Glimpses of the Past (until2012)  and Visions for the future

The Beginning:
The birth of United Methodism in Davao City started in the early l950’s with the coming of some United Methodists from Luzon and nearby provinces like Cotabato province. Looking for greener pastures or for whatever other reasons that brought them top this place, only God knows. But one thing sure, these people were used by God to start His ministry in this place.
These early Methodists were Mr. Jose Collantes, then the Provincial treasurer, Mr. Paraso, Atty. & Mrs. Ramon Saura, and Mr. Laudivico Lardizabal, brother of Mrs. Manuela Valencia.
In l952, Bishop Jose Valencia, sent several pastors from Luzon to explore possibilities of opening Methodist work in Mindanao. Among these pioneer pastors were the Rev, Esteban Guillermo, the Rev. Felix Telan, the Rev. Calixto Garibay, The Rev. Rufino Tabiendo, and the Rev. Felix Gorospe.
It was the Rev. Felix Gorospe who got acquainted with the Collantes and Pasaro families and gathered and started them as a worshiping congregation in Davao City. Thus, on August 23, l953, the Rev. F. Gorospe organized the First United Methodist of Davao City. A full time pastor was appointed to minister to them in the person of the Rev. Vicente Rosete, with Mrs. Gertrudes Rosete serving as the first Woman Worker.
Without a church building yet, this young congregation rented a small place along San Pedro street where they conducted worship services every Sunday and other church activities. Four month after the appointment of Rev. and Mrs. Rosete, the church transferred to another place in Tomas Claudio Street, now the E. Quirino Avenue. The Saura family were actively involved in the church work at this time to the point of sacrificially but lovingly supported the church with their financial resources. It must be noted that there were two former deaconesses with the congregation; Mrs. Saura and Mrs. Mercedes Castro.
On 1954, the Rev. Atanacio Caramat was appointed as its new pastor but he stayed only for two months. The absence of a Pastor created problems for the young church and some members went to the United Church of Christ in the Philippines where they first attended worship services before the United Methodist Church came to this city.
In April l955, Bishop Valencia appointed the Rev. Limerio Garibay to Davao City. Through his evangelistic zeal and excellent pastoral leadership, the congregation was revived with more people added to the member¬ship roll, such as Mr. & Mrs. Lino Molina. Late in the year, paying for the rental of the house of worship became a heavy burden that the pastor and his family were forced to move to Tagum and put his residence there. Howev¬er, the work of the Lord continued despite of the limited resources. The pastor travels to Davao City on weekends and held worship services in the house of Mr. Andres Briz until May l956, when Rev. Limerio Garibay went back to Seminary to complete his schooling.
In June 1956, the Rev. Catalino Guzman was appointed pastor of Davao City. During this year, a church lot was purchased at W. Vinzon Street, Obrero, Davao City, where the sanctuary of the First United Methodist Church was constructed. The application of a building permit for the construction of the church building paved the way to meet other Methodists in the city in the person of Engr. Samuel Dumlao, then the City Engineer.
In the Annual Conference of l958, the Rev. Luis Tacadena was appointed as the new minister for that year. He only served for one year and was followed by the Rev. Limerio Garibay. Church membership continued to grow during these years.
Davao City is the educational center of the Davao provinces, if not the entire island of Mindanao. The church leadership saw the need for a student ministry to the growing universities in Davao City. A lot was purchased at C.M. Recto Street on October 5, l964 where the Davao Student Center was constructed and completed in l965. Student and young professionals served by the Davao Student Centered clamored for a church in the heart of the city.

The Birth of Davao Central United Methodist Church:
“Last November 24, l966 the new church at Claveria Street was inaugurated. The inauguration was purposely set during the Great Thanksgiving Day. It is now called the Davao Central United Methodist church. Starting the last Sunday of November, services were conducted in the new church.”(From Ms. Thelma Mariano’s report to Ms. Garrett). The church building was constructed in spite of very limited funds. Church members also generously donated construction materials to complete its construction. The members of Davao Central United Methodist Church during its organization includes the following: Engr. & Mrs. Marcelino Advincula, Mr. & Mrs. Teodoro Velasco Sr., Mr & Mrs. Teodoro Velasco Jr., Engr. & Mrs. Florante Bote, Mr. and Mrs. Victoriano Baltazar, Mrs. Mercedes Castro, Mr. & Mrs. Manuel Victorio, Mrs. Ruth Flores, Atty. Leonardo Galima, Mr. & Mrs. Elias Lucero, Mr. Ricardo Lozano, Ms. Leticia Conception, Mr. & Mrs. Restituto Diaz, Mr. & Mrs Conrado Antonio, Mr. Melvin Sales, and Mrs. Simplicia Largo. The first workers were : Rev. Limerio Garibay and Ms. Thelma Mariano. The Rev. Limerio Garibay served in this congregation until l971. An associate pastor in the person of Rev. Rolland French was appointed during the l970 Annual Conference, with Miss Victoria Piggangay as deaconess. During the term of Rev. Limerio Garibay, the main dormitory and the fellowship hall were constructed as a ministry to the students of Davao City. The construction of these two buildings were made possible through a generous donation of the family of the former Mayor Luis Santos.

Davao Central United Methodist Church at the 70’s
The Rev. Conrado Guiang became the administrative Pastor on June 1, l971, together with Ms. Vicky Piggangay and Ms. Mercy Muyco as women workers. Two significant things to be noted in l972 in the life of this church. The pastor, Rev. Conrado Guiang, and Mr. Francisco Bibay, a member of this church represented the Mindanao Annual Conference to the General Conference of the United Methodist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, last April 16-28, l972. It was also during this conference year that the parsonage of the church was constructed and later the Baltazar dormitory . Ms. Miriam Nacario was the deaconess during the 1972-73 conference year. In l973-74 Miss Israel served as a woman worker, which was followed by Ms. Mercy Muyco l974 until 1979. Before the termed of Rev. Conrado which ended May of l979, a motorcycle was acquired for the pastor’s use.
During the first ten years of this church when physical and spiritual growth needed a strong leadership, Mr. Teodoro Velasco Sr. as Chairperson of the Administrative Board from l967 to l977, provided the lay leadership.
The Rev. Conrado Guiang was succeeded by the Rev. Luviminda G. Domingo in l979, who served for one year. The frontage of the church building was constructed.

The Central Church during the 80’s
The Rev. Benjamin Soriano served the church as pastor from l980 until l984. With his leadership the concrete fence around the church compound was constructed, a Yamaha electronic organ was purchased and a second hand underwood typewriter was acquired.
Children’s ministry is a priority of our church program. Mrs. Ester Rufino who was appointed to work in our church as deaconess from l980 to l991 provided the caring and teaching ministry of the Lord through our Methodist Learning Center. This Kindergarten school of our church caters mostly to the poor children in our community, and at times some were given scholarship to families who are really very poor.
The Rev. Josue Guzman was appointed to served this church in l984 until l987 when he was appointed to the Superintendency of the Mindanao East District. Under his leadership the church continued to grow in membership and in its financial resources. The church budget went up overshooting the budgeted amount. Reserved fund for building fund construction/improvement was established, conference apportionment increased and kindergarten school facilities improved through the innovative efforts of Mrs. Esther Rufino. An ECLOF loan of twenty thousand pesos was secured from the NCCP for the construction of a dormitory.
A new leadership emerged with the appointment of the Rev. Francisco Bilog in l987. The Rev. Bilog administered both the Davao Central UMC and the First UMC congregations. In l988 he was given an associate pastor for the First United Methodist Church in Obrero in the person of the Rev. Delfin Andres.
With encouragement coming from Bishop Jose Gamboa Jr, the Methodist in Davao City envisioned the putting up of a cathedral in the heart of Davao to be the seat of United Methodism in Mindanao. This will not only be a house of worship, but will include offices for the officials of the church in the area and offer facilities that will cater or minister to the various needs of the people.
A Cathedral Committee was created to plan and bring the vision of a Cathedral to reality. Its first meeting was held on June 21, l987, where Engr. Emmanuel Sola was elected chairperson. The Cathedral Committee embarked on fund raising campaigns, the first of which was the Granadosin Brothers Concert held at the Central Bank Auditorium of Davao City last October 3, l987, which netted the amount of P123,000.00.
On September l987 a new one-door apartment dormitory was constructed beside the Baltazar dorm using the ECLOF loan from NCCP and subsidized by the local church building fund.
During the summer of l988, the pastor of this church, the Rev. Francisco Bilog represented the Methodist of Mindanao to the General Conference of the United Methodist Church in St. Louis, Missouri, USA.
During the middle part of l988 the UMYAF felt the need for a comfort room for the church, so by October of that year they built a two door comfort room beside the church building.
In the Annual Conference of l989, the Rev. Francisco Bilog was appointed to the superintendency of the Mindanao South District. He was the second pastor who was serving the Davao Central UMC when appointed to the superintendency.

Davao Central Church During the 90’s
The Rev. Noe Valderama was appointed pastor of this church last l989. With his inspiration the church budget continued to increased to P225,000.00 and the church membership also continued to grow. In June of l991, an associate pastor was assigned to work with Rev. Valderama in the various ministries of the church, in the person of the Rev. Mario Pegalan. Also this year, two church worship services were being conducted. The Cebuano service which is conducted at 7:30 in the morning and the English service at 10:00 in the morning. A regular mid- week prayer meeting was also held every Wednesday at the church
The vision for the Cathedral continued to inspire the Methodist people of Davao City. They strongly supported fund-raising programs such as: Agape Meal, Sacrificial Meal and Musical Concert. The architectural design of the cathedral was made by Mr. Manuel Victorio.
Last November 18, l990, the cornerstone for the cathedral was laid in the proposed site and which also coincided with the Thanksgiving anniversary of the church of which Miss Doris Garrett was the speaker. Bishop Jose Gamboa Jr., resident Bishop of the Davao Episcopal Area, led in the ceremony assisted by Atty. Daniel E. Gadia, CUMC Administrative Board chairperson, Engr. Emmanuel Sola, Cathedral Committee chairperson and the Rev. Noe C. Valderama, CUMC Administrative Pastor.
In December 20, l991,the local chapter of the United Methodist Young Adult Fellowship donated a Weinstein Cur vex piano to the church. In February 21,l992 a Toyota Jeepney was bought in the amount of P80,000.00 as a service for the church various ministries.
On Nov. 30- Dec. 1, l991 the church celebrated its Silver Anniversary with much thanksgiving and vision for the next twenty five years.
It must also be noted here that the lay leadership which provided stability and growth during the decade of the 80’s was provided by Atty. Daniel E. Gadia who served as chairperson of the Administrative Board from l977 to l991.
A changed of workers were effected during the month of June of l992 when the Rev. and Mrs. Francisco Bilog were re-appointed as pastor and deaconess of this church. Under their leadership the membership roll continued to grow and its finances over-shot the approved budget at the end of each conference year.

During the middle of l992, the Visayan service was converted to an English early service to serve a wider community. The Wednesday prayer meeting continued and a vesper service was started every Sunday evening.

A systematic program of fund raising for the Cathedral was undertaken during the middle l993 Conference year. The construction of the Cathedral was planned by phases and continues as God provides us with funds. On November 15, l994, the construction of phase 1 started and completed on April of l995 with Mr. Manuel Victorio as the constructor. The construction for phase 2 started May 15, l996 and was completed September 15, l996. For this to be done the old church was demolished during the month of May and so our worship service was transferred to the new building last June 2, l996. Church members and friends have continued to support us with their second and third mile giving. We know their is no regret on their part for it is always a joy to serve the Lord specially when it is for God’s mansion.

Our local church hosted for the first time the East Mindanao Philippine Provisional Annual Conference last April 19-24, l994 with success. During the summer months of l994 and l995 we also hosted the School for Christian Youth Development. At the start of l994 Conference year we envisioned to revive Calinan UMC with a financial support of two thousand pesos monthly to support the worker. A full time pastor was assigned as missionary worker in the person of Pastor and Mrs. Edison Umayam which was followed by Pastor Abraham Perazol.

Lay leadership of the local church during the 90’s were provided by the following as chairperson of the Administrative Board: 1991-1993 by Atty. Bienvenido Mariano, and from 1993 to the present Mr. Benedicto Cruz, who is also the annual conference CFA chairperson.

Our local church also provided clergy and lay leadership in the district and Annual conference level. To mention a few:
Mr. Benedicto Cruz was elected as CFA chairperson for l993- l996;
Rev. Francisco Bilog served as C.O.M. chairperson for l993-l996; Chairperson
BOOM 1993-1996, 1996-present.
Miss Franelli Pableo as Conference Secretary for l993-l996 and EMPPrac
UMYAF president l993-l995; EMPAC Treasurer 1996- present
Miss Dana Pascua was elected president of the EMPPraC UMYF l995- 1997;
Mr. Virgilio Rosario became the EMPPrAc UMYAF president l995- 1997;
Mrs. Fidela L. Bilog is serving as District Chairperson for the District Board
of Pension and Chairperson of the Deaconess Service of EMPPrAC 1993-
Rev. Dave Pascua, Chairperson on EMPAC Council on Ministries 1996-2004,
Ms. Librada Lozano, EMPAC CFA Chairperson, and WSCS District President.

During the l996 General Conference three persons from our church were Elected to serve in three general agencies of the United Methodist church. The Rev. Francisco Bilog was elected to the General Board of Global Minis¬tries; Ms. Franelli Pableo to the General Council on Ministries and Miss Evelyn Diaz to the Youth on Focus, a special program under the General Council on Ministries. They will serve in these agencies representing the Philippine Church for the 1996-2000 quadrenium.

Two significant projects were undertaken by our church during the Conference Year l996: the “Bahay Dalangpanan” which give scholarship and material help to poor children in Davao city and an Agro-forestry project at Lepara, Magsaysay, where a ten hectare land was bought and planted with mangoes and mahogany trees.
June 1, l997 marks the beginning of another mission field for this church. She has turned her attention to Toril, a fast growing district of Davao city, as her mission field. Mrs Dinah Serrano was appointed as mis¬sionary to Toril. This church budgeted financial support and extended personnel service to this work. The decision to transfer our mission work in Toril was the failure to revived the church in Calinan which we have supported for 4years.
Gen. and Mrs. Jose Proceso Torrelavega permitted Mrs. Dinah Serrano to put up a small structure in their compound last July 1997 which served as a classroom for 15 pupils that attended weekday early childhood class that started last August 7, 1997.

A worshipping congregation started to worship in Toril last January 10, 1999, meeting at the residence of Mrs. Caridad Reinante. During the month of February 1999 a multipurpose building was built at a lot of about 300 square meters promised to be donated by the family of Mrs. Caridad Reinante. The building serves as a sanctuary and a classroom of the weekday pre-school program of the congregation. The lot has been surveyed and the donation papers is being processed.
The third phase of the Cathedral construction started last Nov. 10, l997 which completed the roofing during the early part of January 1998. The construction of the church slowly continued without let-up until the month of October 1999. Thus the window grills was up, followed by the cross steeple, finishing of the walls of the first and second floor. The gifts that we received from GBGM in the amount of $5,000.00 made it possible for us to build function guest rooms, kitchen, rest rooms and the ramp stairway during the month of March. While the gift in the amount of $5,000.00 that we received from the Chicago Temple UMC was used to put-up the altar, with a ceiling during the month of September and October 1999. The Fall meeting of the GBGM Board of Directors last October 1999 approved a budget in the Mission Opportunities the amount of $30,000.00 for the construction of the Cathedral. Meanwhile the church continues to raised enough funds to complete the construction.

We supported three pre-theological scholars since 1997, Jan-Jan Porquillo, Ike Pama, and Melvin Serrano. We are blessed that 5 clergy of EMPAC under special appointment or retired decided to make our church as their membership. They Revs. Josue Guzman, Dave Pascua, Delfin Andres, Hector Guzman, Mario Pekilan, while the Rev. Leo Soriano are also associate members.

Davao Central Church at the Start of the New Millennium
The CY 2000-2001 started with new hopes and dreams. An associate pastor was assigned for Toril worshipping congregation in the person of Jimmy Bigaran with the hope of sustaining the growth of the congregation and meeting the mission opportunities of the geographical area.

The enrolment of the Learning Center in Toril has grown so big that a school building was built from recycled materials from our demolished dormitory. A comfort room for the children was also constructed with the helped of the PTF of the Learning Center. Labor money for the construction came from the second mile giving of the members in the area ands donations from friends.

Several nurturing programs during weekdays were started designed to strengthen and equipped the church for greater mission. The programs includes the following: Tuesday Prayer Meeting; Wednesday evening Koinonia Fellowship; Friday Vesper Service and Prayer and Fasting every first Friday evening till Saturday morning of the month.
For the first time this local church officially endorsed and sent a Candidate for the Ministry to study at the Wesley Divinity School in the person of Melvin Serrano. Our local church budgeted an amount in support for his needs while various individuals and local organizations also promised to help him financially.

The final phase of the church construction also started last October 2000 and continuing till 2001 with the plan of completing the ceiling, the tile flooring, the glass windows, the painting, the stairs and the wall division of the ground floor. As of November 2001 only the painting of the outside wall of the church needs to be done. These constructions are made possible with the loving donations of the following: Engr. Ralph Greene, $1,000.00; Chicago Temple under the leadership of Dr. Eugene Winkler the Pastor, $5,000.00; GBGM, $30,000.00 and the sacrificial giving of the church members.
The year 2000-2001 also manifested increasing awareness of our mission as a church. Several young Professionals responded to the call for cross cultural missionary work and made themselves available through their applications to the GBGM mission personnel. It is our hope and prayer that their application be acted upon soonest.
The Conference Year 2001-2002 could be remembered by the following programs and activities: We acquired 120 new United Methodist hymnals, a donation from our friends from the Chicago Temple United Methodist Church. The hymnals are valued around $1,750.00. We also acquired 100 Holy Bibles now being used during worship services. The church hosted the session of the East Mindanao Philippine Annual Conference last March 21-24, 2002. It was during the Sunday worship of the EMPAC Annual Conference last March 24 that the Central United Methodist Cathedral was finally dedicated to the glory of the Lord.
The conference year 2002-2003 started with a new set of church workers. The Rev. Roberto Ladia was appointed pastor, with Mrs. Elizabeth Manzano deaconess for Christian Education and Mrs. Fidela L. Bilog, deaconess for Kindergarten work. Physical improvement was made with the repair and installation of interlinked wire on the eastern portion of the fence around the church lot. A new computer was also bought from the budget of the kindergarten school. Last November 12, one of the stalwart leader of the local church Atty. Daniel E. Gadia went home to glory which signified the turnover of the leadership from the older folks to the younger ones. This conference year Mr. Virgilio Rosario, a young adult leader was elected chair of the church council.

Church Anniversary and Thanksgiving Celebration
Our thanksgiving Worship today is a festival of faith amidst an on-going global and national crisis that is resulting in financial difficulties, and eroding the moral and spiritual life of society. Thus the theme is very revealing “Celebrate the Faith Amidst Global and National Crisis. Be Thankful Always for this is God’s will for you who belongs to Christ.” (I Thess. 3:18). Our celebration today also marks the 36th local church Anniversary of faith and witness in Davao City. During the past 36 years of our church, it has attained a kind of maturity that resulted in faithful stewardship as seen in the increased of finances every year; the long turnover of church officers and workers; the continuing increased of membership, and our notable contributions to the leadership of Methodism in the district, annual, national and global church.

God has laid down His plans for this church in His kingdom building. The faithful and witness of this church in the coming years are limitless. God looks forward with us for a wider and greater ministry. He is counting on us.

Let us step-out with Him as he leads us, and let us serve Him with our best, that is, our life and our all. AMEN.
(Rev. Francisco B. Bilog- November 2002)

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The theme for VCS 2015 is “Creating a Better World for a Better Future”, focuses on the different social issues and on how children can identify ways to be agents of change.
VENUE                                        DATE
Luzon – Wide UMC Tagaytay Mission Camp      February 4-6, 2015
Maglabe Drive, Brgy. Asisan, Tagaytay City

Mindanao Davao Episcopal Mission Center          Feb. 10-12, 2015
Km 3, Matina Davao City

Visayas Asilo de Molo Inc.                                      Feb. 17-19, 2015
Martillas Renewal Center
Avancena St., Molo, Iloilo

For more information please contact the following:

Should you have any queries you may contact us through: een.nccp@gmail.com; 9269760 (office telephone) or 09053948257 (c/o Marge Domoguen).

Program Coordinator for Women and Children
Program Unit on Ecumenical Education and Nurture
Program Secretary
Program Unit on Ecumenical Education and Nurture

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East Mindanao Philippines Annual Conference
Date: March 19-22, 2015
Venue: The United Methodist Church
New Corella, Davao del Norte

Visayas Philippines Annual Conference
Date: March 26-29, 2015
Venue: Galilean United Methodist Church
Barangay Guadalupe, Baybay Leyte

Mindanao Philippines Annual Conference
Date: April 9-12,2015
Venue: Branscomb Memorial United Methodist Church
Spotswood Methodist Mission Center, Kidapawan City

Bicol Philippines Provisional Annual Conference
Date: April 16-19, 2015
Venue: First United Methodist Church, Naga City

Northwest Mindanao Philippines Annual Conference
Date: April 23-26, 2015
Venue: The United Methodist Church
Sta. Cruz, Plaridel, Zamboanga del Norte

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HIV & AIDS Network News – UMC #GivingTuesday, Dec. 2

Susan Burton, General Board of Church and Society

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Top 5 Dangers That Disqualify a Church Leader


When the leadership of a minister is injured by any of these, whether they can be restored or not, the effectiveness of the ministry is jeopardized.

I was recently asked the question:

What are the dangers that disqualify church leaders from leadership in the church?

Great question. The one who asked the question had a purpose. Thankfully, it was that this young church leader wanted to avoid them if possible. I love the intentionality.

I had to think back over my years in church leadership and some of the situations I’ve seen that derailed a ministry leader’s ability to lead.

While the term “disqualify” may not always fit—I may even prefer the word “sidetrack” because I believe God’s grace can restore—even those in ministry, certainly each of these can keep a leader from leading at full capacity.

I chose, based on the question I received, to stick with the term “disqualify.” As strong as the word is, there certainly are times that is the case.

When the leadership of a minister is injured by any of these, whether they can be restored or not, the effectiveness of the ministry is jeopardized.

These are the type of dangers that, if the leader doesn’t seek help, improve as a leader or renew their passion for ministry, he or she may never be completely effective in ministry, and may even lose their position in ministry.

Here are five dangers that disqualify a church leader:


Immorality has destroyed many great leaders. Don’t let it happen to you.


When you lose the ability to be trusted, you distance yourself from people who are willing to follow. Don’t let it happen to you.


If you aren’t willing to give your best, pretty soon you’ll have nothing worth following. Don’t let it happen to you.


Ministers who take advantage of flexible work schedules or less structured accountability to work less are eventually discovered. Don’t let it happen to you.


When you don’t care, neither will the people you’re trying to lead. Don’t let it happen to you.

God can restore. He does restore. I believe you can move forward after any of these dangers.

The more you protect yourself from these dangers, however, the stronger and longer your tenure in ministry will be.

What dangers would you add that disqualify a church leader?  

Ron Edmondson Ron Edmondson is a pastor and church leader passionate about planting churches, helping established churches thrive, and assisting pastors and those in ministry think through leadership, strategy and life. Ron has over 20 years business experience, mostly as a self-employed business owner, and he’s been helping church grow vocationally for over 10 years.More from Ron Edmondson or visit Ron at http://www.ronedmondson.com/

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Throwback: DAVAO CITY FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH (Brief History as of 2007)

(Brief History 2007)

The birth of Methodism in Davao City started in the early 1950’s with the coming of some Methodists from Luzon as land settlers, business men, and private or government employees.
As early of May 1951, there were several Methodist families in Davao City; among them are the families of Mr. & Mrs. Jose Collantes, Provincial Treasurer of Davao Province, Atty. & Mrs. Ramon Saura, President of a Rural Bank, Mr. & Mrs. Castro Lardizabal, manager of Star life Insurance, Mr. & Mrs. Constant Bringas, Mr. & Mrs. Leslie Pascua, Mr. & Mrs. Sanvictores, Miss Mercedes Castro, Mr. Pablo Galdones, and Mr. Paraso. On the initiative of Miss Mercedes Castro, a former deaconess, and Mrs. Ramon Saura, they started worshipping together and took turns hosting the Sunday services. On October 21, 1952 they organized themselves as a worshipping congregation at the home of Mr. & Mrs. Jose Collantes with 23 people. On the same year the Rev. Curran L. Spottswood bought eight lots in Bo. Obrero for the Methodist church in Davao City.
The Rev. Vicente Rosete was appointed to Davao City on March 1, 1953 by The Northwest Philippines Annual Conference, meeting in San Nicolas Pangasinan presided by Bishop Jose Valencia. It was the Rev. Felix Gorospe who got acquainted with the Methodist worshipping congregation in Davao City. On August 23, 1953 he organized the First Methodist Church in Davao City. The elected officers were Mr. Leslie Pascua as Chairperson, Mrs. Ramon Saura, Secretary and Treasurer, and Miss Mercedes Castro as spiritual adviser. The Rev. Vicente Rosete and Mrs. Gertrudes was the first pastor and woman worker of the newly organized church. The Northwest Philippines Annual Conference recognized the Davao City First Methodist Church during its annual session the following year.
During the middle part of 1954 a group of young American Work campers led by the Rev. David Williams came to Davao City and built a chapel and a parsonage in Bo. Obrero for the Davao City Methodist congregation.
In November 24, 1966, the Davao City First Methodist Church under the leadership of the Rev. Limerio Garibay gave birth to its first daughter church, the Davao City Central Methodist Church.
In 1979 through the initiative of the Rev. Juan Riingen and Miss Febe Pidut, now Mrs. Febe Perasol the Day Care program of the church for children became a more formal Pre-School education under what was then known as Twinkle Star Learning Center that offered nursery and kindergarten classes.
In 1988, our church embarked on building a sanctuary that replaced the old church building to accommodate the growing membership of the congregation. The new church sanctuary was completed at the cost of Php. 1.4 million and was dedicated to the glory of God in 1990.
In 1988 our church decided to support the mission work in Panabo City under the leadership of Mrs. Ester Campos, the appointed church worker. With the Lord’s blessing her labors bore fruit that a Methodist congregation was organized into a chartered local church on March 10, 1990. In 2001 our church continued to support this young congregation by helping them raised funds for a church lot and build a beautiful sanctuary and a parsonage which was completed at the cost of Php. 2.1 million and was dedicated on November 28, 2001. Our local church considers Panabo City United Methodist Church as her second daughter church.
In May 1991 the church started the construction of the two story UMSD school building which continued by God’s grace until it was completed in 1998, which paved the way for the UMSD to offer a complete pre-school and elementary education. The incorporation of UMSD on March 1997 facilitated the approval and government recognition of its pre-school and elementary education.
In 1998 the gymnasium was constructed that gave the local church opportunity to offer more services to the community.
All through the years our local church shared good and dedicated clergy and lay leadership to the district, annual, national and the general church. Example of these includes the following: Rev. Francisco Bilog was a delegate to the UMC General Conference at St. Louis Missouri in 1988 and delegate to the UMC General Conference at Pittsburgh in 2004. He also served as a member of the Board of Director of the General Board of Global Ministries for eight years, from 1996-2004. Mrs. Jeanne Deocampo was also elected delegate to the UMC General Conference in 1996. Dr. Rody Lucero was an alternate lay delegate to the General Conference in 2000 and 2004. She was also appointed member of the Board of Director of the General Board of Higher and Ordained Ministry since 2000 to the present. Mr. Victoriano Lozano was also elected as annual conference lay leader in 2004 and is also the elected lay delegate of our conference to the coming General Conference on April 2008 at Fort Worth Texas, USA.
Today the First United Methodist Church of Davao City continues to nurture and build her own fellowship, improve its facilities, develop a strong lay leadership and increase its membership. As a vital Methodist congregation our local church continues to relevantly proclaim the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and express God’s love through her various ministries. A free Medical and Dental clinic to the poor has become a yearly activity. We continue to give scholarship to candidates for the ministry studying at Southern Philippines Methodist Colleges, Mindanao Methodist Bible School and the Wesley Divinity School. Our scholars the past years included the following: Edison Umayam Jr., Daisy Villegas, Rosemie Laman, Romeo Salutan, Kevin Nebran, Eleonor Tumale, Melvin Serrano, and Ike Pama.
The United Methodist School of Davao continues to become competitive in offering quality education affordable to the poor families in Davao City. Our school also continues to give scholarship to poor and qualified pupils. Our local church facilities continue to serve local, district, and annual conference gatherings. The FUMC Task force looks forward the next few years to helping Compostela United Methodist Church build a bigger sanctuary and a parsonage.
As a vital and relevant Methodist Congregation, the FUMC constituency looks forward in mission to birthing another daughter for the honor and glory of God.
( Dec. 2, 2007, FUMC)

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Deut. 28:1-6; I Cor. 4:1-5; Matthew 22:36-40, 28:18-20

From our birth we write three books. The first is the book of the past. That book we have already completed. The second book is that of the present. We are now writing the last pages of this book for 2007 and soon we will finish the final chapter. The third book is the book of the future which has not been written yet. The key to this book is in the hand of God. So throughout life we write three books.
It is always good to pause, recall, remember and reflect what we have written on the pages of the book of the past of our local church. I am sure and believe that we have developed our spiritual life zealously and written a good book.

First, as Christians let us be grateful for what God has done in and through us.

As Christians we are God’s workers. Being faithful means obeying the word of God. In the center of our heart we have to instill the word of God and follow it. Even though we are not perfect and even though sometimes we are unfaithful to God, in spite of this, God still bestows grace and blessings on us. Personally and family-wise God has been with us and we have to be grateful for that.
Now what have written in the book of history of the FUMC?
We have two daughter churches, the first was born on November 24, 1966 named Davao City central United Methodist Church, and the second was born on March 10, 1990 with the name of Panabo City United Methodist Church. Only two daughters church for the last 55 years? The Christians church is to be prolific and pro-life and therefore expected by our Lord to have more daughter church, for that is what the Church of Jesus Christ for. Remember the Great Commission of our when he commission us to “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the command I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Mtt. 28:18-20.
Of course we are already 55 years old, does that mean that we have already reach our menopausal age? Or does it mean that we have already matured, strong, stable and therefore more prepared and ready to embark unchartered areas of birthing more daughter churches? It is my faith and my hope that this is so.
In the ministry of teaching our church converted in 1979 our Day Care program for children into a more formal Pre-School education under what was then called Twinkle star Learning Center. Our teaching ministry grew and expanded to primary and elementary education under what everybody knows as the United Methodist School of Davao. The future of UMSD is unlimited, the future is green and the Lord is with us in this ministry, for he has promised us “be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Mtt. 28:20.
FUMC Task force was also established with the ministry of helping young churches to procure church lot and build their sanctuary and parsonage.
We have shared our dedicated and committed lay members to servant leadership in our district, annual conference, national conference and our global church. For that nature of our church to continue we are doing our best to train our younger generation in our faith community.
We have seen the wisdom of helping children and young people who are poor but deserving to pursue their education. Thus we have established a strong scholarship program in United Methodist School of Davao, Mindanao Methodist Bible School, Southern Philippines Methodist Colleges, Wesley Divinity School and other personal scholarship in the schools in Davao City.
Of course in making disciples we have done our personal best to bring people to Christ and his church. Proof of this is the growing membership of our faith community here in Obrero.
For all of these fruits of the Spirit of God in and through and many more not mentioned, we offer to God our thanks and our praises.

Second, we should not be negative in judging our past.

Sometimes people tend to misjudge themselves and their ability when people around them have negative attitudes. We are likely to be influenced by that negative attitude.
When Mrs. Ramon Saura and Miss Mercedes Castro started gathering Methodists in Davao City for prayer, Bible study and Sunday worship they were advised and discouraged by others, saying “The Methodist Church and the UCCP are no different, putting up a Methodist group is a separatist spirit.” This attitude was manifested in Tagum when the family of the Rev. Calixto Garibay, the appointed District Superintendent of the Eastern Mindanao district of NWPAC, was coming down from the boat they took from Luzon, several former Methodist from Luzon were holding placards ‘There are no Methodist Here!” Had the two women of old and had D.S. Garibay succumbed to the negative responses of the people then, we would have Methodist Church in the Davao provinces.
One of the elders of our church was criticized severely for selling one of the eight lots here in Obrero in order to build the first Twinkle Star Learning Center building. He was acting from an inspiration he saw of a flourishing children’s ministry in Switzerland through formal pre-school education catering to the poor immigrants. Have he feared their criticism we would not have our elementary institution today. We should judge our past more positively. Even if we have made mistakes and have failed, we should be positive.
When Bishop Jose Gamboa Jr. proposed a Cathedral in Davao City and wanted the two congregations in to be housed in that one big sanctuary, we responded by building this present sanctuary changing our small old church.
If we have failed to have more daughter churches for the last 55 years, we now know that we can be more prolific and pregnant future children, as God open opportunity for us in the coming years. We believe in the words of Paul in Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through him who gives me strength.” We believed that because we had faith in God we could achieve great things for God.
Dear brothers and sisters, we should listen to the words of God and not underestimate ourselves. We must not be negative but with a positive attitude attain success in our church and in our life.

Lastly, let us look at the coming new year of our church and make it a successful one.

Philippians 1:6 says, “…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Christians should work hard and the praise will come from God. Let us work hard so that God will say “Well done” to us.
Our motto this year is “In Mission together for Christ and the World with Open Mind, Open Heart and Open Door.” This is a reminder for all of us that we have a mission as a church of Jesus Christ embodied in the Great Commandment and the Great Commission of our Lord. We have to preach the gospel of Jesus, make disciples and teach them to obey the will of God. In order to succeed in this mission we have to do it with an open mind, open heart and open door and motivated and powered by our love to God and our fellow human kind.
The coming years to come that God bestows upon us and our church, open many opportunities for us to obey the great commandment of God and fulfilling the Great Commission given to the community of the Christian faith.
We can make up for what we have failed to do. Our life and our mission depend much on us. We must take our opportunity and make it a successful one. If we are faithful in our life, obey God’s word and follow his guidance and direction, we will be blessed by God and many others too will be blessed in and through us to eternal life.
Let us press on then with faith and with courage, to take hold of the opportunities that God will give to all of us Christians especially the constituency of the First United Methodist Church of Davao City.
(FUMC Anniversary 2007- Message: Rev. Francisco Bilog)

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Grants Available to Spark Creative Vital Congregation Growth

Grants Available to Spark Creative Vital Congregation Growth

Steve Horswill-Johnston


Discipleship Ministries Communications Office
Steve Horswill-Johnston, Executive Director
(615) 340-1726 (O) (615) 429-3431 (C)

Grants Available to Spark Creative Vital Congregation Growth

NASHVILLE, Tenn. Nov. 18, 2014  /Discipleship Ministries/  – Grants totaling $200,000 are now available from Discipleship Ministries to encourage local churches, annual conferences and central conferences to experiment with innovative and creative approaches to growing vital congregations.

The grants seek to spur quantifiable growth in worship attendance, professions of faith, small groups, mission engagement and missional giving.

“Offering these experimentation grants across the connection hopefully will nurture more creativity among our church leaders to seek ways to grow grace-filed Christ followers through worship, small groups, mission and stewardship,” said Dr. Timothy L. Bias, General Secretary (chief executive) of Discipleship Ministries. “Our hope is that these innovative efforts to increase vital congregations will result in more opportunities for people to grow in discipleship in and through The United Methodist Church.”

Underwritten by the Connectional Table’s World Service Contingency Fund, the grants are part of a churchwide effort to increase the number of highly vital congregations 15 percent by 2016.

The experimental funds are being offered to help any local church, annual conference or central conference develop new projects or events to inspire vital congregation growth.

The grant application asks these questions:

•    What are the outcomes of the event/project? How will you measure them?
•    How will the event/project assist in the development of vital congregations, within the context of the church’s four areas of focus – raising up principled leaders, new places for new people, ministry with the poor and global health concerns?
•    Describe how the event/project assists in the development of vital congregations through the process of carrying out our mission found in paragraph 122 of the Book of Discipline?

To obtain a grant application, contact Jeffrey Campbell, Director of Annual Conference Relationships at Discipleship Ministries, at jcampbell@gbod.org.

The grant application deadline is Jan. 30, 2015.

The mission of Discipleship Ministries is to support annual conference and local church leaders for their task of equipping world-changing disciples. An agency of The United Methodist Church, Discipleship Ministries is located at 1908 Grand Ave. in Nashville, Tenn. For more information, visit http://www.gbod.org, the Press Center at http://www.gbod.org/about/press-center or call the Communications Office at (877) 899-2780, Ext. 1726.

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12 Simple Rules on What to Wear, What Not to Wear: UMC Edition

12 Simple Rules on What to Wear, What Not to Wear: UMC Edition
by Taylor Burton-Edwards
I recently received a request on the UMC Worship Facebook group for some simple, straightforward guidance about clergy vestments in the United Methodist Church.

I came up with the list below..

12 Simple Rules for Most Cases

1. Don’t wear purple clergy shirts unless you are a bishop. See #10 below.
2. Unless you’re ordained in the UMC, don’t wear a stole, and make sure the stole you do wear is the right one for your office (deacon or elder, including bishops). Diaconal ministers who received a diaconal stole at their consecrations may also continue to wear the stole, under the provisions of the ordinal under which they were consecrated. See also #12 below.
3. The alb is the “preferred” clergy garment (per The UMC Ordinal). This is in part because the alb may be worn by clergy and laity alike. It is a basic baptismal garment. The stole, not the alb or robe, is the sign of ordination.

4. We tend not to “do” cassocks for clergy. This is because the cassock was basically a monastic vestment for use in praying the daily office. While we do have a couple of related religious orders (Order of Saint Luke, Order of St Brigid of Kildare), most of our congregations don’t have “daily office” services. This doesn’t mean you can’t wear a cassock if you wish, but it does mean most of our folks won’t know what it is (they might think it’s a choir robe—see #5) or why you’re wearing it, and you’re likely not to have many occasions to wear it for the purpose for which it was designed.

5. Choir vestments come in a variety of forms. Some are cassock and surplice, others are basically robes/gowns. We have no rules about which style your congregation should use.
6. Most of our clergy do not use the chasuble. If you choose to use it, remember it’s a garment primarily for use during the Great Thanksgiving. You’d probably want to put it on as part of preparing the Table during the collection of the offering, then leave it on through the Sending.
7. Depending on how your alb fits, you may or may not need a cincture. For us, the cincture is more functional than symbolic. If you don’t actually need it to “gather” or hold together your alb, you don’t need to use one. If you do use one, you can either go “white/flax” year round or use cinctures that coordinate with the color of the day/season.
8. We have no special designation about who may wear a pectoral cross. They may be given to persons being commissioned (the uniquely United Methodist ritual inaugurating provisional membership prior to ordination), but laity may wear them, too.
9. The scapular may be worn over the alb by anyone, lay or clergy. The scapular is not a sign of any office, but rather a sign of being a “worker” in the kingdom of God. (It derived from aprons monks would use to help collect what they were harvesting in the fields). The scapular may or may not coordinate with the color of the season. Scapulars are not a kind of “mini-chasuble,” nor a replacement for a stole (if you are ordained) or chasuble (if you are the presider).
10. Bishops in the United Methodist Church have no special liturgical vestments. They are elders who are additionally consecrated for their episcopal role. They do get an episcopal shield/sign that may be sewn onto their alb or robe. There are also some stoles that include the episcopal insignia. Remember, the clergy shirt is not a liturgical vestment– it’s a work garment.
11. Let context help you decide whether to wear a clergy collar. I’ve found in Africa and some parts of Europe, most of our clergy wear the clergy collar most of the time. I’ve seen it more in the Philippines than in other parts of Asia. It’s generally less common among United Methodist clergy in the U.S., but fine to do where it makes sense in your context. Especially if you look young or are female, you may find wearing the collar reduces questions about why you’re there in hospitals, jails, prisons, and other institutions. There seems to be a fairly even distribution of those preferring “tab” or “full” (Anglican) collar style. Use what works best for you in your context.
12. All clergy– whether appointed local pastors, provisional members, or ordained deacons and elders– may wear clergy collars in The United Methodist Church(or choose not to!). Only ordained deacons and elders (including bishops) should wear the stole, and then only the stole appropriate to their office.
The stole is a sign of ordination, and it is placed on the shoulders of elders and deacons at ordination. The stole should be worn only by the ordained clergy. The new provisional services for ordination suggest the following:

For deacons — a stole over the left shoulder and fastened under the right arm at the hip.
For elders — a stole yoked at the back of the neck and hung straight down from the shoulders.
Stoles are of varied widths and colors and textures. The colors change with the liturgical colors of the church year.

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5 New Ideas From GBOD

Google Translations: Spanish | Korean | German | French | Portuguese

Every month we send you just 5 ways you can better equip Vital Congregations and make disciples of Jesus Christ. Here’s this month’s issue!

Idea 1Experience the Christmas story in a fresh and transforming way. Participate in Taste and See, The Upper Room’s 2014 online Advent eRetreat, beginning Nov. 30 through Dec. 27. Engage your imagination and become a part of the events surrounding the birth of the Christ child. This eRetreat includes a live session with author Jan Johnson, audio recordings of scripture passages, video introductions to each week’s theme, a guided group discussion and more. The cost is $50. For more information and to register, go to http://elearning.upperroom.org/events/160.

Idea 2Learn more about serving special needs children and families. Participate in a one-hour, interactive webinar on Nov. 18 led by Melanie Gordon of Discipleship Ministries and Elizabeth Christie of the New York Annual Conference. The webinar will present a broad overview of children and families who come with special needs and will offer tips for setting up classrooms and activities so that everyone is successful and engaged. For more information and to register, go to http://bit.ly/1Elvy4L.

Idea 3Register early for YOUTH 2015 and get a reduced rate. Registration begins on Nov. 24 for YOUTH 2015, the national event for United Methodist youth in grades 6 through 12 and their leaders next June 24-28 in Orlando. With a 25 percent deposit per person, youth leaders can register their groups at the early bird rate of $420 each, which includes four nights lodging and dinner three nights. The event will feature major concerts each night, special speakers and an event-wide focus on John Wesley’s “means of grace.” For more information and to register, go to www.youth2015.com.

Idea 4Learn about the best practices for church planting. The United Methodist Church has engaged in a new wave of church planting since 2008. Over these years, we have learned that certain best practices seem to produce more fruit as we find leaders, equip them for effectiveness, plant new communities of faith and multiply. To learn from this list of 23 practices, read more at http://bit.ly/1nZx5vg.

Idea 5Begin the coming church year with a new planning calendar. Pastors, worship leaders and planners, musicians, choirs, committee members, Sunday school teachers and others will use the 2015 Worship & Music Planning Calendar throughout the year. It includes seasons, special days, celebrations and observances from both the church and civil calendars, plus lectionary reading citations for the entire year. To download the free calendar from Discipleship Ministries, go to http://bit.ly/144Upii.

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