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Historic firsts in shepherding the global flock

By Ronnie H. Mutya

WITH HIS SELFLESS love for God and genuine concern for the Church Of Christ in these last days, Brother Eduardo V. Manalo’s first decade of leadership as the Executive Minister of the Church has reaped countless victories one after another. Since assuming the mantle of overall administration of the Church on September 7, 2009, he has been leading the flock successfully, as God has continued to bestow bountiful blessings on every aspect of the Church’s work.

Let us take a look at the historic firsts and milestones of Brother Eduardo Manalo’s dynamic leadership as he fulfills his sacred task of ministering to the spiritual welfare of all the brethren around the world as the Executive Minister of the Church.

First pastoral visit to a local congregation held in the Local Congregation of Kaunlaran, Ecclesiastical District of Metro Manila North on September 12, 2009.

First officiation of the International Conference of Ministers on October 12, 2009. It was held at the Session Hall and Sanctuary of the Central Temple in Quezon City, Philippines and in two other venues abroad—the United States Main Office in Daly City, California and the District Office in Sydney, Australia.

First pastoral visit outside the Philippines on November 1, 2009 at the local congregation of Kowloon, Hong Kong held at the Ashley Mansion Building. Brethren from the local congregations of Kowloon, Hong Kong East, Hong Kong West, and Macau attended the worship service.

Dedication of the house of worship of the Local Congregation of Araneta, Ecclesiastical District of Quezon City on November 28, 2009—first house of worship dedication as Executive Minister.

The first ordination of 202 new ministers was held at the Central Temple in Quezon City, Philippines on January 2, 2010, coinciding with the 85th birth anniversary of the late Brother Eraño G. Manalo.

The first holy supper was officiated in the Local Congregation of M.H. Del Pilar, Ecclesiastical District of Metro Manila North on March 14, 2010.

The 155 graduates of the College of Evangelical Ministry (now Iglesia Ni Cristo School For Ministers), among them was Brother Angelo Eraño V. Manalo, was the first graduation of ministerial students officiated by the Executive Minister in a special gathering and ceremony held at the Central Temple in Quezon City, Philippines on March 30, 2010.

The first thanksgiving worship service outside the Philippines was held in Heathrow Local Congregation on July 25, 2010. Then, he inaugurated the Church’s Europe Main Office (EuMO) located at 79 Staines Road West, Sunbury on Thames TW16 7AH, United Kingdom.

Dedication of the newly constructed house of worship of Los Angeles, California Local Congregation on March 26, 2011 was the first house of worship dedication conducted abroad by the Executive Minister.

The first series of pastoral visit to Australia was in commemoration of its 35th anniversary of the establishment of Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ) from July 23–August 3, 2011.

The first ministers and ministerial workers’ conference outside the Philippines was in one of the conference rooms of Southern Midwest District office on December 11, 2011.

The first ever ordination of ministers conducted outside the Philippines was held on December 28, 2011 in Houston, Texas which was beamed live via satellite, the Internet, and Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) to sites in the USA, London, Italy, Australia, and the Philippines where the brethren congregated.

The first district office in the Philippines that was inaugurated on September 29, 2012 is situated within the compound of Bagong Ilog Local Congregation, the new district office of Metro Manila East Ecclesiastical District.

The first pastoral visit of the Executive Minister to the continent of Africa was when he led the brethren in King William’s Town in a special worship service on August 30, 2014.

The first Holy Supper outside the Philippines was in the Local Congregation of Seattle, Washington on February 28, 2015.

The first ordination of bishops was in the Local Congregation of Las Piñas, Ecclesiastical District of Metro Manila South on May 23, 2015.

Through the use of modern technology, the first Most Extensive Proclamation of God’s Words at the Philippine Arena on September 26, 2015 was simultaneously viewed in 2,125 sites around the world at a single occasion.

On March 31, 2016 was the first ordination in Jerusalem where 10 new ministers were added to the true Church Of Christ on this occasion of Jerusalem Local Congregation’s 20th anniversary.

The first ever Ministers’ Night at the Philippine Arena in Ciudad de Victoria, Bocaue, Bulacan on December 11, 2016.

Before the year ended, on December 31, 2016, a pastoral visit was held the first time on Russian soil at the Radisson Royal Hotel in Moscow.

On January 7, 2017, the first time pastoral visit conducted to Latin America at the Tulip Hotel in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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