Our church was formed by believers who were concerned that most evangelical churches have departed from scriptural teachings to accommodate modern social trends. We are united in our belief in the Bible, the creeds of the church, and the teachings of the 16th century Protestant Reformation.
In early 2011, I met Elmer Sarmiento, an accountant who lives in Imus and worked in Makati, via Facebook. He mentioned that he’s interested in starting a Bible study group in his home because he and his wife were very dissatisfied with the lack of Biblical preaching and teaching in their church and denomination. On June 18, Elmer and Cynthia Esguerra Sarmiento, Olive Esguerra Acasio and her two young sons, and Sarah Esguerra, met in the Acasios’ home in Bukandala, Imus, Cavite for our first Bible study. I started with Ephesians 1:3-14 (unconditional election), Romans 6:15-23 (total depravity), then to the other three points in the doctrines of grace in salvation.
On August 6, we moved the Bible study to a rented room on the 4th floor of a building close to the house of Gani and Leah Ong, my sister-in-law, in nearby in Bacoor. We were joined by their two young sons and Gani’s parents, Rolando and Rosario Ong. These two families were also disgruntled with the prosperity gospel in their church.
On September 11, this small group was joined by several other visitors in our first Lord’s Day worship service. Since many of these 20 worshippers were completely new to Reformed worship, I explained briefly the meaning of each significant element of the liturgy. A few of those who attended this first worship service became regular attendees.
In March 2012, Pastor Jayson Santiago and his wife Tin-tin, who came from a Pentecostal-leaning denomination, started his ministry here, with only a promise of a small allowance.
On September 23, 2012, we celebrated our first anniversary in the 2nd floor location in the same building. Though our first year was not lacking in financial and attendance struggles, we gave praise and thanksgiving to God who was faithful in upholding our new church. We have had many visitors, and a few stay. The enticing and glamorous entertainment of big megachurches around us are much more attractive to them. The popularity of the prosperity gospel and moralistic, therapeutic sermons are more “relevant” and “authentic” to them than the true gospel of Christ.
On May 5, 2013, the church celebrated its organization (particularization) with the installation of two elders, Ronald Fernando and Isaagani Ong, and two deacons, Elmer Sarmiento and Orlando Libres. On September 8, 2013, we had our Second Anniversary Worship and Celebration with Rev. Lance Filio as our guest preacher. On September 14, 2014, we celebrated our Third Anniversary, again inviting Rev. Filio as guest preacher.
New Worship Location
On May 19, 2013, we held our first worship service at our present location at Care Fitness Gym. We rejoice that this meeting place is more spacious, quiet, surrounded by greenery, close to the city’s marketplace, and much cheaper.
In September 2014, the Consistory was pleased to call Rev. Lance Filio, former Associate Pastor of Baclaran Unida Evangelical Church, to be its Interim Pastor (part-time).
Today, we average between 30-35 souls every Lord’s Day. The Lord has added to our number believers who come from as far away as Silang, Trece Martires, Las Pinas and Alabang.
As we look forward to the future, we praise God for his faithfulness in building up the church through “the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, the breaking of bread, and the prayers.” If the Lord wills, we plan to move to a more affordable place, have morning and evening services with catechism classes and fellowship in between, and invite the surrounding community to a new midweek Bible study. Our desire is to disciple the members of Trinity Covenant Reformed Church into mature Christians, and proclaim the true gospel to “inquirers” who visit us.
So you or your friends live who live in the Las Piñas-Bacoor-Imus-Dasmariñas-Silang areas are cordially invited to our worship services and other activities on the Lord’s Day. You may leave a comment here or email me at: dvopilgrimatgmaildotcom.
Soli Deo Gloria!
About the Pastors
Pastor Lance Filio is an ordained minister in the Unida Evangelical Church, and served as Pastor at Baclaran Unida Evangelical Church. He is also currently Research and Product Development Manager at Sky Cable. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Electronics and Communications Engineering from Mapua Institute of Technology, and is currently working towards an MBA at DLSU Graduate School of Business. His pastoral training is with ASCM and Unida Lay Leaders Institute. He lives in Paranaque with his wife Nikki and three boys, Lance Malachi, Amos Echad and Nate Shadrach.
Pastor Nollie Malabuyo is an ordained Associate Pastor of Trinity United Reformed Church in Concord, California. You can read more about the URCNA here. In 2008, he was sent as a missionary-pastor to the Philippines.
Pastor Nollie received his Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City in 1973 and Master of Divinity from Westminster Seminary in California (Escondido) in 2005.
From 1976-95, Pastor Nollie worked as a professional engineer for various engineering companies in the U.S.
In 1995, God called him as a missionary back to the Philippines under Wycliffe Bible Translators, serving as a computer specialist until 2008. He also taught various Biblical and theological classes at Presbyterian Theological Seminary and Unida Biblical Seminary, both in Cavite Province, from 2005-09. Pastor Nollie lives just outside Metro Manila with his wife and daughter. Their three older boys live and work in California.