Christian Media: Where Truth Meets You

A New Worship Building in Ewa Beach, Hawaii

Re-emerging in the Philippines in 1914, the Church Of Christ rapidly grew, and through God’s help, extended its missions to the Far West, first, in Hawaii, on July 27, 1968. In this Executive News Feature, find out how God helped not only the Church Of Christ, but its individual members, as well.


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The Gathering Place

in association with



Ernesto Ferrer:  My dad came here in 1963. From then on, we were waiting for him to petition us to come here to Hawaii for a better life.  

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Ernesto Ferrer

Honolulu, Hawaii

Ernesto:  Most Filipinos came here for the plantation, and they worked in the pineapple fields or sugarcane fields, and my dad worked in the pineapple field.

Salvador Ramiro Jr.:  I have been here since December of 1965, 

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Salvador Ramiro Jr.

Migrated to Hawaii

Salvador:  Because my parents wanted to, I guess, find a new life.  So, they decided to migrate to Hawaii. 

Ernesto:  In my place, in my province in Pangasinan, we were very poor there.  The life we have there, we just have a simple house, like a nipa hut.  There was no bed at all. The floor was made of bamboo.  Of course, we were so excited when we heard that we were going to Hawaii.  I was 11 then. 

Since we were going to America, mom bought us all a suit.   When we got to Hawaii, we were so very excited, because we just came off of the boat and we could see all the lights on the streets.  That was the first time we saw those kinds of lights, because in our town at that time,  we didn’t even have electricity.  

Voice over:  Although these families started a new life in a new country, what remained was their desire to serve God.

Salvador:  Back in 1965, the Church was not here yet.  I know my parents were looking around for Church members, and they finally did meet a couple of them.  Some of them were actually relatives.

Ernesto:  My dad came from work and told us he found a brother who was whistling “Ako’y Iglesia Ni Cristo”. So, he told us that we have to go to a gathering place.  I think that was a Thursday.  We were so excited too.  We dressed up and went to a house on Puuhale Road.  

Voice over:  In June 1967, group prayer meetings were held in the households of various brethren who were members of the Church Of Christ.  The number of brethren attending the group prayer meetings increased, and they started sending letters to the Church Administration requesting to send them a minister to lead them in their worship services.  The advice of the Church Administration was that they hold devotional prayers every night.  

Their prayers were soon answered.  On July 27, 1968, Brother Eraño G. Manalo led them in the very first worship service to God in the Far West, in Ewa Beach, Hawaii. The small group of people who gathered in Ewa Beach faced many difficulties and trials.  Yet, they held on to God’s promises and continued to grow in number.  

Brother Gregory:  When I reported to my duty assignment here in Schofield Barracks in Hawaii – that was November 6 of ‘86. 

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Brother Gregory Worthen

Former United States Army

Brother Gregory:  And the following month, another group of soldiers came in, and one of them was a Filipino who happened to be assigned to my company, and that’s Brother Romeo Salazar.  

So, when he came into the company, I befriended him and kind of showed him around the base, where the PX (Post Exchange) is, where you buy your stuff, and you know, “This is the kind of the ins and outs of what we do.”  And then, in return, he started inviting me to the Church.  Well, of course, I threw every excuse in the book you know : shine my boots or iron my uniform or do whatever I have to do. But, you know, he was so adamant. “Just come and listen.”  So, as I keep making excuses and whatnot, I finally ran out of excuses, and he comes again and I say, “You know what? Okay, I’ll go with you.” 

He invited me to the worship service, and so when I attended the worship service, one of the things that struck me right away was how the minister delivered the message – how he preached the lesson.  You know, in the Church, it was, “This is our question to the Bible, and this is what the Bible says.”, and that was something that was new to me.  So, that intrigued me a lot.  

The minister asked my friend, Brother Romy, “Do you think he’d want to listen to the teachings?”  And I said, “No problem. I’ll listen to the teachings.”  As soon as he taught that lesson – the importance of the Church, that was it.  I had to see him every day.  First, because that was the first time that I heard a lesson like that about the importance of the Church –  that you had to be in the Church in order to be saved and that’s the invite, that’s the instruction, that’s the command of our Lord Jesus Christ.  So, you know,  I didn’t want to wait.  If I could be qualified for baptism tomorrow, let’s go baptism tomorrow.  By the end of March, I was baptized in the Church. March 28, 1987 was my baptismal date.  

Voice over:  Fifty years after the first worship service in Hawaii, the Church Of Christ continues to grow, and now there are currently 25 local congregations all over Hawaii.   

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Church Of Christ reaching the Far West, on July 27, 2018, a new house of worship was dedicated to God, and 50 ministers were added to the Church in a worship service to God led by Brother Eduardo V. Manalo in the Local Congregation of Ewa Beach, Hawaii.  

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Your fold has reached the farthest west

And every corner of the world,

For, truly, nothing can hold back

The growth of Your elected Church.

Voice over:  In that worship service, the brethren were taught how they could continue upholding their membership inside the Church Of Christ.

[Video clip of the homily of the Executive Minister starts]

Brother Eduardo V. Manalo:  God knows that there will be reasons some could be distracted from achieving the goal that we must reach.  Our Lord God says, “Ignore all sideshow distractions.”  What might distract us from upholding our membership in the Church Of Christ?  Trials, persecutions, and the enemies of our faith might distract us.  

However, a true servant of God keeps his eyes straight ahead.  Even if there would be distractions, the Bible says we should ignore them.  That’s what God expects from each Church Of Christ member.  We must keep our eyes straight ahead and never allow ourselves to be distracted.  We must imitate an athlete who trains well in the things that he should be training in.  That’s why we must train in holiness.  We must train in obedience.  We must train in serving God.  Because when we do that, we can complete our race victoriously and make it to the finish line.

[Video clip ends]

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Sister Chantel Lopez:  My mother and I were driving to town, and we see police cars, one after the other.  

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Sister Chantel Lopez

Keeau, Hawaii

Chantel:  We probably saw about eight, and that’s not normal.  

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Voice of Tina Neal – Hawaiian Volcano Scientist

Tina Neal:  There are very high levels of sulphur dioxide and other volcanic gases.  We’re seeing earthquakes.

Sister Maile Tadeo:  With what we were hearing on the radio, everything started getting worse.  

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Sister Maile Tadeo

Keeau, Hawaii

Maile:  There were more cracks opening up in the ground.

[Video clip of cracked road]

Source: USGS

Chantel:  There was lava spewing out of the roads, and this is taking place 10 miles away from where I’m living right now.  

[Video of lava spewing out of the road]]

Source: USGS

Chantel: It’s not getting any better.  It’s getting worse.  There have been thousands of earthquakes.  

[Video of earthquake in a store]

Source: ViralHog

[Video of home rattling]

Source: IBTimes UK

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Sister Andrea Magcalas

Keeau, Hawaii

Sister Andrea Magcalas:  We checked the news, and we found out the volcano erupted.  

[Video of volcanic ash, smoke and lava]

Source: USGS

Maile:  This time, it affected a lot of the residential areas. So, a lot of people were affected and they had to leave and get evacuated.  There wasn’t any power.  There wasn’t any water.  

Chantel:  We weren’t prepared for this.  I mean, it happened all of a sudden.  So, we only had a limited amount of supplies.

[Video of lava flowing]

Source: USGS

Ikaika Marzo:  If it doesn’t stop, for sure you’re going to see more people evacuating, more homes lost, more devastation.  

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Ikaika Marzo

Volunteer Relief Coordinator

[Video of lava flowing]

Source: USGS

[Video clip of the homily of the Executive Minister starts]

Brother Eduardo V. Manalo:  Our theme for the Church’s anniversary was already read to you.  What’s our theme?  “Don’t Extinguish the Fire of the Holy Spirit”.  May all of us follow that, because that’s not my own will but the Bible’s declaration to us.  Church Of Christ members today should be following that.  All the more what should be seen in us is our zeal in our services to God, our devotion, the fire of the Holy Spirit burning in us, for us to reach salvation.  Brethren, remember that we are nearer to Judgment Day.  Even if there are problems, all the more, should we actively help in the works of the Church.  Because that is what God sekes from us.  

[Video clip ends]

Andrea:  After around one week, because the lava flow was continuous, my husband’s noni fruits were affected, because he has a farm.  Now, my husband can’t go back, because there isn’t a path leading there anymore.  

[Video of lava flowing over the land and roads]

Source: USGS

Brother Levy Magcalas:  That’s the only livelihood I have.  

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Brother Levy Magcalas

Keeau, Hawaii

Levy:  So, right now, it’s been over a month that I haven’t been working.   

[Video of lava flowing into the ocean]

Source: USGS

Ikaika:  People are losing business because of what’s happening.  People had to move out.  There are over 7,000 people that got evacuated out of this place.  

[Video of scorched trees and land]

Source: USGS

Levy: It’s going to be hard, because from planting to harvesting, it takes about two years.  So, it’s going to be, for me, guaranteed two years – no income.

Chantel:  That’s their livelihood.  That’s what they work for.  That’s, kind of, all they have to rely on and now, they can’t even do that.  So, it’s a struggle.

Andrea:  But, no matter how difficult, we are still able to get by our struggles.  We just leave it all to the Lord.  With all these things happening, we all the more attend worship service.  We try to endure all our hardships.

[Video clip of the homily of the Executive Minister starts]

]Brother Eduardo V. Manalo:  Let us love our membership in the Church Of Christ.  Let us never let go of our divine election.  Let us never allow anything to ruin our membership in the Church Of Christ.  This is what we must have with us until the end.  God’s Messenger will be expecting to meet us in the Holy City. He will want to see that his toils and labors were not in vain.  Above all, our Lord God wants to see every one of us together in the Holy City to attain salvation.  

If there is anything that every one of us must do now, we must be even more devoted to serving God.  don’t let yourself be distracted by the things the devil throws at you to lead you away from salvation.  Don’t let it happen.  Let’s keep straining to reach the finish line, so that our sacrifices won’t be wasted, and we will be saved on Judgment Day.  

[Video clip ends]

[Video of lava flowing]

Source: USGS

Chantel:  When times like these happen, yes, you get scared but you also, all the more, rely on God.  

Maile:  You have to just trust that everything is okay; you really have to have faith.  Our Almighty God is always with us, so we shouldn’t even worry about it.  

Andrea:  When I attend worship service in the Church Of Christ, I feel elated.  I can feel the Lord’s presence even though I’m going through hardships.  I’m able to go on with my life. 

Levy:  We’ll get by.  We’ve been through worse, and we’ve gotten through it.  God guided us.  

Andrea:  For me, and those here, we don’t care what happens as long as we attend the worship service.  

Chantel:  When times like this happen, we should all the more trust in God and all the more pray to Him.  When we go to Church, we just have to include that in our prayers – there’s more to talk about with God.

[Video clip of the homily of the Executive Minister starts]

Brother Eduardo V. Manalo:  That’s what the apostles said, which came from God.  What’s required of us to reach the finish line is to “build up your lives ever more strongly upon the foundation of our holy faith.”  Don’t allow anything to ruin your faith.  We received it from God and not from man.  God’s Messenger and the ministers were used as His instruments, but what they preached to us are God’s words written in the Bible.  “Build up” yourselves as Church Of Christ members.  “Build up” your divine election.  Don’t allow your faith to weaken.  Let’s make our faith ever more strong.  

[Video clip ends]

Brother Gregory Worthen:  Well, I was baptized on March 28, 1987.  I joined the Ministry in 1988, and I’ve been in ever since.  So, that’s 30 years,since the centennial year, that I’ve been in the Ministry.  In the beginning of my membership, one of the things that really, 

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Brother Gregory Worthen

Minister of the Gospel

Brother Gregory:  kind of, molded me was the knowledge aspect of the Church’s teaching.  And so, with that knowledge, even with the fundamental knowledge, just the basic knowledge of the word of God, yes, of course, I wanted to scream it. I wanted to, as much as I could, just get it out there.  

It’s so clear to me, it’s so clear to me, that this is where you need to be.  This is the true Church – It has a messenger of God, who the messenger is, his value and importance, and the Church Administration.  You know, it’s so clear, and you’re thinking to yourself, “Why don’t people understand this?  It’s so clear, right?” So, yes of course, I wanted to, as much as I could, bring it to as many people as I could.  

As of right now, the Church can be found in 143 countries in the world.  

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Brother Gregory:  I mean, places you would not have thought the Church would reach, the Church has reached.  Whether it’s Russia – other such kinds of countries.  Africa – the Church has expanded in those places.  

How can you explain that a Church would come from a third world country, and then seed itself in the Far West, in 1968, then go to different parts of the world? And not only now, that other recognized churches, Catholicism and Protestantism, they’re in decline.  Wherein this Church, from a third-world country, is not only purchasing their properties to build more congregations – they’re building more congregations. They’re sending out more ministers.  I mean, imagine, just in one event alone, there are 50 ministers ordained, and this is constant.  

So, if you look at the result of the Church, the work of the Church, the only explanation you can give is that it has to be God.  And you know that’s not the end, that’s just the beginning, where the Church is just going to continue to do that in different places of the world.

Joey Manahan:  Every month, we have an honorary certificate program, 

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Joey Manahan

Honolulu, Hawaii Council Member

Joey:  where we invite members of the community, who do extraordinary things, to be recognized by the Honolulu City Council 

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World Wide Aid For Humanity Tutuila, American Samoa

Community Outreach Hawaii

Statewide Beach Cleanup Hawaii

Joey:  for their efforts in the community or for just really making the city a better place to live in. 

So, we’re very grateful to the Iglesia Ni Cristo for teaching those values and perpetuating those in the communities, and really making our communities one of the most wonderful places to live in all of the United States.  One thing I do notice, every time I go to an event – every year the Church grows, and I always see new faces, which is amazing and which tells me that you folks are really working hard to really further the mission of the Iglesia Ni Cristo here in Hawaii and all over the world.

Truly, I don’t think Honolulu would be the same place if Iglesia Ni Cristo was not here, and I wouldn’t know it to be Honolulu without the Iglesia Ni Cristo.

[Video clip of the homily of the Executive Minister starts]

Brother Eduardo V. Manalo:  Let’s hold on to the power of prayer.  You should have your family and personal devotional prayers to God.  You won’t be prevented from entering this place to hold your devotional prayers, so you can receive God’s help that you need.  You should cherish your Church Of Christ membership.  You need it.  This is what God will require of you to enter the Holy City.  You must bring it with you.  You need to keep it with you.  Don’t allow yourselves to lose your divine election.  Don’t allow anyone to ruin it, because that’s what you need to make it to heaven. Let’s love our membership in the Church Of Christ. 

[Video clip ends]

Saturnino Ulep:  I am Brother Saturnino Longboy Ulep, a member of the Local Congregation of Honolulu.  

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Saturnino Ulep

Pioneer Member

Saturnino:  We are here, now, at 1782 Bond Street.  This is the first location where Brother Eraño G. Manalo conducted the first official worship service, outside the Philippines, on July 27, 1968.  

This was where Brother Eraño Manalo walked up.  He was so tall!  He had to do this….

Brother Eraño was here holding the scroll.  Reading the scroll.

Yeah! The worship service was going on already at that time. 

Catalina Bulosan Duldulao:  I’m Sister Catalina Bulosan Duldulao.  On the first worship service, here in Bond Street, I was playing the organ.  Being a part of that worship service was very spiritual, and I am so happy that I was the organist for that first worship service. 

Ernesto:  Yes, I was here also, but I was still young then, so I don’t remember where we were sitting down – probably we were all here, all of the kids.  It’s very inspiring because, at that time, 1968, there were only a few members, less than 50 of us gathered here together, and now, we’re so many here now, especially in this part of the world and all over the world. And I would say this is a miracle, and it is the work of God here in Hawaii.

Voice over:  After officiating the first worship service in Hawaii, on July 27, 1968, the growth of the Church did not stop there.  Brother Eraño G. Manalo traveled to San Francisco, California to officiate yet another historic worship service, further proof of God’s prophecies fulfilled.

[Show ends]

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© Executive News 2018


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A New Worship Building in Ewa Beach, Hawaii