|Design: "God watches
over Manila" 1967 by O.T. Navarra. Courtesy of Manila Adventist Medical
Center. Logo-the choice of the church's logo reflects the core values that
the Seventh-day Adventist Church are committed to. The foundation is the
Bible, the Word of God, shown open since its message must necessary be
read and put into practice. Centered to that biblical message and logo,
is the Cross. Above the Cross and the open Bible is the burning flame of
the Holy Spirit, the message of Truth.
Adventism came into the Philippine
shore in 1905. In August of that year, while in Singapore, Robert A. Caldwell,
a literature evangelist missionary, received a call from the Adventist
world church headquarters in Maryland to go to the Philippines. He arrived
on the same month in Manila. As his ship entered Manila Bay, he fixed his
eyes for the first time on the great walled city with its teeming population.
Seeing this, he was greatly moved and said, "I will sprinkle books and
then like yeast they will begin to work." This was the first ink mark of
a tremendous story that is still being written in the lives of men and
women in the Philippines. This was the beginning of Adventism in the islands
of the Philippines.The work started in Manila with the unselfish efforts
of the first foreign missionaries.
In 1906 the McElhanys and
the Finsters actively continued the work in winning people for the Master
in the Philippines. As fruit of their labors, Central Luzon Mission was
organized to facilitate the gospel work among Filipinos in 1908. Hard work
and dedicated ministry was considered worthwhile when on March 11,1911,
the first Adventist Church in the Philippines was established at Sta. Ana,
Manila. It started with a membership consisting of 12 baptized converts,
including six other Filipinos who were accepted by profession of faith
and four missionaries- the Finsters and Caldwells.Then LV Finster trained
the first three Filipino pastors namely, Bibiano Panis, Leon Roda and Emilio
Manalaysay, who played significant roles in the history of the growth of
Adventism in the islands. They were ordained to the gospel ministry of
the Adventist church in 1919. Panis shared the leadership of the work and
even became the associate editor of Ang Tanglaw (The Lamp), one of the
first evangelistic magazine subscriptions published in the dialect circulated
throughout the country.
The church expanded with
Finster as administrator of the work in Manila; Hay in Vigan, llocos Sur;
Fattebert and Stewart opened the work in Cebu City; and Adams with Jornada
followed up the interests created by the young literature evangelist, Ashbaugh,
in Jaro, lloilo, thus encircling the whole of Panay Island.
Today, there are three unions
overseeing the organized work of Adventists in the Philippines: North Philippine
Union Mission (Pasay City),Central Philippine Union Conference (Cebu City),
and South Philippine Union Conference (Cagayan de Oro City).
The growth of the Adventist
Church in the Philippines is impressive. From 22 members in 1911, it grew
to 13,537 in 1930 to 34,611 in 1950. As Adventists mark 100 years of existence
in the Philippines, the church records a total baptism of 1,012,144.