Our Church’s History
The establishment of the Manila Chinese Baptist Church began with the arrival of American Southern Baptist missionaries to the Philippines. In late 1948, Communist advances in China forced these missionaries to relocate to other countries. Among them were Dr. & Mrs. Winston Crawley, Rev. & Mrs. Max Pettit, Fern Harrington, Dr. & Mrs. Clyde Jowers, Rev. & Mrs. Wesley Lawton, and Theresa Anderson. Because of their fervent desire to share the Gospel to the Chinese, these faithful servants of the Lord dedicated themselves to the overseas Chinese in the Philippines. Most of them were in China for language studies and spoke Mandarin. They read Chinese literature and maintained purity in their doctrinal position. Initial work began in Baguio which led to the establishment of the first Chinese Southern Baptist church, BCBC, on May 29, 1950.
In May 1950, Theresa Anderson moved to Manila with Mrs. Yeh, one of the Chinese-language teachers from Beijing. She began work among the Chinese by first teaching English at Chiang Kai Shek High School. In August, the Max Pettit and Clyde Jowers families joined her, followed by Dr. & Mrs. John Abernathy, veteran missionaries from China, who arrived from Korea. By October, they rented the second floor of the People’s Bank of the Philippines at the corner of T.Pinpin and David Streets in Binondo. This became the first assembly hall and was called the Overseas Chinese Christian Baptist Church. A certain Mr. Co Ching Chuan was invited to oversee the pulpit ministry. The first worship service in Mandarin was held on November 19, 1950 and a week later, Dr. Abernathy led evangelistic services which resulted in several professions of faith by young people. Ministry and weekly services included:
Sunday School / Bible Study Classes (Sunday 9:00 am)
Mandarin Worship (Sunday 10:00 am)
English Worship (Sunday 4:00 pm)
Gospel Preaching (Sunday 7:30 pm)
Prayer Meeting (Wednesday 7:30 pm)
Youth Fellowship (Saturday 7:30 pm)
On July 22, 1951, Ms. Anderson re-organized the YF and started the Youth Training Union (YTU). In November, she returned to the USA for furlough. Ms. Fern Harrington arrived from Dagupan and organized the church choir and started doctrine classes.
The First Baptism
On March 16, 1952, Rev. Clyde Jowers baptized the first five believers. This was followed by a second batch a month later on April 6th, with four ladies. This led to the formal establishment of the Manila Chinese Baptist Church on Easter Sunday, April 13, 1952. Rev. Clyde Jowers served as the first pastor with eleven charter members namely: Mary Lucile Saunders, Virginia Mathis, Tomas Cua Po, You Zu Yin, Jenny Wu, Felomina Yang, Yeh Zhang Li Yun, Li Hui Ling, Helen Wu, Mary Wu, and Betty Sy Chen.
The Church Building
From the People’s Bank on David Street, the church moved to Elcano Street in Binondo. Then on June 1, 1953, it transferred to an upper room in Tokyo Hotel on Ongpin Street corner Rosario Street (now Quintin Paredes). On May 5, 1956, the SB Foreign Mission Board bought a piece of property in the heart of Chinatown, along Tomas Pinpin Street corner Quiñones Street. This is where the church was built and stands to this day.
Construction of the church building commenced in March 1960. The building fund was raised purely by faith as the Holy Spirit moved. Construction work was completed in four months and on July 31, 1960, the first church building was dedicated to the Lord. It was a two-story semi-concrete building with the sanctuary and baptistery on the 2nd floor. The parsonage was later added at the rear of the building in September 1970 and was finished in 90 days at the cost of P73,500.00.
The church was duly incorporated with the SEC on July 3, 1990 and the Philippine Baptist SBC (formerly Foreign Mission Board) resolved in its July 27th meeting to donate the property to the church. The official deed of donation was done on April 19, 1991.
With the coming of the new millennium, the members decided that it was time to rebuild. A bigger building was needed to accommodate the increasing population and ministry. Plans were set forth and by September 2002, the church rented the 2nd floor of the Yutivo Building at 267 San Vicente for its services. The last worship service at the old church building was held on October 3, 2002. That afternoon, the last remaining pews and miscellaneous items were transferred to the rented building. Demolition started on October 28, 2002. Groundbreaking rites for the new building were held on January 7, 2003 at 9AM and the new 8-story building was finished in time for it to be dedicated during MCBC’s 53rd anniversary on April 17, 2005. Today it stands tall in the heart of Chinatown with its blue-lighted cross seen clearly like a beacon in the night sky.
The Pastors and Workers
Rev. Clyde Jowers served as our first pastor for only a few weeks then left for Davao City where he helped establish the Davao Chinese Baptist Church in December 1952. Rev. Ivan Larson and his wife Edith, veteran missionaries to China, came and he took over as our second pastor in May 1952. However, he had to return home to the USA on March 21, 1953 due to health reasons.
On May 21, 1952, Rev. Max Pettit and his wife Ann left for Taiwan. In November of the same year, Dr. John Abernathy and his wife Jewell left for Pusan, South Korea.
Our third pastor, Rev. Wesley Lawton, came with his wife Geraldine on July 12, 1953 and served for a year before leaving on furlough. Theresa Anderson returned from furlough and continued to assist in the ministry.
From 1952 to the end of 1954, other missionaries who came to assist in the initial work included Mary Lucile Saunders, Virginia Mathis, Dr. Frank Lide, Dr. Winston Crawley and others.
On April 11, 1954, charter member Mr. You Zu Yin was appointed as the first deacon with Rev. Wesley Lawton, Dr. Winston Crawley and two other missionaries in the installation committee. Mr. You went to be with the Lord on June 4, 1967.
In 1952, our member, Pablo N.T. Lin, responded to God’s calling and studied at the Philippine Baptist Theological Seminary (PBTS) in Baguio City. He graduated in 1955 and was invited to serve as interim pastor. He left for Hong Kong in 1956.
Another member, Jim Eng Long, who had also responded to God’s calling and finished seminary studies at PBTS, filled in the pastoral vacuum as temporary pastor from April 1957 to January 1958.
In 1960, the church invited PBTS graduate, Pastor Samuel Tsai Chi Ming, as minister. Pastor Tsai was ordained on December 10, 1961 with Rev. James Foster, Rev. Raymond Frame, Rev. Silas Wong, Rev. Cheng Kor, Rev. Pedro Hao, and three other members in the pastoral ordaining committee. Rev. Samuel Tsai served as our fourth pastor for seven years, from 1960 until September 1967. He left to go for further studies at the NW Baptist Seminary in Canada.
On March 4, 1962, the church in its general meeting, accepted Tang Chung Fong (Eunice) and others as members and they were baptized on April 25th. In 1963, she entered the Bible Institute of the Philippines (BIOP now BSOP) and had her practicum in MCBC in April 1965. The church, in its July 25th general meeting, approved and requested her to be its co-worker/partner in the ministry. She served as a Bible woman for four years. In October 1969, she went to Hong Kong Baptist Theological Seminary for further studies.
From October 1966 to 1968, the church invited the President of BIOP, Mr. Hsieh Yi Kuang, and other professors, including Rev. Chen Chong Dao and Rev. Raymond Frame to alternate as Worship Service pulpit ministers.
In August 1968, MCBC invited Rev. Pedro Hao to serve as its fifth pastor. Rev. Hao was one of the first graduates of the PBTS and was the first local Chinese pastor to be ordained. He was ordained at the Baguio Chinese Baptist Church in 1956.
In 1976, MCBC invited then-seminary student Romeo Yu to do pioneering ministry in Grace Park, Caloocan in partnership with Cherith Baptist Church, Singapore. That same year, our member, Phebe Lim, went to study at BSOP. She graduated in 1979 and married Pastor Romeo Yu. By this time, Pastor Yu had established the Caloocan Gospel Point in 1978 and together they served there. In June 1981, he accepted the invitation to serve in Dagupan Chinese Baptist Church (DCBC).
In January 1982, Rev. Pedro Hao resigned and moved to Baguio City to serve at BCBC. On April 11th of the same year, MCBC celebrated its 30th anniversary. Upon the request of DCBC, Pastor Romeo Yu was ordained in MCBC during that event. His ordaining committee included Rev. Robert Nash (President of the Baptist Mission Board), Rev. Vicente Sia, Rev. Raymond Frame, Rev. Johann Lai, Rev. Paul Contento, and Rev. Paul Lee Tan.
MCBC invited Rev. Pedro Hao back to minister in Manila in July 1985. On May 11th of the following year, MCBC installed as deacons: Prof. Chen Bing Sun (d. July 1988), William Te, Johnny Lim, and Jess Cham. The installation committee included Rev. Pedro Hao, Rev. N.T. Lin, Rev. Romeo Yu, Rev. Nicomedes Arellano, Jr., and Rev. Phillip Anderson.
In July 1986, Pastor William Lao accepted the church’s invitation to assist in the ministry. He resigned in September 1989 and moved to Caloocan Christian Baptist Church (CCBC). He returned in February 2000 to assist in various ministries. He resigned in February 2008 to undergo further studies.
Rev. Pedro Hao retired in December 1989 and Rev. Romeo Yu came to serve as our sixth pastor in January 1990 up to this day.
In July 1990, IMB missionary Rev. Donald Crane transferred from Dagupan (where their house was destroyed by the big earthquake) to Makati with his wife Elaine and children, Michael and Rebekah. He joined our church ministry in December of the same year. He moved his family to Quezon City in July 1993 and continued his service with the church. He and his wife started English as a Second Language (ESL) classes for Mainlanders. Many students have come to know of the Gospel through these classes. He and his family returned to the USA in 1999.
In August 1996, Beverly Tomas joined MCBC’s ministry as a Bible woman. She graduated from PBTS in 1994 and had done pioneering work in San Fernando, La Union. She resigned in April 1999 to assist in the ministry of our daughter church, the Caloocan Christian Baptist Church.
In June 2001, Pastor Danny Balete with his wife Adelaine and son Joshua returned to Manila from serving in Davao City. They were invited to join the MCBC family and ministry. Pastor Danny resigned in December 2006.
In 2009, MCBC welcomed two additions to its ministry: Rev Bon Kim Yu joined on February 1st as associate pastor and Pastor Allan Rillera joined on August 12th as a youth pastor.
From our humble beginnings in 1952, our church has richly enjoyed the blessings and guidance of the Lord to this day. Throughout the years, the church members have faithfully invested their energy, strength, finances, and spiritual gifts to serve the Lord with one heart. Aside from various ministries within the church, it has established 15 daughter/granddaughter churches to date: 1 Chinese church and 14 Filipino churches.
The Manila Chinese Baptist Church will remain true to the Lord’s Great Commission – sustaining the unity in spirit and preaching the Gospel from generation to generation, until His glorious return.
馬尼拉華僑浸信會的成立,是從美南浸信會來到菲律濱開始的. 在1948年共產黨在中國的推進和統治,逼使這些宣教士遷移到其他國家. 這些宣教士如:郭文生牧師夫婦 (Dr.& Mrs.Winston Crawley),培馬可牧師夫婦 (Rev.& Mrs. Max Pettit),韓慕蘭教士 (Fern Harrington),趙凱雲牧師夫婦 (Dr.& Mrs.Clyde Jowers),陸衛理牧師夫婦 (Rev.& Mrs.Wesley Lawton),和因慕潔教士 (Theresa Anderson). 由於他們熱誠渴望向中國人傳福音,這些主的忠心僕人,繼續委身向菲律濱華人工作. 他們均諳普通話.識中文字.又持守純正的教義. 他們開始在碧瑤工作,於1950年5月29日設立菲律濱第一間美南浸信教會—碧瑤華僑浸信會 (BAGUIO CHINESE BAPTIST CHURCH).
1950年因慕潔教士 (Theresa Anderson) 與葉張力耘太太從碧瑤搬來馬尼拉,她是因教士在北京的中文老師. 因教士開始在中正中學教英語.同年8月,培馬可牧師 (Max Pettit) 和趙凱雲牧師 (Clyde Jowers) 兩個家庭也加入工作,接下來又有一對在中國傳道多年的夫婦那約翰牧師 (Dr.& Mrs.John Abernathy),從南韓也來加入事奉. 同年十月他們在Binondo 區Tomas Pinpin St.與David St.轉角處租賃菲律濱人民銀行的二樓,在此作為第一個聚會處,取名為〝華僑基督徒浸信會〞(OVERSEAS CHINESE CHRISTIAN BAPTIST CHURCH). 許清傳傳道被邀請負責講台的工作. 1950年11月19日舉行第一次國語(普通話)的崇拜會.一周后那牧師(Dr.Abernathy)在布道會講道,有許多青年人信主. 每周活動如下:
1952年因慕潔教士 (Theresa Anderson),重組少年團契 (YTU). 同年11月她回國度假,韓慕蘭教士 (Fern Harrington）從拉古坂市前來組織唱詩班和開辦道理班。
1952年3月16日趙凱雲牧師為第一批五位信徒施浸,又於同年4月6日為第二批四位女信徒施浸. 此時已水到渠成,於同年1952年4月13日的復活節正式成立馬尼拉華僑浸信會. 趙凱雲牧師當選為第一任牧師, 基本會友十一位. 他們是: 山祈得 (Mary Lucile Saunders),馬文俊 (Virginia Mathis),柯瀟湘,尤祖蔭,伍珍妮,楊月英,葉張力耘,李慧齡,伍佩霞,伍佩璇,施佩儀.
不多久,教會從David St.搬到Elcano St.,Binondo. 1953年6月1日又搬到王彬街 (Ongpin St.) 與洲仔岸 (Quintin Paredes St.) 的轉角處東京旅館Tokyo Hotel的二樓. 1956年5月5日,美南浸信會國外傳道部在華人區知彬彬街 (T.Pinpin) 和 Quiñones St.轉角處購買一塊地皮,就在這塊地皮上建造禮拜堂.
建堂工作始於1960年3月. 建堂費用在聖靈的感動下憑信心籌款. 經四個月的建筑於1960年7月31日竣工,教會將第一間禮拜堂呈獻給主. 這是一間水泥與木頭結構的二層建筑物,禮堂和浸池在二樓. 1970年9月又在禮拜堂后面加建牧師樓,用90天建成,共花費菲幣七萬三千五百元.
教會於1990年7月3日向菲政府 (SEC) 申請合法化后,菲律賓美南浸信會 (SBC,前為國外傳道部 FOREIGN MISSION BOARD) 於同年7月27日議決把上述地皮贈與本會,並於1991年4月19日正式辦妥贈送契約 (DEED OF DONATION).
本會在進入千禧年之際,會友們決定要重新建造禮拜堂. 教會需要一間較大的禮拜堂來容納不斷增長會眾和各種事奉. 於是各種計劃陸續展開2002年9月教會在 YUTIVO BUILDING, 267 SAN VICENTE ST. 租賃二樓作為臨時聚會場所(月租菲幣兩萬). 而於2002年10月3日在舊禮拜堂做最后一次的崇拜會. 當日下午把剩下的長椅和雜物全部搬到新租的聚會處. 舊堂於2002年10月28日開始拆撤. 新堂重建的破土禮於2003年1月7日上午九時舉行,經兩年的建筑,一幢嶄新的8層大樓拔地而起,恰逢教會成立53周年之際,於2005年4月17日舉行新堂感恩落成典禮. 如今,這幢大樓頂上一個藍色十字架的標誌聳立閃爍在華人區的夜空.
本教會第一任牧師是趙凱雲牧師 (Dr.Clyde Jowers),他在本會事奉數周后即到納卯市 (Davao City) 作開荒工作,於1952年12月設立納卯華僑浸信會. 第二任牧師是孫約翰老牧師 (Rev.Ivan Larson), 和妻子孫義德 (Edith) 夫婦,曾在中國傳道多年. 他們於1952年5月接替趙牧師之職,可惜他們因健康問題不得不於翌年1953年3月返回美國.
1952年5月21日培馬可牧師 (Rev.Max Pettit) 和夫人Ann夫婦赴台灣事奉. 同年11月那約翰牧師 (Dr.John Abernathy) 和夫人那劉安德 (Jewell) 前往韓國釜山事奉.
第三任牧師是陸衛理牧師 (Rev.Wesley Lawton) 和夫人(Geraldine) 夫婦,於1953年7月12日上任,工作一年就回國休假.因慕潔教士 (Theresa Anderson)假期屆滿返菲繼續在本會協助工作.
從1952年至1954年末,其他前來協助教會事工的宣教士有:山祈得教士 (Mary Lucile Saunders), 馬文俊教士 (Virginia Mathis), 賴德博士 (Dr. Frank Lide), 郭文生牧師 (Dr.Winston Crawley) 等宣教士.
1954年4月11日,陸衛理牧師 (Rev.Wesley Lawton), 郭文生牧師 (Dr. Winston Crawley), 雷克勝牧師及一位美國陸軍牧師組成按立小組,為本會基本會友尤祖陰弟兄按立第一位教會執事.尤弟兄於1967年6月4日安息歸主.
1960年教會聘請菲律濱浸信會神學院畢業生蔡啟明傳道前來牧會. 1961年12月10日蔡啟明傳道被按立為牧師. 按立團包括:富雅各牧師(Rev. James Foster),費述凱牧師 (Rev.Raymond Frame), 黃原素牧師 (Rev.Silas Wong), 鄭果牧師 (Rev.Cheng Kor), 侯均南牧師 (Rev.Pedro Hao) 及其他三位牧師. 蔡牧師在本教會共事奉7年,從1960年至1966年9月. 他離開后赴加拿大NW BAPTIST SEMINARY繼續深造.
1962年3月4日,教會例會中接受鄧仲芳姊妹及幾位信徒,並於4月25日為他們施浸. 1963年鄧姊妹進入菲律濱聖經學院 (BIOP今稱菲律濱聖經神學院BSOP). 1965年4月在本會實習. 同年7月25日在例會中通過聘請她正式成為教會同工. 她在教會當傳道共四年. 1969年10月赴香港浸信會神學院深造.
1968年8月教會聘請侯均南牧師擔任第五任會牧. 侯牧師是菲律濱浸信會神學院第一批畢業生之一,也是第一位被按立的浸信會華人牧師. 他是1956年在碧瑤華僑浸信會被按立的.
1976年教會聘請仍在神學院學習的楊建明弟兄在加洛干市恩園區(Grace Park)作開荒工作.這工作是本會與新加坡基立浸信會合作的. 同年本會會友林仁哲姊妹也進入BSOP進修. 她於1979年畢業后就與楊傳道結婚. 此時 ”恩園浸信會福音站”已成立一年(1978). 他們婚后就在此同心事奉, 直到1981年6月應聘到拉古坂華僑浸信會牧會 (DCBC).
同年4月11日,教會慶祝立會30周年紀念,在拉古坂華僑浸信會的請求下, 借用本會為楊傳道按立牧師. 按牧團由差會主席Rev.Robert Nash,謝國智牧師(銀禧堂),費述凱院長 (Rev.Raymond Frame,BSOP), 賴若翰牧師(巴西中華基督教會),孔保羅牧師 (Rev.Paul Contento,BSOP),和陳宏博博士(靈惠基督教會).
1985年7月本會又請侯均南牧師回來牧會. 次年5月11日教會按立四位信徒為執事. 他們是: 陳明勛教授(他於1988年歸天), 戴良運, 林志鵬,李霽生. 按立團為:侯均南牧師,林南添牧師,楊建明牧師, Rev.Nicomedes Arellano,Jr. 和 Rev.Phillip Anderson.
1986年7月教會聘請侯泉偉傳道來協助聖工. 1989年9月遷到恩園浸信會牧會. 又於2000年2月返回馬尼拉協助各種工作. 2008年他辭職進修.
1990年7月,美南差會宣教士孔德年牧師 (Rev.Donald Crane),夫人 Elaine和兒子Michael,女兒Rebekah從拉古坂搬到Makati來住(當時Dagupan因大地震房子損壞). 同年12月他們夫婦就投入本會的事奉. 1993年他們又搬到Quezon City去住. 由於他們會講普通話(國語,在台灣學), 就開辦英語班(ESL). 許多從中國來的大學生和新僑都來學習,使他們有機會聽到福音. 孔牧師全家於1999年返回美國.
1996年8月施秀雲傳道應聘加入教會事奉. 她是在碧瑤浸信會神學院畢業的傳道人,1994年曾在北呂宋的仙彬蘭洛,拉允隆(San Fernando, La Union)做開荒工作. 1999年辭去本會職務,而投入子會恩園浸信會的事奉 (Caloocan Christian Baptist Church).
2001年胡能才傳道妻子卓Adelaine偕同兒子Joshua從納卯市(Davao City) 到馬尼拉,應聘加入本會事奉直到2006年12月止.
自1952年至今,本教會蒙受神豐富的祝福和恩典. 這些年間會友們忠心投入他們的力量,財物,和屬靈的恩賜,同心合意事奉主. 本會除了各種的事奉外,還建立了15間分會: 一間華人教會和14間菲律濱人教會.