Neil Duazo: A lot of the brethren that I know, they didn’t know anything else except growing up in a chapel. For me, it was the other way, I didn’t know anything except for a rented space. But once the chapel was dedicated, I knew exactly what they were talking about.
Victoria, British Columbia
The house of worship has always been a place of refuge for God’s people. For Neil Duazo, it’s the best place to go.
Neil: If I’m having a really bad day at work or just life is starting to you know— bills get caught up and stuff and I come in, and just pray for a few minutes, meditate for a few more minutes, and I could feel peace right away.
…a feeling all members of the Church Of Christ can relate to.
Herman King: It’s a serene place that I can go to, no matter how I’m feeling when I leave home, no matter how I feel [when] I’m coming, even sometimes, when I’m coming back from an appointment or whatever.
Fred Reed: Aw, this is home. This is home. In Psalms 27, I like to live all the days of my life, you know, in Your house, Lord. And this is where I get my prayers answered.
Fred helped renovate the Bloomingdale house of worship before it was dedicated to God in 2011 by Brother Eduardo V. Manalo.
Neil: For me, it was the other way. I didn’t know anything except for a rented space, but once the chapel was dedicated, I knew exactly what they were talking about. Wherever they went to, whichever place they went to visit or go on vacation, they always looked for the house of worship first. [They would say] thanks to God for their safe journey, and then they go on about their day. And now I know what that feels like.
The past 10 years has seen rapid changes in attitudes about religion and spiritual beliefs leaving many with no place to go.
News Reporter: “Local Catholic churches will shut down after the holidays. Effective January 11th, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia will close St. Therese of the Child Jesus.”
But in the Church Of Christ, the past 10 years have seen over 3,300 worship buildings dedicated to God—a great task led by the Executive Minister, Brother Eduardo V. Manalo.
This helps ensure that those who seek God would always have a place to find Him—much like Herman King, a former pastor from Bronx, New York.
Herman: I passed the church all the time and it was just this one particular day that I was walking past, one of the brethren was outside, he handed me an invitation to come to one of the Evangelical Missions. I took it and I just stuck it in my pocket. You know I’m going— what I’m doing, whatever I’m doing— and I’m just— you know and I put it in my pocket.
Brother Eduardo V. Manalo led the dedication of the house of worship in Bronx, New York in 2011. The building had sat empty for two years before that.
In 2016, Herman walked into the house of worship to attend a Bible study.
Herman: And I thought to myself, I said, “You know what, I’m going.” I went to the Evangelical Mission and I was sitting there and I heard them talking about the Bible. Everything that was [said] came straight from the Scripture. So I’m sitting here, thinking, “Am I in the right place or did I make a mistake by coming here?” Then I went maybe a day or so, and I didn’t go back. Then all of a sudden I had this feeling, I [needed] to go back.
The Executive Minister leads many of the chapel dedications to God, illustrating just how important the house of worship is for the faith of God’s people.
Fred: [Brother] Eduardo, fabulous man. Fabulous man. Very inspirational. To have one of [God’s] servants love you so much, that they practically lay down their life which is basically what he does when he goes to all these countries that I read about everyday.
Herman: When I look at him, he is a leader. [When] we follow him, we will receive our salvation.
Fred: They love us all and that’s the most beautiful gift [that] God could give anyone.
In just 10 years as the Executive Minister, Brother Eduardo has already given so much to the Church: constantly teaching lessons and reminders from the Bible and helping make sure that God’s people will always have a place to worship.
Herman: I’m in the right place, I’m doing the right thing. Our goal is to reach the day of salvation, so everybody’s moving in that direction. Like I said, I love the chapel because it’s a beautiful place.
Neil: It was dedicated to God. The beauty of this is that you know God lives here.
Fred: The nights that I have to guard, I take special time out and spend a little extra time so I can kneel and I can pray in the house of worship. This is home.
Fred: Brother Eduardo, you are truly my brother because you take care of me like a brother. You give me the words of God, I listen to you in the video [streams]. I [have] listened to you when you’ve actually been here in the worship services. We pray for you. I mean it with everything in my heart when I pray for you because [you’re] helping so many—think of all the souls you are helping as the Executive Minister of the Church Of Christ. Fantastic!
Herman: I believe and I know that he is a man of God and he is a man that God placed in His Church to continue to speak truth to the people.
Neil: We would like to thank you so very much, and especially our Almighty God, because the last ten years you have been our Executive Minister. And we’ve watched the Church grow globally, so quickly and so rapidly, and in so many countries.
Fred: You probably didn’t get to play stuff like hockey, football and a lot of the other sports, et cetera, but I’m quite sure that God filled in that time and made your life even greater than you can even imagine. But brother, I encourage you—encourage you always, always, always know that we are behind you and if we had to be in front of you to protect [you]—we are in front of you, Brother.
Neil: We love you!
Fred: I love you with all my heart. I appreciate what you’re doing and I look forward to seeing you very soon.
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