In Philippines, Adventists Welcome 1,300 Members in Single Day
The Seventh-day Adventist Church’s Negros Occidental Conference (NOC) in the central Philippines recently celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of an Adventist presence in its territory.
Since January, NOC headquarters administrators held a series of satellite meetings, resulting in more than 800 baptisms. Gary Gibbs, ministries development director in North America’sChesapeake Conference, was the evangelism seminar’s featured speaker during the April 30–May 7 anniversary celebrations.
At the opening of the golden anniversary celebration, leaders of the church spoke. Among them were Agapito Catane, Jr., president of the church in central Philippines (CPUC), and Luisito Tomado, NOC president. Welcoming everyone was Alfredo Amada, Central Philippine Adventist College (CPAC) president. Other honored guests included 92-year-old Orlando Aguirre, Sr., the first treasurer of the then-Negros Mission, and other retirees. Also present was Chester Clarke III, organizer of Adventist-laymen’s Services and Industries’ Youth for Jesus programs and the youth representative of the church to the General Conference Executive Committee, as well as local government officials and Congresswoman Cynthia A. Villar of the Las Piñas city congressional district.
During the week of evangelism, approximately 7,000 individuals registered for the event, on the CPAC campus. The dormitories and classrooms were packed with guests, tents sprawled the campus grounds, and all roads seemed to lead to the college. The nightly meetings were held in the college church while an extension monitor was installed in the gym to accommodate more viewers and listeners. On the final Sabbath more than 1,300 people accepted Christ as Savior and were baptized. The baptism was held in the college swimming pool and lasted for two hours. Among the pastors who performed the baptism was Alberto Gulfan, Jr., president of the church in the Southern Asia-Pacific Division (SSD). An estimated 10,000 church members were present as well.
The church’s Negros Occidental territory comprises 280 churches, 116 companies, and more 33,000 members.