The annual meeting of the Filipino Southern Baptist Fellowship of North America, which took place on Monday, June 13, in advance of the SBC annual meeting, was a time of fellowship and worship.
No business took place.
“Our pastors are happy,” the FSBF Executive Director Dan Santiago told The Baptist Paper after the gathering’s conclusion. He’s also pastor of Covenant Christian Church in Jacksonville, Florida. “They may have come to the Fellowship’s annual meeting weary from the cares and concerns in their lives and ministries, but [they] were revived.”
A ballroom transformed
Jonathan Maritz, a worship leader at Word of Praise Community Church in Irvine, led in song and scripture that transformed the ballroom at the Anaheim Marriott into a worship center. He was backed by the six-person vocal team Papuri – the name means “Praise” in Tagalog, the Philippines’ national language.
Reports were heard from the Far East Broadcast Company, a Christian nonprofit headquartered in the Philippines, and from Samaritan’s Purse. Both entities helped sponsor the FSBF annual meeting, as did David Jeremiah’s Turning Point Ministries and the International Mission Board.
Victor Delacruz, who was sent out by the FSBF in January 2021 as its first church planter, reported on the growth of Biblical Community Church East in Mesquite, Texas, east of Dallas.
He focused on multiplication, Delacruz said, developing followers of Jesus who develop still more followers of Jesus, and as a result the church has grown to already include a volunteer children’s minister and an associate pastor.
Executive Director Santiago explained the four purposes of the FSBF: to unite Filipino churches, to provide training for pastors and leaders, to engage in church planting efforts and to help pastors caught in natural disasters.
He encouraged his listeners to give each month to support the ministries of the FSBF so more Filipino churches could be started across the nation.
An offering was taken to help defray the cost of the annual meeting. Several churches had given earlier to provide dinner for registered guests.
Guest speaker Darius Nable, pastor of The Church of the Good Shepherd in Cherry Hills, New Jersey, preached from Psalm 89 on the FSBF’s theme, Celebrating God’s Faithfulness.
Some version of the word “faithfulness” is repeated 15 times in the 52 verses of the Psalm, Nable said, adding that he had only two points in his message: First, show off in celebrating God to encourage others because they will see He is faithful. Second, sit in the presence of the Lord, rather than continually striving to do more.
“Sit in the presence of the Lord and see what He does,” Nable preached. “Let our agenda die. Let God’s agenda happen. God is faithful to do what He sets out to do.”
Each officer last year was elected to a two-year term: President Felix Sermon, pastor of International Christian Church in Springfield, Va.; East Coast Vice President Jessie Arce, pastor of Good Shepherd Baptist in Bear, Del.; West Coast Vice President Henry Amarilla, pastor of Filipino Ministry at Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, Calif.; Secretary Melvin Guerrero, pastor of Christ Centered International Fellowship of Jacksonville, Fla., and Treasurer Robert Del Castillo, pastor of Harmony International Baptist Church in San Diego, Calif.
View photos from this event here.
For more stories from the 2022 Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting, visit thebaptistpaper.org/sbc2022.