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Map of The Republic of the Philippines

The Republic of the Philippines

World Convention is currently building a global reference for the  countries and territories where we know there are Christian – Churches of Christ – Disciples of Christ Congregations. Of the 193 United Nations States, the Stone-Campbell Movement exists in 174. This listing includes other nations and territories, numbering 195 countries where there is at least one representation of our churches.

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7,107 islands in the South China and Philippine Seas make up the Republic of the Philippines, covering an area of 300,000 sq km (115,830 sq miles). This island nation presents a unique mix of people and cultures found nowhere else in Asia. The ethnic heritage of the people is 95% Malay; there the nearly 90 native languages but English is the only common language; after nearly 400 years of Spanish colonialism there remains a distinct Latin American flavor but 100 years of American influence means the Philippines is somewhat Americanized.

The original inhabitants of the Philippine islands originated in mainland Asia. These were followed by waves of people from Indonesia and later Malayan peoples. In 1380 the Makdum entered the Sulu archipelago. In 1521 explorer Ferdinand Magellan claimed the islands for Spain and later they were named for King Phillip II. The Spanish imposed some unity on the islands and built haciendas and sugar plantations on the main islands, exerting control until 1898. Following the Spanish-American War control was transferred to the United States which bought the islands and the Filipinos declared themselves independent. In 1935 the US recognized their independence anticipating eventual full sovereignty. With the invasion of Japan in 1942 full independence was delayed until 1946. In 1965 Ferdinand Marcos was elected President and together with his wife, Imelda, ruled as dictator until 1986. Since that time the government has continued to improve the country economically and deal with corruption. There are two legislative bodies which govern the Republic, the Senate and House of Representatives.


90 percent Christians (with 80 percent Catholics and 10 percent Protestants), 5 percent Muslims, 2 percent Folk practitioners, 1 percent Buddhists, 1 percent believers of other faiths (including Hindus and Jews), and 1 percent non-religious.

Stone-Campbell Presence

The Foreign Christian Missionary Society posted Herman Williams (1872-1958) and W.H. (1872-1948) and Elinor (1876-1947) Manna to Manila in 1901. They soon relocated to Laong, others missionaries joined them, and by 1913 had begun several mission stations, hospitals, and a college. By 1922 there were twenty-five missionaries and 9,289 members of the churches. However the Great Depression caused the withdrawal of all but two missionaries by 1932. Japan invaded in 1941 and by 1943 had forced many churches into the union church—the Evangelical Church of the Philippines. After World War II other missionaries came from the United Christian Missionary Society to assist and rebuild. In 1948, the churches joined the United Church of Christ in the Philippines, with one of their own, Enrique Sobrepena, elected as its founding bishop.

In 1926, missionaries Leslie and Carrie Wolfe returned to the Philippines. They had broken with the Foreign Christian Missionary Society over comity agreements and charges of open membership, choosing to be funded by direct support coordinated by the Christian Restoration Association.  They soon organized most of the churches in the Manila area into the Christian Convention that with Filipino leadership of Ligoria Carmona, H.M. Mayor, Faustino Peneyra and others, multiplied to number over ninety churches by 1950. In more recent decades, those churches have seen phenomenal growth with Diego Romulo as leader, now with over 1200 churches and 200,000 adherents. Other missionaries from the Christian Churches/Churches of Christ have worked in the Philippines, planting churches and founding schools and seminaries.

H.G. and Marie Cassell from American Churches of Christ reached the Philippines in 1928, after a George Benson made a brief evangelistic visit there from his work in China. By the 1950’s, over a dozen missionaries were in the country, beginning fourteen schools, like Philippine Bible College in 1948,  for training local ministers. Today churches from those missions now under local leadership number 700 with 40,000 members.

The International Churches of Christ have 22 congregations in the Philippines, including the 2115 member Manila Church.

Clinton J. Holloway
National Profiles Editor
December 2003


Revised by Gary Holloway, December 17, 2013

For further historical reference:

Churches of Christ Around the World, Lynn, Mac, 21st Century Christian Publications, Nashville, TN, 2003.

The History of the Foreign Christian Missionary Society, Archibald McLean, Fleming Revell, 1919.

They Went to the Philippines, Biographical Sketches of Missionaries of the Disciples of Christ, United Christian Missionary Society, Indianapolis, Indiana, no date.

Christianity in the Philippines, A Report on the only Christian Nation in the Orient, Dwight E. Stevenson, The College of the Bible, Lexington, Kentucky, 1956.

Journeying with the United Church of Christ in the Philippines: A History, Norwood B. Tye, United Church of Christ in the Philippines, Quezon City, 1994.

Personal Papers of Norwood and Wilma Tye, Disciples of Christ Historical Society, Nashville, Tennessee.

The Disciples of Christ in the Philippines
, L. Shelton Woods, Discipliana, Spring 1998, Disciples of Christ Historical Society, Nashville, TN.

History of the Philippine Mission, Mark Maxey, Go Ye Books, San Clemente, CA., 1973.

The First Fifty Years, A History of the Direct-Support Missionary Movement, David Filbeck, College Press Publishing Company, Joplin, MO., 1989.

In Search of Christian Unity, A History of the Restoration Movement, Henry E. Webb, Standard Publishing, Cincinnati, OH., 1990. Reprinted Abilene Christian University Press, 2003.

Contact Information

A. National Office

Christian Churches and Churches of Christ in the Philippines

A cappella Churches of Christ

The United Church of Christ in the Philippines

B. Congregational Information

Ambassadors for Christ Philippine Evangelism, Inc.
founded in 1970 by Charles and Florence Littell
P.O. Box 176
Mooresville, IN 46158
Phone: (317) 831-2170

Christians’ Haven, founded by Ken and Angelica Oosting
66 N. Atlantic Ave.
Cocoa Beach, FL 32931
Telephone: (3210 784-6559

Kingdom Ambassadors, Ross and Cheryl Wissman at International Christian College of Manila
P.O. Box 320 Loudonville, OH 44842
Telephone: (419) 994-4347

Pacific Rim Ministries, Darryl and Carol Krause
P.O. Box 151
Kalibo, Aklan 500 Philippines

Philippine Christian Mission
Philippine College of Ministry
P.O. Box 1965
2600 Baguio City, Philippines

Philippine Mission Churches of Christ, work in the Cagayan Valley was begun in 1917 by national worker Faustino Peneyra. The Selby family began PMCC in 1947.
P.O. Box 49
Aparri, Cagayan, Philippines 3515

Philippines Support Team, the Jeff and Julie Metcalf family, and includes Christian Aviation and Radio Ministry
P.O. 417
Plainfield, IN 46168

Pioneers for Christ Philippine Mission, Nemesio and Terry Carbonilla
B.Q.C. P.O. Box 573
Tagbilaran City 6300
Bohol, Philippines
Telephone: 011 63 38 411 4823

The Waray-Waray Project
414 N.W. Highland Drive
Bartlesville, OK 74003

Christ Terraces Mission, Jerry Felipe
P.O. Box 246 Manila
Philippines 1099
Telephone: 0918 8122317

Educating Philippine Indigenous Churches, Conley and Sandy Stephenson
2313 Chesapeake Ave.
Chesapeake, VA 23324
Telephone: (804)545-6741

Open Door Mission, Tito and Sandy Pel
Makati Central Post Office, P.O. Box 4105
Makati, Metro Manila 1283 Philippines

Gospel Fires Mission, Roger Celis (White Fields Evangelism)

God’s Word to Every Home Foundation, International
C/O: Jack and Nancy Blanchett
First Christian Church
P.O. Box 1416
Dodge City, KS 67801

White Fields Evangelism

C. Educational Institutions

Christian Churches and Churches of Christ
Aparri Bible Seminary
Philippine College of Ministry
Philippine Bible Seminary
Manila Bible Seminary
International Christian College of Manila
Bible College of Leyte
Cebu Bible Seminary
Negros College of Evangelism
The Bachelor Degree in Christian Ministry
Mindanao Christian Foundation College

A cappella Churches of Christ
Bethany Bible Institute
Cebu Bible College
Central Bible Institute
Manila School of Evangelism
Maranatha Bible College
Philippine Bible College
Talamban Christian School
Zamboanga Bible College

United Church of Christ in the Philippines
Northern Christian College
Southern Christian College

D. Social Service Ministries
E. Magazines/Periodicals

Christian Churches and Churches of Christ
P.O. Box 83-AC
Cubao, 1109 Quezon City, Philippines
Telephone/Fax: (632) 920-66-99

A cappella Churches of Christ
Philippine Christian Chronicle
P.O. Box 413
Cebu City 6000, Philippines
Telephone: (032) 341-1423
Fax: 0917-256-0694

F. International Ministries

See information above.

Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Global Ministries

G. Conventions/Lectureships/Assemblies/Forums/Conferences
H. Points of Interest