Connecting the Dots in California by Clint Labson
Looking back to August 1967, when my parents and I visited the Philippines for my first time, little did I know that this was more than a vacation. It was a start of our request to begin what we call now a Group Worship Service (GWS) in San Francisco.
I remember being in Brother Erano G. Manalo’s (Ka Erdy’s) office with my parents, with him explaining that there were more brethren in the area that needed to know about each other. A list of names was given to my parents to find the brethren.
Upon our return to SF, the list was split among the families. The next several Saturdays were spent going to places as far as Fresno and Sacramento. One of my most fond memories was when we went to Vallejo to find a family who lived in an apartment complex. We knocked on the door and the brother timidly opened the door and asked, “Who are you?” My Mom said, “We are Iglesia!” At that moment, the brother started to cry and shouted to his wife, “Mga Kapatid!” (members of the Church!). The sheer joy of knowing there were other members even had my Mom crying. We let them know the Committee prayers have started and then continued on to find another family.
Months went by as we continued searching for more brethren. We received word that Ka Erdy will be visiting Hawaii and soon after will be in San Francisco. We all were so excited with just hearing the news. In July 1968, preparations were made for Ka Erdy’s arrival. When he arrived a meeting was called and held on Edinburgh Street in San Francisco, this was to discuss the appointment of the first officers of San Francisco. The following weekend in August 1968, the first worship service was held in Mountain View, CA. in the home of my parents Sis. Marina & Bro. Edward Labson, where they still reside today.
This was also the worship service wherein the first officers of San Francisco took their oath, I, along with few other children were offered to God that day as well.
The picture you see was taken right after the first worship service, from left to right, My Dad (Ka Edward), My Mom (Ka Marina), Me (Clint), Ka Erdy and Ka Olive Rosquites Calip. Ka Erdy continued discussing with my parents the additional work that needed to be done, such as finding a place to worship. He also gave us another list of brethren to find. Through the years I never realized the great importance of that day until I was old enough to undergo the doctrinal lessons. This is when I learned of the biblical prophecy and made me realize I was a witness and participant of that prophecy. It is what I believe today, that the Iglesia Ni Cristo is indeed from God, the one prophesied in the Bible!
Clint Labson still resides Northern California with his wife Arlene and his two sons.