Territory of Guam
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Guam is an organized but unincorporated territory of the United States in the northwest Pacific about 2,000 km (1,200 miles) due east of Manila in the Philippines. It is the largest and most southerly of the Mariana Islands (see Northern Mariana Islands). The island was originally settled by Malay-Filipino peoples around 1500 B.C. In 1521 Ferdinand Magellan mapped the island and Spain claimed it in 1565. Following the Spanish-American War administration of the island passed to the United Sates. Captured by Japan in 1941 it was retaken by the United States three years later. The U.S. military installation on the island is one of the most strategically important U.S. bases in the Pacific. The island has an area of 541 sq km (209 sq miles) and a population of 168,000 of which about half are Chamorro, a mixed Indonesian, Spanish and Filipino heritage. Guam enjoys a very high standard of living as a result of the US military spending, procurements and outlays ($1 billion in 1998) tourism (1 million tourists a year), export of fish and handicrafts. Guam continues to develop as the U.S. military presence is slowly subsiding. Due to the 250 year presence of the Spanish there is a large Roman Catholic population as well and many Protestant denominations. With the large presence of military personnel on Guam, particularly after the Second World War, an a cappella Church of Christ made up of soldiers and their families has been meeting in Hagatna since before 1954 with a somewhat transient membership (listed in 2003 at 50). Three additional congregations are found in Hagatna and one in Barrigada. Total membership for a cappella Churches of Christ is about 250. The 2003 Directory of the Ministry for Christian Churches and Churches of Christ in the United States lists on congregation meeting in Guam, the Community Christian Church in Barrigada, under the leadership of R.C. Pel and with a membership of 100.
Clinton J. Holloway
National Profiles Editor
For further historical reference:
Churches of Christ Around the World, Lynn, Mac, 21st Century Christian Publications, Nashville, TN, 2003.
A cappella Churches of Christ:
Web site: http://www.churchzip.com/countrysummary/GQ
Christian Churches/Churches of Christ
Community Christian Church
RT. 15, Yigo, Barrigada, Guam 96921