratification, defining the doctrines of the Church, adopting and prescribing official liturgical rites, and providing guidance on teaching authority (magisterium) including political and social issues. The other officers of the administration are the General Secretary, the General Treasurer and the Auditor General, all elected by the General Assembly.
On the diocesan level, dioceses elect through a convention the Diocesan Council composed of five priests, two laypersons and two youths. The Diocesan Bishop is the ex-officio Chairperson or Presiding Officer of the said council. The Diocesan Council is the governing body of the diocese on temporal issues, and assists its Bishop in implementing plans, and carrying out projects. On the parish level, an analogous pattern is observed.
In response to the call of revitalizing the IFI towards its centennial in 2002 under the program Bagong Siglo, Panibagong Sigla (New Century, New Vigor) the Church has embarked on a comprehensive program with thrusts on faith and witness, liturgy and worship, education, ecumenical relations and international affairs, and justice and service. Programs are also being prepared for cooperative formation, human rights, community health, home and family, women and youth, national minorities, urban poor, workers, peasants and fisherfolk, and relief and rehabilitation.
Iglesia Unida Ecumenical 1995
The Iglesia Unida Ecumenical (IUE), though bearing a new legal personality, traces to its roots to 1932 with the fusion of six indigenous Filipino churches that formed the Iglesia Evangelica Unida de Cristo. From 1942, Unida has always been a member of ecumenical bodies in the Philippines and was a founding member of the NCCP in 1963.
The Church was established after the Iglesia Evangelica Unida de Cristo decided to withdraw from the National Council of Churches in the Philippines in 1994 accusing it of being a communist front and an anti-Christ organization.
The Iglesia Unida Ecumenical (IUE) was incorporated in 1995 by local congregations that affirmed the heritage of ecumenism and what its Christian forebears advocated. A provisional structure was established in August 1995 at San Pablo City, while the national church was inaugurated in 1996 after the founding assembly ratified its constitution and by-laws.
Elected as its founding chairperson was lawyer Raoul V. Victorino, a former chair of the NCCP and an eminent ecumenical lay leader. The Rev. Kenneth V. Aguilera was elected general secretary. A significant modification that was implemented in the Church is the restructuring of its hierarchy. Returning to its Presbyterian roots, it abolished the office of the bishop and opened the leadership to the laity to make the Church a lean but mean organization.
The Church is now headed by a Chairperson who presides over the Annual Assembly and the meetings of the Board of Directors. Assisting the Chairperson is the Executive Committee composed of the Vice Chairperson, the General Secretary, the General Treasurer and the Auditor. The General Secretary acts as the chief operating officer of the Church. All these posts, which are open for both the clergy and the laity, are elected through the traditional Unida system of pelotilya wherein candidates are subjected to a prayer and a drawing of lots which the Apostles did in finding a replacement for Judas Iscariot.
In its 1997 Assembly, the church marked an important milestone as it unanimously approved the ordination of women into the clergy. Ordained as first woman pastor was the Rev. Delia Morada Esperida of Naga City.
The Annual Assembly, composed of delegates from various congregations and sectoral organizations, is the highest policy-making body of the Church. In between the sessions of the Assembly held every May, the Board of Directors meets monthly to discuss and act on Church programs and concerns. The Board is composed of the Executive Officers, representatives from the clergy, the laity and the national organizations.
The Church recently outlined a comprehensive medium-term program consisting of holistic evangelization, social concerns and human development, Christian unity, lay empowerment and organizational strengthening among others. The Church continues to be an active participant in the affairs of ecumenical bodies here and abroad.
Lutheran Church in the Philippines 1946
It was 1946 when the Lutheran message of “justification by faith alone” reached Philippine shores. The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, a major Lutheran Church group in the world, and the most conservative of them, took interest in starting mission work in the Philippines.
Dr. Alvaro Cariño was the first Filipino missionary of the Synod in the Philippines. Cariño, who hails from Northern Philippines, left in 1927 to work in Missouri. There he became a member of the Lutheran Church with a strong desire to share the message of God’s grace in Christ with his own people. In 1940, he accompanied Dr. O. H. Schmidt, the newly-appointed Executive Secretary of the Board for the World Missions on the survey trip to the Philippines. In 1949, he returned to his homeland to become the father of the Lutheran Church in the Philippines.
In 1947, mission work spread to Northern Luzon and the following year, missionaries started their work in Mindanao. Two years later, activities moved up to the mountain provinces of Northern Luzon and work began in the islands of Leyte and Cebu in 1957.
From its beginning as a constituted body which was then called the Lutheran Philippine Mission, the growing church became the Philippine Lutheran Church in 1957, but by 1963 adopted a new legal name—Lutheran Church in the Philippines. In 1967, the church adopted its constitution and by-laws, thus becoming an autonomous administrative body.
In 1970, the Church became a sister church of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. After a year, it was admitted member of the NCCP.
Another landmark year was 1973 when the LCP and the Roman Catholic Church adopted an agreement on baptism, in which both churches formally recognized each other’s baptism. In the same year, LCP became a member of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) in its desire to broaden relationship with world Lutheranism.
The National Convention is the highest governing body of the Church which meets biennially during the month of October. A Board of Directors, composed of the LCP President, District Presidents and lay representatives of each District, act for and in behalf of the LCP between Conventions with full authority in all official matters. The President is the highest administrative and executive officer of the Church.
The Church recently restructured following the hierarchy of the Episcopalians wherein the District Presidents are now called bishops and the LCP President Prime Bishop.
Thrusts and Programs
The LCP has three main program thrusts— evangelism and mission, health, and education. Under these, the programs and projects of the LCP such as church-building, rural health program, relief and rehabilitation, theological education, parish education, human rights and social justice are carried on.
The church is engaged in development projects as part of its community service such as student hostels, medical facilities, day care centers, waterworks systems, cattle dispersal programs, fish and prawn culture, and other livelihood and income-generating projects.
The LCP today is in the process of Filipinizing itself by rediscovering and recapturing the Filipino heritage through its theology and liturgy. It is also involved with the issues of theology, national sovereignty, nationalism, human rights and social justice.
In many occasions, the LCP helps in the legal acquisition of land for tribal groups, assisting in resettlement of dislocated populations, and providing legal assistance to the needy.
The Salvation Army 1937
The Salvation Army first came to the Philippines in 1898 in the person of Major Tohn Milsaps, a Salvation Army chaplain who came with the American forces led by General Wesley Meritt (the first American military governor) who entered Manila. He conducted meetings in Cavite and Manila but had to return to the USA in 1900.
Locally, Filipinos who had been converted through contact with the Salvation Army in Hawaii returned to their homeland. In the 1920’s and 1930’s, meetings commenced in Panay, Luzon, Cebu and Mindanao.
On June 6, 1937, Col. and Mrs. Alfred Lindvall officially inaugurated this widespread work at the Central Methodist Church. They started meeting using a military form of government because of the efficiency and discipline required of its personnel.
The Army was incorporated in 1963, and an additional social service corporation being set up in 1977. It is legally constituted as a religious and charitable non-profit organization.
“Salvation” indicates the overall purpose of the organization, namely, to induce all people to embrace the salvation provided for them in Christ. “Army” indicates that the organization is a fighting force, constantly at war with the power of evil.
For an efficient and effective work, the Army operates a total and balanced ministry, giving heed to body and spirit.
The territorial Commander (usually with the rank of a Colonel) is the commanding officer or highest-ranking official of The Salvation Army in a Territory or country.
The Territory is divided into Divis ns headed by the Division Commander (with the rank of Major). The Division is composed of a number of local Corps led by the Corps Commander or the church pastor (with the rank of Lieutenant).
Church officers hold ranks by a system of seniority and merit. The position of women is equal to that of men including ordination. If married, a woman officer, being an officer in her own right, shares her husband’s rank.
The Territory is under the global church of The Salvation Army which is headed by a General.
The thrusts of the Church are implemented through various program services such as child and youth welfare services, family welfare services, elderly welfare services, assistance to the needy, rehabilitation services, and special emergency services.
Its special ministries consist of prison ministry, missing person services, harelip and cleft palate surgery, adult education for minority groups, leadership training, emergency and disaster assistance.
In all of its undertakings, The Salvation Army lives up to its motto of “heart to God and hand to man” for a holistic approach to ministering to people.
Today, the Salvation Army is known for its religious and humanitarian services and acclaimed by leaders in religious, civic and professional life. It has a distinct legal existence and a formal code of Wesleyan doctrine and discipline. The Church is also part of the international Holiness movement.
1414 Leon Guinto St.,
Telephone: 524-0086 to 88 • 524-9155
United Church of Christ in the Philippines 1948
The United Church of Christ in the Philippines was born on May 25, 1948 with the message, “Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, our Lord and Savior.” The UCCP was formed by the organic union of the United Evangelical Church of the Philippines, the Evangelical Church in the Philippines, and the Philippine Methodist Church.
These churches carried with them five traditions brought by the American missionaries namely Presbyterian, Congregational, Methodist Episcopal, Disciples, and United Brethren. Despite divergent traditions, leaders and members of the aforementioned churches came together as one.
The highest governing body of the Church is the General Assembly which meets every four years. The Assembly elects the General Secretary, the National Treasurer, the Jurisdictional Bishops, the Chairperson, the Vice Chairperson and the National Auditor who are Assembly Officers. In the absence of the Assembly, the National Council deliberates and acts on church issues and concerns.
The Council, presided by the Chairperson of the Assembly, is comprised of the national officers, bishops, presidents of national organizations and representatives from the conferences.
For efficient administration, the Church is divided into five Jurisdictions based on the country’s geo-political divisions. It is headed by a bishop who oversees program implementation and is assisted by a cabinet.
The Jurisdiction is subdivided into conferences composed of local congregations. The Conference is headed by a Conference Minister who acts as coordinator and overseer of the church programs.
Meanwhile, the local church is the basic judicatory where “the battle lines of faith are drawn and fought.” Its life and witness is supervised by a local church council elected by the congregation. The pastor is the administrator of the church and is assisted by the Council and other church workers.
The UCCP has five major program thrusts: Educational Nurture, Evangelism and Church Development, Clergy and Lay Church Workers Development, Partnership, Ecumenical and External Relations, and Witness and Service.
These are implemented throughout the five jurisdictions through the UCCP’s various programs. The Church is self-supporting save for some developmental and other related projects which are partly supported by contributions from churches abroad.
In 1993, the Church held a Constitutional Convention, a landmark gathering which amended its charter to make it more attuned to the needs of the changing times.
The Church adopted in the early 1980s a mission thrust called 2000 by 2000 which aims to establish 2000 local congregations by the year 2000. This objective will be carried out through an integrated approach which addresses the believers’ spiritual, temporal and social needs.
In exercising its prophetic ministry, the UCCP continues to be a vanguard of the country’s quest for peace, justice, human rights, environmental protection and national sovereignty, and on issues concerning the country’s political, economic, social and moral life.
The United Methodist Church 1898
Prior to the coming of the Americans in the Philippines, the holding of any but Roman Catholic masses meant death. But a Methodist chaplain, George Stull of the First Montana Volunteers, held the first Protestant service on August 28, 1898 at a Fort Santiago dungeon after the American forces entered Manila on August 13.
On March 5, 1899, Methodist Bishop James Thoburn preached the first evangelical sermon at the Teatro Filipino in Sta. Cruz to an American audience as part of an arrangement with Arthur Prautch, a former missionary, who was bent on putting up a Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Institute. Regular Sunday morning English services followed soon after.
In June 1899, a group of Filipinos urged Prautch to start similar meetings for Filipinos. Those who attended the services arranged for other meetings in other places in Manila.
The Methodist Publishing House, initially called the Thoburn Press, opened in 1901 and later was succeeded by the Methodist Book Room. Starting 1903, several institutions were put up by the missionaries such as the Bible Training School (now the Harris Memorial College) and the Mary Brown Townsend Memorial Bible Training School in Lingayen, and much later on the Union Bible Seminary, precursor of the Union Theological Seminary. In the medical field, the pioneering work of missionaries laid the grounds for the establishment of the Mary Johnston Hospital in 1906.
The Church was known as The Methodist Episcopal Church which was connected to the Methodist Episcopal Church of the USA. In 1939, it was changed to The Methodist Church as a result of the union of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Methodist Episcopal Church South and the Methodist Protestant Church. It became The United Methodist Church after the union of the Evangelical United Brethren Church and The Methodist Church in 1968 in Texas, USA.
The highest policy-making body is the quadrennial General Conference. The United Methodist Church in the Philippines, composed of 17 Annual Conferences is organized into the Philippines Central Conference which meets every four years.
The Annual Conference is the basic governing body in the church and reserves the right to vote on constitutional amendments and elect delegates to the General and the Central Conferences. The Annual Conferences are grouped into Episcopal Areas headed by a resident bishop.
The programs of the Church are identified, approved and implemented by its Annual Conferences. It is composed of districts headed by District Superintendents.
At its Central Conference, it has organized programs on Christian education and communications, and women work, among others. The Central Conference, constituted by representatives from the Annual Conferences meets every four years to promote church programs; determine the episcopal areas and determine the boundaries of the Annual Conferences; establish a Judicial Court which determine the legality of any Central Conference action and elect bishops (Candidates must get two-thirds vote before being declared a duly- elected bishop). In the absence of the Central Conference, the Coordinating Council composed of bishops, ministers, elders and lay leaders meet annually to act on national church concerns.
Unlike other churches, the UMC does not have a single church head but a shared leadership through the College of Bishops which is composed of the active bishops of the Church which decides on issues of faith and church administration.
Over all, the major program thrusts are geared towards evangelism, christian nurture, Christian stewardship, social concerns and ecumenical relations, among others. Currently, the UMC is on an all-out holistic evangelization campaign to make it the biggest Protestant church by the year 2000.
The UMC marked in March 1998 its Centennial celebrations under the theme “A Faith for All Seasons.”
The United Methodist Church Building
900 UN Avenue, Ermita, Manila
Tel. 521-1114 • 524-5191 • 524-2008 • 523-4136
Fax 521-2278 • 525-6778