From the Far East to the Far West
When Brother Felix Manalo passed away on April 12, 1963 the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Church) was firmly established throughout the breadth and length of the Philippine archipelago. The Lord blessed his labors with success. For it was through his preaching function that the prophecy concerning the calling of God’s sons and daughters from the Far East was fulfilled. The prophecy states: “From the far east will I bring your offspring …” (Isa. 43:5, Moffatt Translation).
Five years after Brother Felix Manalo’s demise, the fulfillment of the second part of the biblical prophecy which states: “… and from the far west I will gather you” (Isa. 43:5, ibid.) began to unfold. Under the leadership of Brother Eraño G. Manalo, who succeeded as the Executive Minister, the evangelistic mission of the Church Of Christ crossed the Pacific Ocean and gained initial footholds in two of the states of the Union in the Far West.
On July 27, 1968, the Executive Minister, Brother Eraño Manalo, along with his small entourage, went to Hawaii. They looked for the brethren and gathered them in a small house at Ewa, Honolulu, and there Brother Eraño officiated at the very first worship service of the Iglesia Ni Cristo in the Far West.
From Hawaii, the Executive Minister went to San Francisco, California. He also gathered the brethren there and in the garage of the residence of a brother who later served as a head deacon, the Executive Minister officiated at the first worship service in the US mainland.
Since those days, the Church Of Christ has expanded to different parts of the whole world and various places of worship have been established. Among the most significant of these were the establishment of the Rome Congregation on July 27, 1994, bringing back the true Church Of Christ to where apostasy began; of the Jerusalem Congregation on March 31, 1996 thereby restoring the Church Of Christ to its original home; and of the Athens Congregation in Greece on May 10, 1997, re-launching the Gentile mission that the Apostle Paul undertook in the first century. The Executive Minister himself was in those cities to officiate at the inaugural worship services.
Today, with Brother Eduardo V. Manalo at the helm, the expansion of the Iglesia Ni Cristo continues at a rapid pace. The Executive Minister tends to a global flock that is spread out in 143 countries and territories.
Indeed God’s work of salvation was not meant to be confined to the Philippine shore. As the prophet Isaiah said when the glory of God from the rising of the sun is revealed, so shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west (Isa. 59:19).
What sets Brother Felix Manalo’s mission apart from those that preceded it is that no apostasy is definitely going to take place in its time. It is destined to reach the day of harvest or the end of the world (Rev. 14:14-15; Matt. 13:39).
Whether they be from the rising of the sun or from the west and beyond, true members of the Church Of Christ are prophesied to be patient in keeping the spiritual legacies God’s messenger bequeathed them—that is, the purely biblical commandments he preached to them—and thus ensured of rest from their labors (Rev. 14:12-13).