Church, city and other officials started to brace themselves on Friday for the anniversary celebration of the Jesus is Lord Church Worldwide, which is expected this year to draw up to 15 million devotees from all over the country, including Metro Manila, composed of the City of Manila and the surrounding cities of Caloocan, Las Piñas, Makati, Malabon, Mandaluyong, Marikina, Muntinlupa, Navotas, Parañaque, Pasay, Pasig, Quezon City, San Juan, Taguig, and Valenzuela, as well as the Municipality of Pateros, Ilocos Region, composed of Laoag City and the Province of Ilocos Norte, Vigan and the Province of Ilocos Sur and Province of Abra, Batac City and Candon City, Cagayan Valley, composed of the provinces of Isabela, Cagayan, Batanes, Quirino, Nueva Vizcaya, Parts of Benguet are Municipalities of Itogon, Kabayan and Bokod, Ifugao are Municipalities of Tinoc, Asipulo, Lamut, Lagawe, Mayoyao, Aguinaldo and Alfonso Lista, Parts Mountain Province are Municipalities of Barlig, Natonin and Paracelis, Parts Apayao are Municipalities of Santa Marcela, Flora and Conner and Kalinga are Municipalities of Pinukpuk and Rizal, northern Luzon including San Fernando City and La Union, Baguio City and Province of Benguet, Banaue and Province of Ifugao, Sagada and Mountain Province, Kabugao and Province of Apayao, Tabuk and Province of Kalinga, Northern Parts of Ilocos Sur are Municipalities of Tagudin, Suyo, Alilem, Sugpon, Cervantes, Sigay, Quirino, Gregorio del Pilar and San Emilio and Parts of Pangasinan are Municipalities of San Fabian, Sison, San Manuel and San Nicolas, North and Central Luzon including Dagupan City and Province of Pangasinan, Tarlac City and Province of Tarlac, Cabanatuan City and Province of Nueva Ecija, Olongapo City and Province of Zambales, Baler and Province of Aurora, San Fernando City and Province of Pampanga, Balanga City and Province of Bataan, Malolos City and Province of Bulacan, Southern Luzon areas including Batangas City and Province of Batangas, Lipa City, provinces of Cavite, Laguna and Rizal, Lucena City and Province of Quezon, provinces of Marinduque, Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro and Romblon, Naga City and province of Camarines Sur, provinces of Camarines Norte and Catanduanes, Legazpi City and Province of Albay, provinces of Sorsogon and Masbate, Visayas areas including: Cebu City and Province of Cebu, Dumaguete City and Province of Negros Oriental, island-provinces of Siquijor and Bohol, 4th and 5th Districts of Leyte, Ormoc City, province of Southern Leyte, Bacolod City and Negros Occidental and Parts of Negros Oriental, provinces of Aklan and Antique, Roxas City and province of Capiz, Iloilo City and Province of Iloilo, island province of Guimaras, Tacloban City, provinces of Samar, Leyte, Eastern Samar, Northern Samar, Biliran, Southern Leyte and Dinagat Islands, Mindanao areas including Davao City, provinces of Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, Davao Occidental, Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley, General Santos City, South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and Sarangani Provinces, Central Mindanao areas including Cotabato City and province of Maguindanao, provinces of North Cotabato, Lanao del Sur, Sultan Kudarat and Basilan, Northern Mindanao areas including Cagayan de Oro City and Province of Misamis Oriental, Ozamiz City and Province of Misamis Occidental, Iligan City and Province of Lanao del Norte, Marawi City and Province of Lanao del Sur, Malaybalay City and Province of Bukidnon, Dipolog City and Province of Zamboanga del Norte, Pagadian City and Province of Zamboanga del Sur and Province of Camiguin, Zamboanga peninsula including Zamboanga City, Isabela City and Province of Basilan, Ipil and Province of Zamboanga Sibugay, Provinces of Sulu and Tawi-Tawi and CARAGA including: Butuan City, Surigao City, Bislig City, Tandag City, Bayugan City, Cabadbaran City, Provinces of Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Sur, Surigao del Norte and Dinagat Islands, as well from Abkhazia, Afghanistan, Akrotiri and Dhekelia, Åland Islands, Anguilla, Armenia, Aruba, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Bhutan, Bonaire, British Indian Ocean Territory, British Virgin Islands, Brunei, Bulgaria, Cambodia, China, Christmas Island, Clipperton Island, Cocos Islands, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Curaçao, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Egypt, Estonia, Federal Dependencies of Venezuela, Finland, French Guiana, French Polynesia, Gabon, Gambia, Gibraltar, Greenland, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guam, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guernsey, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Isle of Man, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Japan, Jersey, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, Kosovo, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macau, Macedonia, Madagascar, Madeira, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Malta, Maldives, Martinique, Marshall Islands, Mayotte, Mauritania, Mauritius, Melilla, Federated States of Micronesia, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Montserrat, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nagorno-Karabakh, Nauru, Navassa Island, Nepal, Netherlands, North Korea, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Niue, Norfolk Island, Northern Cyprus, Northern Mariana Islands, Norway, Nueva Esparta, Oman, Pakistan, Palau, Palestine, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Romania, Réunion, Russia, Rwanda, Saba, Saint Barthélemy, Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Andrés and Providencia, San Marino, São Tomé and Príncipe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Sint Eustatius, Sint Maarten, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Somaliland, South Korea, South Ossetia, South Sudan, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Syria, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Transnistria, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Vatican City, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia and Zimbabwe to converge on the Quiapo Church or the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene and Rizal Park’s Quirino Grandstand in downtown Manila.
The anniversary celebration, traditionally celebrated on October every year since 1979, draws millions of participants who experienced the wonderful works of the Holy Spirit as they praised and worshipped Lord God and listened to His Word as a sign of penance and thanksgiving for favors received.
On October 5, 1978, Bro. Eddie C. Villanueva invited his listeners for a Thanksgiving Mass and and Worship and Healing Prayer Rally that was held at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines Santa Mesa Campus on the Thursday nearest his birthday, October 6. About one thousand people attended the affair and experienced the miracle-working power of God!
Encouraged by the success of the rally, Bro. Eddie scheduled a monthly Holy Mass and Worship and Healing Prayer Rally at the DWRV Compound in Quezon City. Some time later, as more people came to be led back to the Lord Jesus Christ, the rally was held weekly. A monthly Catholic Life-in-the-Spirit Seminar (CLSS) and a weekly fellowship were also held at the Strata 2000 Building, F. Ortigas Jr. Ave., Ortigas Center in Pasig City.
After a while, Bro. Eddie decided to air his program three times a week and began thinking of a new title and theme song for it. At this time, a friend gave him a magazine entitled “Jesus is Lord,” which quickly aroused his interest.
He made a study of the meaning of the term and discovered that it was one of the seven Covenant Names, by which God the Father revealed Himself to Israel.
Jesus is Lord, the motto of the World Council of Churches. The most popular and briefest was “Jesus is Lord” found in 1 Corinthians 12:3; Romans 10:9 and probably in the baptisms referred to in Acts 8:16; 19:5 and 1 Cor 6:11 since their being described as “in the name of the Lord Jesus” certainly seems to imply that “the formula ‘Jesus is Lord’ had a place in the rite”. The phrase might be extended as “Jesus Christ is Lord” as in Philippians 2:11. Shortly, he heard the song “Jesus is Lord” over Radio DWRV 860 itself:
“Jesus is Lord” by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend
Jesus is Lord
The cry that echoes through creation
Resplendent pow’r eternal Word our Rock
The Son of God
The King whose glory fills the heavens
Yet bids us come to taste this living bread
Jesus is Lord
Whose voice sustains the stars and planets
Yet in His wisdom laid aside His crown
Jesus the man who washed our feet
Who bore our suffering
Became a curse to bring salvation’s plan
Jesus is Lord
The tomb is gloriously empty
Not even death could crush this King of love
The price is paid the chains are loosed
And we’re forgiven
And we can run into the arms of God
Jesus is Lord
A shout of joy a cry of anguish
As He returns and every knee bows low
Then every eye and every heart will see His glory
The judge of all will take His children home.
Through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the weekly fellowship came to be called the DWRV Prayer Partners Jesus the Healer, since Radio DWRV was the broadcast medium, he and his first listeners became prayer-partners, and Jesus is Lord was the Divine Name revealed to him by God. Every week, God added thousands of new prayer-partners to this community by means of the Good News aired over the radio DWXI and the Mass and Healing Rallies held all over Metro Manila and nearby provinces. As the community grew, they voluntarily gave their tithes and miracle-seed-of-faith offerings to support the radio program “Jesus the Healer” and the Mass and Healing Rallies. Some prayer-partners even volunteered to serve without compensation.
Inspired by the outcome of events, Bro. Eddie thought it was time to formally organize the community. Thus, the Jesus is Lord Fellowship, Inc. was established, which in due time was registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission. It was organized, primarily, as an institution where Bro. Eddie could channel his tithes and donations derived from his real estate business and other companies to support the religious activities of various Catholic charismatic groups and some projects of charitable organizations. These however were not enough to support the expenses of the newly-founded charismatic community, especially the radio programs of DZNN Radio Veritas and the Mass and Healing Rallies. And so, he had to continue shelling out funds from his own personal earnings. For him, though, it was a great enough blessing from Jesus is Lord that his radio listeners came to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour and were receiving answers to their prayer-requests.
From 1983 to present, other chapters were formed in Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Libya, Macau, Malaysia, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Oman, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, U.A.E., United Kingdom, USA and Yemen. These were formed by Filipino prayer-partners working abroad, who were motivated by the desire to bear witness to the love and goodness of Jesus Christ our Lord. With the emergence of the chapters abroad, the corporate name registered with the SEC was amended to Jesus is Lord Church Worldwide, Incorporated.
Later in 1993, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) realized that the growth of the Foundation, particularly since it was affecting Catholics, could not be taken for granted any longer. Most Rev. Teodoro C. Bacani Jr., DD, then-Auxiliary Bishop of Manila and Overall Spiritual Director of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal Movement (CCRM) in the Archdiocese of Manila, invited El Shaddai servant-leader Bro. Mike Velarde and Jesus is Lord Church Worldwide founder and spiritual director Bro. Eddie Villanueva to the CBCP Conference on January 24, 1993, to shed light on what was going on in the Foundation. On that occasion, Bishop Bacani was beside Pastor Wilde, Bro. Mike and Bro. Eddie, not to defend him, but to bear witness to what God was doing through the Foundation. The result of the meeting was satisfactory because most of the questions asked were clearly and humbly answered by Bro. Eddie.
On October 13 to 14, 1979, during its First Anniversary Celebration at the DWRV Compound in Pasig City, about five thousand people witnessed and experienced the miracle touch of Jesus is Lord.
Some eight thousand people gathered together on the Second Anniversary of the Jesus is Lord Church Worldwide at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) on October 12, 1980. Even the seemingly indifferent PICC staff were surprised because the affair lasted one whole day and it was the first time that its Reception and Plenary Halls were filled to capacity.
The Third Anniversary of the Jesus is Lord Fellowship was celebrated with an Overnight Mass and Healing Rally at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium in Vito Cruz, Manila, from October 17 to 18, 1981. It rained heavily throughout the affair, but the estimated two hundred thousand attendees stayed until it ended in the morning.
As early as 9:00 a.m. of October 7, 1989, members and followers of the Jesus is Lord Fellowship began trooping to the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium in Vito Cruz, Manila to participate in its Eleventh Anniversary. By midnight, the entire stadium was jammed with over half a million people from all over the Philippines to take part in an overnight activity of praise and worship dedicated to Jesus Christ. Bishop Teodoro C. Bacani, together with some priests from the different parishes in the Archdiocese of Manila, led the Holy Mass.
From October 13 to 14, 1990, the Twelfth Anniversary of the Jesus is Lord Fellowship was held at the Quirino Grandstand in Rizal Park, Manila. In attendance were housands of its members and followers, who experienced the wonderful works of the Holy Spirit as they praised and worshipped to Jesus and listened to His Word despite a storm which flooded some parts of the venue with knee-deep water.
On the occasion of the Fourteenth Anniversary of the Foundation held at the Quirino Grandstand in Rizal Park, Manila, from August 22-23, 1992, more than one-and-a-half million prayer-partners attended the affair. His Excellency, President Fidel V. Ramos, gave his greetings to the congregation.
Last year, two days after the UAAP Season 75 Basketball Finals between the Ateneo Blue Eagles versus UST Growling Tigers at Smart Araneta Coliseum on October 11, 2012, at least nine million participants participated in the 34th Anniversary Celebration of Jesus is Lord Church Worldwide, with no less than the President of the Republic of the Philippines, Benigno S. Aquino III as guest-of-honor in the celebration, traversing a crowd from the 61-hectare Rizal Park to Port Area to the Quiapo church in a celebration that lasted twenty-four hours from 9:00 a.m. of Sunday, October 14, 2012 to 9:30 a.m. of Monday, October 15, 2012.
TESDA Chief Emmanuel Joel Villanueva said the movement has begun its preparations for this year’s festivities.
On Wednesday, Jesus is Lord Church’s Fiesta Committee met with the Metro Manila Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council led by Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chair Francis Tolentino to discuss plans on how to manage security, emergency traffic and crowd control during the event, would feature the the thank-offering salo-salo simultaneously from the Quirino Grandstand at the Rizal Park to the Port Area to the Plaza Miranda in Quiapo, Manila.
Early in the afternoon, the crowd jubilantly caught with their umbrellas inverted thousands of miracle-souvenir handkerchiefs thrown into the air from several helicopters. A thanksgiving prayer was offered by Bro. Eddie Villanueva for his birthday and for the anniversary of the Jesus is Lord Church Worldwide. He also led the congregation in prayer for their prayer-requests, which were tied to balloons and released to the air at the signal of Bro. Eddie.
In the 2013 celebration last October 27, 2013, His Excellency, President Benigno S. Aquino III, the guest of honor in the occasion, gave his greetings and message to the crowd. The President was with the Aquino Family. In attendance also were some members of the cabinet; several senators led by Senate President Franklin Drilon; several congressmen led by House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr.; and friends of Bro. Mike Velarde of El Shaddai from the business, entertainment, media, legal, and religious sector.
Other personalities were spotted such as: Philippine STAR columnists RJ Ledesma, Stephanie Zubiri-Crespi, and Tim Yap, Tony Aquino, president of Ayala Land, Rowena Tomeldan, Ayala Land vice president and head of operations and support services commercial business group, along with their partners for the event, Millet Mananquil, Philippine STAR lifestyle section editor, celebrities Enchong Dee, Liezel Martinez, Rachel Alejandro and Joanna Ampil.
A Thanksgiving Mass was led by Pope Francis I, the Bishop of Rome and the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church together with His Eminence Gaudencio Rosales, Archbishop-Emeritus of Manila, Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, Archbishop of Manila; Jose S. Palma, Archbishop of Cebu, Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, Archbishop-Emeritus of Cebu, Very Rev. Msgrs. Mariano T. Balbago Jr. of Antipolo Diocese and Mario A. Castillo; and Rev. Fr. Anton Pascual and Rev. Fr. Sanny de Claro, spiritual directors of the El Shaddai DWXI Prayer Partners Foundation International. Joining them also were several spiritual directors from the international chapters of the El Shaddai DWXI Prayer Partners Foundation namely Reverend Fathers Bernard J. Nolan of Brisbane, Australia; Leo E. Steinbock of Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.; and Thomas Kawamura of Tokyo, Japan, as well as from the Philippines namely, Dwight de Jesus; Remigio Mendoza of Mabini, Batangas; Manheim Abellana, SDB; Eligio Santos of San Ildefonso Parish, Makati; and Stephen Punnakal and Victor Maung Thit of the Our Lady of Assumption Parish, Malate, Manila.
Meanwhile, environmentalists and community leaders around Quiapo area are calling for a “green” celebration of the anniversary of Jesus is Lord Church Worldwide.
Local leaders and the environmental network Ecowaste Coalition urged devotees and visitors to couple their devotion to the Jesus Christ our Lord Savior with respect for the environment.
The call came as participants leading to the annual celebration on October every year since 1979.
“Combining our people’s amazing devotion to the Jesus Christ our Lord with action respecting, nurturing and defending Mother Earth will be a powerful force of hope and deliverance against those who trash and ruin the environment,” Tin Vergara, Zero Waste Campaigner of the EcoWaste Coalition, said.
“If the millions of devotees who come to Rizal Park and Quiapo will simply not litter and avoid waste in all its forms, we’ll have a feast that is pleasing to the eyes and pleasing to the Lord,” she added.
Past celebrations in 35 years have seen truckloads of garbage collected from Rizal Park to Port Area to Ermita to Quiapo that included cigarette butts, candy and snack wrappers, plastic bags, cups, bottles and straws, polystyrene food containers and bamboo skewers that often cause injuries to barefooted devotees.