Papal Visit Philippines 2014: The Phenomenal Religious Groups

After the 64-year-old independent christian church “Iglesia ni Cristo” founded by the late Felix Y. Manalo on July 27, 1914 and the 3 years, 7 month old “Jesus Miracle Crusade International Ministry”, now “Jesus is Lord Church”.

On October 5, 1978, Bro. Eddie C. Villanueva invited his listeners for a Thanksgiving Holy Mass 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, Friday, 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 Roman Rite 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 22nd Floor, Strata 2000 Building, F. Ortigas Jr. Avenue, 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 DWRV 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 Roman Rite Holy Mass and Worship and Healing Prayer 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 Roman Catholic charismatic renewal religious groups and some projects of charitable organizations. These however were not enough to support the expenses of the newly-founded Roman Catholic charismatic community, especially the radio programs of DWRV Radio Veritas and the Roman Rite Holy Mass and Worship and Healing Prayer 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 was receiving answers to their prayer-requests.

From 1986 to present, other chapters were formed in 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, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Vatican City, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia and Zimbabwe. These were formed by Filipino and foreign 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 Securities and Exchange Commission of Department of Finance, Republic of the Philippines 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 Jesus Miracle Crusade International Ministry spiritual director Pastor Wilde Almeda, El Shaddai DWXI Prayer Partners Foundation International Founder and Servant-Leader Bro. Mike Z. Velarde and Jesus is Lord Church Worldwide founder, international president and spiritual director Bro. Eddie C. 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 of Jesus is Lord Fellowship at the DWRV Compound in Pasig City one year after the founding of Jesus is Lord Fellowship on October 5, 1978, about five thousand people witnessed and experienced the miracle touch of Jesus is Lord.

Some eight thousand people gathered together on the Second Anniversary Celebration of the Jesus is Lord Fellowship at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) on October 12, 1980. Even the seemingly indifferent PICC staffs were surprised because the affair lasted one whole day and it was the first time that it’s Reception and Plenary Halls were filled to capacity.

The Third Anniversary Celebration of the Jesus is Lord Fellowship was celebrated with an Overnight Roman Rite Holy Mass and Worship and Healing Prayer 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 8, 1989, members and followers of the Jesus is Lord Fellowship began trooping to the Rizal Memorial Track and Football Stadium in Vito Cruz Street, Manila to participate in its Eleventh Anniversary. By midnight of Monday, October 9, 1989, 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 our Lord, our Savior. Bishop Teodoro C. Bacani, together with some Roman Catholic priests from the different parishes in the Archdiocese of Manila, Lipa, Cebu and Davao, 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 thousands 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.

The scenario of the Thirteenth Anniversary of the Jesus is Lord Fellowship held at the Quirino Grandstand in Rizal Park, Manila, from October 12 to 13, 1991, was identical to that of its 12th Anniversary. Nevertheless, the almost half a million attendees braved the monsoon rains and knee-deep flood to give thanks, praise and worship to God.

On the occasion of the Fourteenth Anniversary Celebration of the Jesus is Lord Church Worldwide held at the Quirino Grandstand in Rizal Park, Manila, from October 17 to 18, 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.

For the first time in the history of Rizal Park and the whole of Metro Manila for that matter, about three million people joined the Fifteenth Anniversary Celebration of the Jesus is Lord Church Worldwide at the national park from October 8 to 9, 1994. The participants crowded the 61-hectare national park and adjacent areas-Roxas Boulevard, Taft Avenue, UN Avenue, T.M. Kalaw St., Port Area, and Jones Bridge. Some of them came to the venue as early as three days before the event. They came not only from Metro Manila, but also from Cavite, Laguna, Pampanga, the Ilocos Region, Quezon, the Bicol Region, Sorsogon, Leyte, and other distant provinces. Also present were members from different overseas chapters of the Foundation.

His Excellency, President Fidel V. Ramos was the guest of honor during the Eighteenth Anniversary of the Foundation at the Quirino Grandstand, Rizal Park, Manila on October 13, 1996. In line with the anniversary theme, which is unity, leaders from the different charismatic groups and religious groups were invited to speak in a CLSS. During the Thanksgiving Mass officiated by Manila Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin, a mass wedding took place, in which 5000 couples who had been living together as common-law spouses finally tied the knot.

Two days after the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 75 Men’s Basketball Tournament Finals between the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles versus University of Santo Tomas 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, His Excellency 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 7:00 a.m. of Sunday, October 14, 2012 to 8:00 a.m. of Monday, October 15, 2012.

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