A leap of faith, is the short reply to the question “How was IECA organized and established?
It was the first week of August 2001, a period of soul searching for a handful of Evangelical Christians in South Manila who have found themselves dreaming of starting a new church where love for God and others is the bedrock of real Christian community. A church where the lost and the searching are welcomed and helped to become fully devoted followers of Christ. Providentially, Pastor Jonathan’s long awaited posting to a California Filipino American church was delayed. Opportunity was seen and seized and within a month of prayer and waiting, things fell into place:
Thursday and unable to play golf because of heavy rain, golf buddies: Vangie Del Mundo, Raquel Escober, Sonia Fortunado, and Joy Mendiola invites Pastor Jo for breakfast and discussed the Pastor’s travel status.
On learning of his delayed visa issuance a meeting was quickly called. The Fortunados, Del Mundos and Mendiolas invited Pastor Jo and his family to Tagaytay Highlands and the idea was offered for Pastor Jo to consider starting a new church – now birthing in the hearts of those in the group. Surprised but enthused by the idea, Pastor Jo bid for time to pray for his decision.
Bro. Ed Mendiola invited Pastor Jo to see the Penthouse B of Westgate Tower which Bro. Johnny Chan agreed for use as possible venue to hold services for the new church.
A third meeting at Pancake House, Town Center was called, this time with the Masangkays, Escobers, Alvaros, and Takezawas to firm up plans for the establishment of a new church and to raise the initial capital to defray setting up costs.
Pastor Jo finally confirmed acceptance of the Call. Apprehensive but confident in God’s faithfulness and leading nevertheless.
Immediately the group’s wives ordered chairs to use. Ate Bess Masangkay provided the altar table. Tito Ely Del Mundo provided the sound system. Flor Takezawa brought the keyboard and everything was all set.
At the birthday of little Enrique Escober in the Mendiola Residence, the same group met and agreed to hold its first service the following Sunday. Assignments were passed around.
In a Bible Study and prayer meeting at Nobu and Flor Takezawa’s residence the final list of possible church names were gathered.
Tito Ely announces that SEC has approved the name “International Evangelical Church of Alabang” among the list of names submitted.
With the venue, chairs, equipment, and personnel set, in another twist of God’s mysterious ways, Ed Fabella was in town paving the way for the organizing of a choir in time for the first service.
Finally, by God’s grace and provision, IECA’s first worship service was held with almost a hundred in attendance, and the mission has been unstoppable ever since.