Trivia about the Seventh-Day Adventist Church
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