The gathering of God's children in the Far West
started on July 27, 1968

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The gathering of God's children in the Far West
started on July 27, 1968

Looking back at the Church's historic gathering of brethren in the Far West, a precursory event was the visit made by some brethren from Hawaii to the Church's Central Office, then found at the FGR Building in Makati.  The number of brethren in Hawaii was rising.

In their sincere longing for God, for the guidance of the Church Administration, and for their souls' spiritual nourishment they poured their hearts to Brother Erano Manalo. Tearfully, they requested the Executive Minister that a local congregation be established in Hawaii to formalize their being members of the body of Christ and be completely united with the Church Administration.

The answer given to them by the Executive Minister was the same as what the Messenger used to say to brethren with similar requests before: It would be hard because there were not enough ministers then. Moreover, supervision would be difficult because the place is very far.

However, the brethren from Hawaii cried to him and said, "What now, Brother? Are we not going to be saved? We have not been able to worship."  When the Executive Minister heard this, he told them to set devotional prayers and God would make a way if it is His will that a congregational worship service be established in Hawaii-

Moved not only by the great spiritual need of the brethren in America but also by the spirit of prophecy, Brother Erano Manalo then summoned Brother Cipriano Sandoval and Brother Pedro Meimban and told them that it was time to give due attention to the petition of the brethren overseas. He instructed the two ministers to prepare for a long trip to America.

So, on July 27,1968, the Executive Minister, Brother Erano G. Manalo,  along with his small entourage, went to Hawaii. They looked for the brethren and gathered them in a small house at Ewa, Honolulu, and there Brother Erano officiated at the very first worship service of the Church of Christ in the Far West

From Hawaii, the Executive Minister went directly to San Francisco, California. He also gathered the brethren there and in the garage of the  residence of a brother who later served as a head deacon, the Executive Minister officiated at the first worship service in the US. mainland.

Then, the Executive Minister's entourage went to New York and there, Brother Erano Manalo found a family of Church of Christ members, He prayed for them and at the same time he offered their little child to God.

From those days, the Church of Christ has since expanded to different parts of the whole world and various places of worship have been established. This worldwide expansion of the Church of Christ is viewed by independent observers, thus:

"In terms of membership, the growth of the Iglesia ni Cristo since 1914 may be described as astounding. From a handful of adherents during its pioneering years, the membership of the Iglesia ni Cristo has multiplied to millions, its rapid expansion outside the Philippines began on July 27, 1968, when the present Executive Minister, Brother      Erano G. Manaio, opened its first congregation in Honolulu, Hawaii. The seed germinated and grew rapidly. Today, barely 30 years there are more than 600 Iglesia ni Cristo locales and missions outside the Philippines in more than 70 countries and territories, representing more Philippines in more than 70 countries and territories, representing more than 100 different nationalities and ethnic groups. Significantly it even has a congregation in Rome, Italy, near the very heart of the Catholic Church; another in Athens, Greece, and yet another in Jerusalem, Israel the birthplace of Christianity." (p. 214). (Teodoro L. Locsin Jr. "The Iglesia ni Cristo in the 20th Century"  The Philippines Free Press:  The Philippine Century 1900-2000, .©  1999.)

The writer of the quoted article described the growth of the membership of the Church of Christ since 1914 as "astounding. The Church's expansion outside the Philippines has been" rapid." He added that barely 30 years after its overseas expansion began, the Church has established over 600 local congregations and missions outside the | Philippines.


Source: Excerpt from a special report - 27 July 2008
               Church of Christ (Iglesia ni Cristo)
               94 years in the Philippines; 40 years of Overseas Mission

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