Summerland, Dumoy, Davao City
January 16, 2000

Mission is the heart of the church. Central United Methodist Church, Davao city, is a local church with a heart of mission. One of the goal of her mission is to establish local United Methodist Churches in Davao City.

The vision for a local United Methodist Church here in Toril, Davao City, was conceived by the Rev. & Mrs. Francisco Bilog who were then Pastor and Deaconess of the Davao Central United Methodist Church. During the Annual Conference of 1997, Toril was proposed as one of the Frontier Areas of the East Mindanao Philippines Annual Conference, to be sponsored by the Davao Central United Methodist Church and the District Conference. The Mission work covers the district of Talomo, Dumoy and Toril. Mrs. Dinah Serrano was appointed as Missionary to Toril under the Charge Conference of Davao Central United Methodist Church.

The missionary work started with a geographical, physical and statistical survey of the area made by Mrs. Dinah Serrano together with Rev. & Mrs. Francisco Bilog. The goal of the survey was to find a point of entry in order to establish a center for the mission work. God, however, had gone ahead of the survey. He has prepared the way by touching the heart of the Reinante and Torrelavega families to offer us their place located at Summerland, Dumoy, Toril to be the venue of the mission work.

Consultations made with the people of the area resulted in the decision to make education as a priority in the mission work. It also worked as our point of entry into the life of the community. Thus a day care school room was built with materials and labor provided by the Central United Methodist Church at the compound of Gen. & Mrs. Jose Proceso Torrelavega.

As a deaconess-teacher, Mrs. Dinah Serrano surveyed and canvassed pre-school children on nearby subdivisions. Thus in August 7, 1997 a day care class of 13 pupils was formally opened with Php 50.00 monthly donation for the center. Aside from the week-day pre-school school, home visitation, and Bible study was done in the homes of the Day-Care parents and prospect.

On November 28, 1998, during the Charge Conference of the Central United Methodist Church Mrs. Caridad Reinante expressed her intention to donate a 300 square meter lot to the United Methodist Church to be the proposed church lot of Toril local church.
The offer was confirmed by her daughter, Mrs. Virginia Torrelavega and was accepted by the Davao Central United Methodist Church. The lot was surveyed and approved by the Bureau of Land in preparation for the formal donation document to be made by the Reinante family.

A worshipping congregation started to meet for worship last January 10,1999 at the residence of Mrs. Caridad Reinante, with the Rev. Delfin Andres preaching the first sermon. The first congregation that attended the first worship service consisted of the following:
Mrs. Virginia Torrelavega and children, Rev. & Mrs. Leo Soriano and family,
Rev. & Mrs. Delfin Andres and family, Mrs. Juliet Buscagan and children,
Mrs. Terry Sendiong and son, Mrs. Alice Basiliote & Children,
Dr. Shana Rolida, Mrs. Ana Aben
Mrs. Dinah Serrano.
After a month of worshipping at the house of Mrs. Reinante, the congregation have seen the need for a bigger place for worship. During the following month of March 1999, the congregation decided to build a multipurpose building. The Davao Central United Methodist Church, the Parents-Teacher Fellowship of the Day-Care and the Toril congregation shared their resources to put up the present building with the cost of Php 31,000.00.

During the Conference year 1999-2000, the Day Care Center now called Methodist Learning Center enrolled 60 pre-school pupils which increased to 90 with Mrs. Dinah Serrano, Ms. Ma. Crispina Ando as teachers, with Ms.Shirley Buscagan as teacher-aide. The PTF under the leadership of its President Mr. Carlito Saratao made significant contribution to the improvement of the Center. The Rev. Francisco Bilog and Ms. ElizabethManzano conducted weekly Bible Study with the parents of the Learning Center.
In March 14, 1999, the worshipping congregation elected a local council for purpose of guiding and supporting the mission work in Toril. The officers are:
Chairperson- Mrs. Virginia Torrelavega
Vice, Chairperson- Mrs. Letty Andres
Secretary- Ms. Shirley Ann Buscagan
Treasurer- Ms. Dania Soriano
Auditor Mr. David Lastimosa
Workers: Mrs. Dinah serrano
Rev. Delfin Andres
Rev. Leo Soriano

The congregation continued to grow in attendance to include the following: the families of Lachica, Rabaya, Pragados, Barez, Miguel, Ando, Asilum, Ibanez, Onez, Grado, Salavia, Agustins, and Rabut.

Our congregation was honored to have several distinguished lay and Ministers preached in our worship this year. To mention, they are: Rev. Delfin Andres, Rev. Leo Soriano, Ms. Chita Framo, D.S. Mirasol Villalon, DS Pedro Duroon, Atty. Daniel E. Gadia, DS Jonathan Ulpindo, Rev. Josue Guzman. Mrs. Dinah Serrano occasionally preach while Rev. Francisco Bilog on every special event in the life of the congregation.

The Sunday School for children and adults has become a regular Sunday activity. Visitation and Bible Studies on Sunday afternoon are also conducted. Vacation Church school also became a regular summer activity with classes here in Domoy and extension at Alambre Toril.

Our congregation hosted the MED District Planning meeting in June 1999 and MED-UMYAF meeting in July 1999.

The MLC-PTF through their officers under the leadership of its president, Mrs. Rosita Vergara continues to be of great help in the development of the facilities and programs of the school.

During the Conference Year 1999-2000 the congregation was encouraged to develop their mission program and approved a local budget for its support with a substantial financial subsidy from the mother church.

The Davao Central United Methodist being the mother and sponsoring church through the church council is committed to give her presence, moral and financial support until Toril Church can stand on her own to carry God’s missionary work in this part of Davao City.

Today, as we celebrate the first year anniversary of the Toril local worshipping congregation, let us thank God for what He has done in and through people who made our church a living, and vital community of the faith for God’s and honor and glory.

Prepared by Mrs. Dinah Serrano, Toril Missionary Worker
Noted by Rev. Francisco Bilog, DCUMC, Administrative Pastor

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