Once a upon a time, Dionne was traversing the street of San Francisco, California. She stopped by and asked a stranger, “Do you know the way to San Jose?” The stranger then asked her where in San Jose? She replied and stated she wanted to see the Vietnam town. So the stranger directed her to take the 101 south freeway and exit at Story Rd and you will see an Iglesia Ni Cristo chapel on the left and if you go further you will find what you are looking for. Thus, the INC chapel became a magnificent San Jose landmark. Then she informed the stranger that she was born and raised in San Jose. In a flash I was actually in a dream.
In California the Church has 4 Districts; Northeast comprises 22 congregations while Northwest has 20 with 2 upcoming locations. Southwest has 31 locations while Southeast has 12 in California and another 15 situated in Latin American countries. In the US it has over 220 locations divided into 20 Ecclesiastical District. Most of which has a towering edifice that serves not just as a backdrop but as a magnificent landmark. In Canada it grew from 3 to 6 Districts with more than 70 congregations this was according from one of their Supervising Minister Voltaire Tamisin. He attribute this to the dynamic leadership of their Executive Minister Eduardo V Manalo and more specially to the help of God.
INC has exceled in the field of constructing of houses of worship despite the global economic slowdown. From its humble beginnings in Manila, Philippines today it has more than 7,000 chapel congregations from all over the world. These sacred structures have become noticeable in the cities and towns where they are situated. The construction of houses of Worship started during the time of their late Brother Felix Y Manalo and was continued on by Erano G Manalo and in 2007 and 2008 would show that it has completed 1 chapel every week or 4 every month.
Remarkably from 2009 up to the present the number of chapel constructed by the Church administration rapidly grew from 4 to 16 chapel a month including Barangay chapel this according to Mr Bienvenido Manalo; Head of the INC Engineering and Construction Department. It was such an astonishing figure. The Barangay chapel was launched in 2014 and according to Marvin Barrion, Supervising Minister of Misamis Oriental their District benefitted most with 84 landmark Barangay chapel constructed during that span.
The Philippines is prone to typhoon. According to Roel Castillo and Norberto Fabalena, both Supervising Minister of Albay and Cotabato Southeast respectively said they oversaw at least 111 chapels for repair and renovation. They added that after every typhoon they were as instructed by their Executive Minister to ensure that the chapels are all in perfect condition for members to render service and Worship to the Almighty God.
A great true story was shared by Loedito Raagas, District Minister of Danao which also oversee war torn Marawi City. He said that the terrorist siege happened on a Tuesday and members of INC have to be evacuated. Despite the war these member still managed to attend the Thursday Worship Service in Marawi and went back to the evacuation center right after the Church Service. Surprisingly, a chapel in Sacad in Lanao has been dedicated to God while the war is ongoing and dedicated another chapel right after the war at Pikalawag also in Lanao in time for INC’s 104th Anniversary.
On its 104th celebration the Church is also celebrating their 50th in the West. INC Executive Minister led the faithful in dedicating to God a new house of worship starting with the 1 thousand-sitter state of the art chapel in Ewa Beach, Hawaii. Then it dedicated the Oxnard chapel in California, Henderson chapel in Nevada, Copperas Cove chapel in Texas, Detroit chapel in Michigan, Toronto chapel in Canada, Calgary chapel also in Canada and Nagoya chapel in Japan. INC also dedicated a new house of Worship in Highpoint, North Carolina and Cocoa Beach chapel in Orlando Florida.
Incidentally, INC has several super structure in all of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Its magnificence reflect on how INC members value their services to God. Try driving thru Commonwealth Avenue and you will be awed at several INC landmarks, which includes both the Capitol and Commonwealth chapel. Towering above them all is the INC’s Central Temple, which also serves as their main hub.
Wilson Cayago, Supervising Minister for Laguna II said the INC is in high gear when it comes to constructing houses of worship. The Church does multiple construction project in all 108 Districts of INC from all over the world. He added that is self sufficient and has never ever receive nor ask any financial assistance from anyone outside of INC not even from the government. If you attend any INC service he said that INC will always have the same hymns sung and the same lesson taught worldwide on any given Worship day.
Brother Eduardo V Manalo, on his 9th year as Executive Minister of the INC will continue to lead the flock in building more houses of Worship and construct magnificent landmark all over the world all for the Glory of God. ([email protected])