Naomi De La Cruz: In the continuation of this week’s episode of INC News World:
Host Continued: In Fontana, California, another house of worship is dedicated to God through a special worship service. In the Northern Midwest, the Local Congregation of Chicago commemorates a milestone anniversary through a special celebration. Your INC News World starts now.
Naomi De La Cruz: Welcome back to INC News World. Fontana, California is home to numerous cultural, sporting, and recreational opportunities. And it is also home to a handyman that was able to help in the construction of a lifetime. Jerrica Lea Adlawan has more on this story.
Jerrica Lea Adlawan: Jack Tayag, a resident in Fontana and a member of the Church Of Christ recollects how his local congregation started.
Jack Tayag (Pioneering INC Member and Head Decon, Fontana, California): Since the Church Administration wants the brethren [the Church] to be closer to where they live, that’s why the district started the Local [Congregation] of Fontana.
Jerrica Lea Adlawan: And after its establishment 5 years ago, in 2017, this local congregation received a great blessing; the purchase of the Fontana house of worship. This building, which was previously owned by the Good Samaritan Christian Center, would be renovated into the Church Of Christ, which Jack would take part in. But the renovation didn’t come without challenges.
Jack Tayag (Pioneering INC Member and Head Decon, Fontana, California): They were a limited [number of] workers working, [and] the price hike of the materials; It’s skyrocketed.
Jerrica Lea Adlawan: But despite those hardships, the brethren were committed to work hard together.
Jack Tayag (Pioneering INC Member and Head Decon, Fontana, California): So a lot of the brethren were helping in the renovation of the house of worship.
Jerrica Lea Adlawan: And not only did the members of the Church Of Christ throughout the Ecclesiastical District of Orange County California help, but Jack, with his experience in maintenance and carpentry, made sure to help in any way that he could.
Jack Tayag (Pioneering INC Member and Head Decon, Fontana, California): Sometimes I’m here at six in the morning. I don’t get out of here until eight in the evening. And especially on the weekend. Me and my father-in-law, Liberato Marcos, we picked those steeples in Tyler, Texas and it’s a 23-hour drive. And also I was able to operate the forklift and put them up there so they could mount them.
Jerrica Lea Adlawan: And after months of hard work and determination, the renovation was completed, and the House of Worship was dedicated to the Almighty God. Through a Worship Service led by Supervising Minister, Brother Jonathan Jamias, this was a moment that members here truly longed for.
Brother Elbert Fiesta (Ministerial Worker, Fontana, California): Our Almighty God answered our prayers. Now we have a beautiful house of worship here in the Local Congregation of Fontana.
Brother Jonathan Jamias (Supervising Minister, Ecclesiastical District of Orange County, California): The Church Of Christ through the leadership of our Executive Minister, Brother Eduardo V. Manalo, continues to build houses of worship because it is God’s command. And it is the place where we hold our worship of God, where we receive the commandments and the laws of our Almighty God.
Jerrica Lea Adlawan: An overflow area within the compound was also provided for the brethren who attended. Members in this local congregation since its establishment, like Patrick, were inspired through the preaching of God’s words and were able to see in person the newly renovated house of worship.
Patrick Alcantara (Pioneering Member and Head Deacon, Fontana, California): We can now really go there and have peace. You know every time we attend worship service, we go there and we pray to our Almighty God and ask for help. It’s so accessible to come and just pray and look for that peace and help for guidance from our Almighty God.
Jerrica Lea Adlawan: Now members look forward to the future with many plans here in Fontana.
Marjie Gopez (Pioneering Member, Fontana, California): The brethren can invite their loved ones to the chapel and we can have more Church activities and events in the future to come.
Jack Tayag (Pioneering Member and Head Deacon, Fontana, California): During the construction, there is a lot of people that were coming here and looking at the construction. They expressed that they can’t wait for this house of worship to open because they have been looking for a place to attend worship service.
Jerrica Lea Adlawan: To learn more about Church Of Christ houses of worship and how they are constructed, visit incmedia.org/blueprint. From Fontana, California, this is sister Jerrica Lea Adlawan for the Iglesia Ni Cristo News Network.
Naomi De La Cruz: The Ecclesiastical District of the Northern Midwest currently consists of over 35 local congregations and group worship services. However, before this rapid growth was the establishment of the Church Of Christ in Chicago. Now reaching its 50th year. Let’s take a look at how members commemorated this half-century milestone. Leslie Esguerra with more.
Diana Gallevo (INC Member, Fremont, Northwest California): We were baptized in the Local Congregation of Chicago. That was in the year of 1979.
Leslie Esguerra: As members of the Church Of Christ for over 40 years, and members of the Local Congregation of Chicago, Illinois, Jojo, and Diana Gallevo, have experienced decades of God’s blessings. And though they have since moved to Northwest California two years ago, they made their way back to Chicago for a special event.
Jojo Gallevo (INC Member, Fremont, Northwest California): We won’t miss this event. This is our home local.
Leslie Esguerra: The event? A special program commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Church Of Christ in Chicago, in the Ecclesiastical District of Northern Midwest. Established in 1972, it is the mother local of congregations that have spread throughout the Northern Midwest. One of the most significant events in its history was the blessing of a magnificent house of worship, dedicated to God in March 2015 in a worship service led by Brother Eduardo V. Manalo, the Executive Minister of the Church Of Christ. This building, which was purchased by the Church Administration from the United Mission of Christ Lutheran Church, has become the permanent place where the faithful in this part of the world worship the Almighty God. And today, putting together musical performances and bringing together new and pioneering members like the Gallevos, attendees were filled with joy to come together to celebrate this milestone anniversary.
Diana Gallevo (INC Member, Fremont, Northwest California): We were so blessed, and truly, truly in our hearts, we are so happy.
Jojo Gallevo (INC Member, Fremont, Northwest California): To tell you the truth, I almost cried at some of the songs that were performed. It’s so touching we see the young children active in all activities in the Church and that they always unite with the Church Administration.
Leslie Esguerra: Members were also given special recognition for the years of dedication to their service to the Almighty God.
Robert Serrano (INC Member, Chicago, Illinois): It’s a good time for us to reflect upon the promises God has fulfilled. Looking back at the 50 years of Chicago there’s so much to celebrate and thank the Almighty God for. The sacrifices of those who came before me, the pioneers, those who fully gave up their lives to serve God, and the brothers and sisters in our faith. That for me is the greatest contribution of Chicago—the spread of and growth of the Church.
Brother Erman Bendicio (Supervising Minister, Ecclesiastical District Of Northern Midwest): We can see and feel in their hearts how happy they are because not only they felt the guidance and love of our Lord God, but even though they also endure so many problems and worries in this life, they were able to surpass all those trials and tribulations alike. And they were able to uphold their membership inside the Iglesia Ni Cristo.
Chance Serrano (INC Member, Chicago, Illinois): I do feel like I am part of Chicago’s history. The local’s spirit was always there even from such a way back and I think it’s still here today.
Brother Manuel Jatulan (Resident Minister, Local Congregation of Chicago, Ecclesiastical District of Northern Midwest): We want this activity to be known by the younger generations, how wonderful our Lord God is to the Church Of Christ in this specific Local [Congregation] of Chicago. Think about the many miracles, the many wonderful things done by our Almighty God to this local because from this local a lot of other locals were born. This is the mother local of Northern Midwest.
Leslie Esguerra: And just as God guided the Local Congregation of Chicago for the last 50 years, they’re hopeful to see what the next 50 years will bring, with the next generation leading the way.
Diana Gallevo (INC Member, Fremont, Northwest California): Those are the pillars. Those are the future of Chicago. They were the ones that’s helping the Church to grow more in this part of the world. They’ll be the ones that will be leading Chicago in the near future.
Chance Serrano (INC Member, Chicago, Illinois): Seeing how much history there is it definitely makes me want to keep upholding that. it’s our responsibility as youth to keep that going.
Leslie Esguerra: Through this special event, members in Chicago took this opportunity to look towards the future with hope and to reflect on the many decades filled with blessings that God outpoured to His Church. To keep up to date with the most recent celebrations and activities inside the Church Of Christ, log on to incmedia.org/inc-news-world or subscribe to our Youtube channel. Leslie Esguerra for the Iglesia Ni Cristo News Network, Chicago, Illinois.
Naomi De La Cruz: Well, that does it for us on INC News World. Tune in every Friday for new episodes of INC News World on incmedia.org. I’m Naomi De La Cruz. Thank you for joining us. Stay safe, and we’ll see you next time. God bless!
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