Celebrating 109 Years: New Worship Buildings and Community Outreach Worldwide | INC News World
Michelle Peredo: Welcome back to this special episode of INC News World as we commemorate the Church Of Christ’s 109th anniversary. We’ve seen how the Church has grown and reached new places within the past year. And with this growth never ceasing, the work of building and renovating more houses of worship is just the same, fulfilling the need for constructing places of worship fitting to the Almighty God. Our Richie Ferrera from Riverside, California, gives us the details.
Richie Ferrera: Riverside is just one of newly dedicated houses of worship here in the U.S. And just as the U.S. and the rest of the world continue to feel the grip of economic downturn, the Church Of Christ instead is trending in a different way, progressing in the building, renovating and purchasing of houses of worship here and the rest of the world.
With unwavering obedience to God’s commandment, the Church Of Christ persists in the ongoing construction of houses of worship, spreading across the world.
Raymond Frank (Architect, INC United States West Office): The ongoing work of finding new properties, new houses of worship to purchase, renovating projects, renovating houses of worship did not stop. It even continued even during the pandemic. Material cost increased dramatically and that also affected the contractors and also the completion of some houses of worship. But we were able to overcome those and we were able to finish many beautiful houses of worship during that time.
Richie Ferrera: A total of 3,582 houses of worship have been completed and dedicated to God since 2009. 591 houses of worship accounting for those built and dedicated during the pandemic. This averages to more than 190 houses of worship dedicated each year and an inspiring 4 every week.
But dedication to expanding the Church Of Christ’s reach, goes beyond borders. As efforts to purchase, renovate and construct houses of worship are ongoing worldwide. First in North America, where numerous houses of worship on the west coast of the United States were dedicated– local congregations like Fontana, National City and Riverside, all purchased properties in California later renovated and beautified into suitable houses of worship.
And currently renovations are near completion for places of worship, like in Redwood City, California, and to the north part of the West Coast in Albany, Oregon. In the Midwest, the state of Ohio will soon see an even more beautiful house of worship for the local congregation of Cleveland. Renovations for the interior are currently underway. Going to the East Coast of the United States in the famous and historical city of New York, one of the first purchased houses of worship on the East Coast was recently renovated and we dedicate it to God, the local congregation of Long Island City. As well as renovations in Woodbury, New York, nearing completion and as well as in Norfolk, Virginia, renovations are also ongoing.
Dina Trocino (Choir Member, Long Island City, New York): Seeing the chapel, even from the eyes of non-members, you can see the progress that the Church has obtained.
Richie Ferrera: As common as it is to see church properties being purchased by the Church Of Christ here in the U.S., the same trend is also happening in Canada with the iconic Niagara Falls and its stunning landscapes. The Church Of Christ made a significant purchase of a large church property previously owned by a different religion. Across the land in Calgary, Alberta, the Church Of Christ acquired a church property in the area of Royal Oak with a vision of creating more suitable places of worship, plans for renovations are set in motion.
Richard Deauna (Head Deacon, Royal Oak, District Of Calgary): By having a permanent house of worship, it means that we don’t have to rent anymore, now that we have an additional house of worship that will be dedicated to our Almighty God.
Richie Ferrera: And in the province of Manitoba, a formerly Baptist church was purchased, renovated and dedicated for the house of worship in Winnipeg South. Also, current renovations are underway for the house of worship in Beaconsfield, Ottawa, plans for beautifying its exterior and interior. Across the Atlantic Ocean, we journey to Africa, where the Church Of Christ experiences phenomenal growth, catering to the ever growing spiritual needs of its members.
Remarkably, this year marks a momentous event in Lusaka, Zambia, as the Church dedicates its very first house of worship in the country. Notably in Malawi, another house of worship stands tall and in Lilongwe, a beacon of hope anchored in the waiting dedication to God in the near future. In Ficksburg, South Africa, construction is underway for yet another house of worship, soon to be added to the already standing houses of worship throughout the country, even extending to North Africa, with Uganda witnessing the purchase of land for the construction of its first ever house of worship.
Goodson Frank Poya (Head Deacon, Lusaka, Zambia): Never in my life did I expect that outreach this far or to experience this wonderful blessing that God has given to us to have the first chapel built for us, we are so thankful.
Richie Ferrera: And in Europe, part of celebrating 109 years of the Church Of Christ is also the celebration of 50 years of the Church in Europe and the ongoing beautification and renovation of houses of worship continue, like in Milan, Italy North. In the land of Japan, where numerous beautiful houses of worship already stand, expansion continues to thrive. The Church Of Christ continues acquiring and renovating properties in places like Gifu West, Nagoya and Ichikawa, Tokyo.
Hideaki Bab (Contractor, Japan): Being an engineer, it’s amazing to be part of building such a beautiful place like this.
Richie Ferrera: And part of the 109th anniversary of the Church Of Christ, the Executive Minister, Brother Eduardo V. Manalo, recently dedicated these new houses of worship through a special worship service commemorating the ongoing growth of the Church Of Christ throughout the world.
Raymond Frank (Architect, INC United States West Office): And you can see that unity of the Church and that love for the Church and that concern that we should all have a place of worship so that we can gather and congregate and serve God with the help of God that we will all be able to overcome whatever challenges that we face and we’ll be able to have many more beautiful houses of worship to offer to God for His glory.
Andrea Papa (Choir Member, Seattle, District Of Washington): I know that my contribution, what I offer and what I give to the Church, I can see where it’s being used.
Richie Ferrera: As these newly dedicated houses of worship serve as a beacon of hope for Church Of Christ members, they also serve as a place of learning the true faith. As more people are introduced to the true faith, the need for additional houses of worship will always be met through the help and guidance of God.
Michelle Peredo: We’ve witness the blessings God has outpoured to His Church within this past year, but it wasn’t just members that received these graces. Through the continuous outreach events led by the Church Administration, care was also extended to those in need. As a result, recognitions by public servants have been given to the Church Of Christ. From Ottawa, Canada, Laura Bridget Ibañez gives us that report.
Rafaela Soares De Souza (Recipient, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil): It came at the right time, thank God, precisely when I needed it.
Recipient (Philippines): I am very thankful because the outreach of the Church Of Christ has come to this place.
Councilwoman Olivia Diaz (Las Vegas, Nevada): Thank you to the Felix Y. Manalo Foundation and the Church Of Christ,
Terria Bell (Recipient, Las Vegas, Nevada): They help the community a lot. We appreciate it.
Laura Bridget Ibañez: These are heartfelt words of gratitude from just a few of the individuals who have received assistance from the Church Of Christ and its charitable partner, the Felix Y. Manalo Foundation, through the Care for Humanity Project. The Care for Humanity Project is dedicated to providing aid and assistance to communities impacted by disasters, calamities, and various humanitarian crises, irrespective of their religious affiliation, race or nationality. Its various humanitarian efforts help uplift the lives of people facing hardships and challenges in places like Africa.
William Nelson Gamma (Farm Worker, Eco Farm In Malawi): I was so excited to be given the job because I was jobless.
Laura Bridget Ibañez: Asia…
Mayor Yokoe Junichi (Kanie Town, Aichi Prefecture): We don’t receive much anymore, but here you are. You gave us these donations for 37,000 residents of Kanie. I’m sure these donations will be a big help to them. We will use these wisely. We are very grateful.
Joy Manchipalli (Protestant Preacher, India): They are helping poor people.
Laura Bridget Ibañez: North America…
Martha Collin (Executive Director, Neighborhood House of Milwaukee): You know, Church Of Christ specifically, who is acting on this is huge. They see a need.
Stacy Martin (Recipient, Executive Director, Fortress): I love that there’s a church that is so ingrained and knows in tune with what the neighborhood needs and what the city needs and is so intentional about meeting those needs. I just think that’s beautiful. You don’t see that in a lot of churches that are really out in their communities. And I just… that really struck me today.
Mayra Todd (Founder, Mujeres De Hoy, Orange County, California): This is the first time that we received our first donation.
Laura Bridget Ibañez: South America…
Marcia Cristina (Recipient, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil): Speaking as a social worker, knowing how we live in a needy community, they need this help and are thankful that this is what the Church Of Christ is always doing.
Maria (Recipient, Bogota, Colombia): It is something very beautiful, because in this way, you not only help us financially, but it also allows God to enter the hearts of many people who need it.
Laura Bridget Ibañez: Europe…
Vittorio Trani (Catholic Priest, Rome, Italy): When there are these good deeds that are done from the heart, they are always beautiful. Thank you for your participation. Thank you to the representatives of the Iglesia Ni Cristo organization.
Laura Bridget Ibañez: And Australia…
The unwavering humanitarian efforts of the Church Of Christ, motivated by faith and compassion, have earned admiration and recognition from public servants, leading to numerous commendations and awards. The most recent recognition received by the Church Of Christ and the Felix Y. Manalo Foundation was from the Coalition of Filipino American Chambers of Commerce, COFACC, a nonprofit organization currently with 365 chambers across the U.S. dedicated to facilitating and nurturing business organizations that serve Filipino communities.
Gerry Palon [President, Coalition of Filipino American Chambers Of Commerce (COFACC)]: “This humanitarian award is presented to the Felix Y. Manalo Foundation and Brother Eduardo V. Manalo, Executive Minister of the Iglesia Ni Cristo…“
Brother Jun Pagaduan [Vice President, Felix Y. Manalo Foundation (U.S.)]: This recognition serves as a testament to our shared commitment to empowering the Filipino American community and fostering economic growth.
Laura Bridget Ibañez: In March of this year, a significant event took place in front of the Turkish embassy here in Ottawa, the ambassador of Turkey recognized the Executive Minister of the Church Of Christ, Brother Eduardo V. Manalo, and its charitable partner, the Felix Y. Manalo Foundation, for their quick response in providing aid to those affected by the earthquake devastation in Turkey.
Dr. Yusuf Turan Çetiner (Charge D’affairs and Deputy Ambassador, Turkish Embassy In Ottawa, Canada): The FYM Foundation, led by the Executive Minister, Brother Eduardo V. Manalo, and the Church Of Christ’s charitable partner continues its outreach programs, as we have been informed. At such times of tragedy, your kind contribution and valuable support are deeply appreciated. Thank you once again.
Laura Bridget Ibañez: In October 2022, the Felix Y. Manalo Foundation also received special recognition at the Ugnayan Sa Toronto 2022 Forum.
Consul General Orontes Castro (Philippine Consulate General, Toronto, Canada): It’s called Presidential Awards for Filipino Individuals and Organizations Overseas. This is a high honor and a very, very distinct honor.
Brother Eduardo Javier (Member of the Board of Directors, Felix Y. Manalo Foundation): On behalf of our Executive Minister, Brother Eduardo V. Manalo, and also the CEO and President of the Felix Y. Manalo Foundation, Brother Glicerio P. Santos IV, they would like to extend their many thanks to each and every one of you.
Laura Bridget Ibañez: Further recognition in Canada was observed during a gathering of the Parliament of Canada on October 25th, 2022, wherein Representative Cindy Lamoureux, spoke before the legislature to share her firsthand experience with the outreach efforts of the Church Of Christ.
Cindy Lamoureux (Member Of Legislative Assembly Of Manitoba): Members of the Church Of Christ worldwide have dedicated so much to making our planet a better place. Their passion and drive to make the lives of so many easier is incredibly motivating. And I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to work with them, so I want to thank the members of the Church Of Christ here in Winnipeg and abroad for all you do.
Laura Bridget Ibañez: That same month, the Church Of Christ and its charitable partner, the Felix Y. Manalo Foundation, also received recognition in Clark County, Las Vegas, Nevada, from County Commission Chairman Jim Gibson.
Commissioner Jim Gibson (Clark County, Las Vegas, Nevada): They commit themselves not only to be responsible for acts of kindness and neighborliness all year long, but to make additional contributions in dollars to those kinds of charitable institutions that do good in our community.
Laura Bridget Ibañez: Aside from those who gave awards, there were also public officials who declared Iglesia Ni Cristo Day.
David Canepa (President, Board of Supervisors of San Mateo County): As the supervisor, I am humbled to give you this award, again, it’s Iglesia Ni Cristo day here in the county of San Mateo. Congratulations.
Hon. Greg Fergus (Parliamentary Secretary to Prime Minister of Canada): I extend my heartfelt congratulations to Iglesia Ni Cristo’s Executive Minister, Brother Eduardo Manalo for his dynamic leadership to the Church’s thousands of congregations worldwide.
Laura Bridget Ibañez: The motivation behind the work is seen and even unseen when it comes to the FYM Foundation is without a doubt God’s teachings and instructions to His people as written in the Holy Bible. And thus the brethren are inspired to do even more to help our fellow men who are in need, especially during this very difficult time.
In all the recognitions received by the Church Of Christ for its humanitarian works, we offer all the glory to God as members of His Church, the work will continue as this is all simply in obedience to His will. Laura Bridget Ibañez, Iglesia Ni Cristo News Network, Ottawa, Canada.
Michelle Peredo: All praises and glory be to the Almighty God as He continues to guide His Church onward to further anniversaries and victories. And as we close this special episode, we leave you with this, that as each year passes, though, we live in a chaotic world full of struggles, we’re thankful for the guidance that we receive from the Church Administration. We’re thankful for the triumphs God continues to grant to His Church, and we’re thankful for our faith and conviction so that we can stand firm, whatever the future may hold. On behalf of the entire INC News World team, Happy 109th Anniversary. Tune in every Saturday for new episodes of INC News World on INCMedia.org, our YouTube channel and on streaming platforms. Thank you for joining us. I’m Michelle Peredo. We’ll see you next time. God bless.