History of the Church of Christ in Silang

By Dolores de Venecia Thelmo

MY SEARCH FOR TRUTH. The story begins when after 18 years of spending our time and effort to serve God in the Baptist church denomination, dark clouds came to our spiritual life. We were now leaving this denomination because of some errors in it, and because of some sins that the group had refused to take account of.  My friends whom I had influenced to be Baptists too were confused, and fear was in our hearts. Everyone had a question: Where shall we go?

For a long time that we were members of this denomination, we were taught that the Baptist church is the only religion God recognized, that John the Baptist was given the authority to baptize Jesus, that Jesus was a Baptist, and Baptist members are the only church members who will be included in the marriage supper of the Lamb in heaven. They also teach that once one is saved, he is saved forever.  Honestly, I have doubts of these teachings. I know who am I, and God knows my heart. I long for the truth. If I will leave the Baptist church, where shall I be on Sundays? What shall happen to us?

I went to God in prayer. “Lord, if you have a group called by your name, where your spiritual presence is there, please bring me to that group.” I wanted out, but I also wanted the truth.

God spoke to me through His Word, in Matthew 7:21: “Not everyone that sayeth unto me, Lord, Lord shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” For 18 years of reading my Bible, this verse made me endure many sleepless nights. I woke up at midnight just to read it and ask myself, “Why does this verse keep bothering me?  What message does God have for me?”

VISITING MY BROTHER. One summer, I decided to visit my family in Catbalogan, Samar and sought the help of my brother, Tony de Venecia. My mother informed me that he was now a preacher of the church of Christ. I was not sure if my brother could help me. But I had in my mind that if Kuya would answer me through the word of God, I would accept and study the verse. But if he would answer me through a preacher, I would just listen and forget what he said.  I needed Bible truths.

But alas, when I told him what I was suffering through at that time, he asked me to get his Bible because the answer is there. He told me to open and read Acts 2: 38. I did, and as I was reading this verse my heart beat faster. The teaching is contrary to what I learned as a Baptist! I found out that I was not even baptized for the remission of my sins, and that I had not received the gift of the Holy Spirit. In other words, for 18 years of claiming that I was a Christian, I discovered I was not even saved! The next day, I asked him to baptize me.

GOING HOME TO CAVITE. After 10 days with my family in Catbalogan, I went back to Silang. I visited my Baptist friends and told them concerning the only church that I read about in the Bible, the church founded by Jesus, the church of Christ. Using my Bible, I told them of my experience in looking for the truth, and convinced them that there is indeed a church of which Christ is the owner, builder, ruler and head.

Baptist pastors who heard of my conversion tried to refute the truth that I had embraced, telling me that the teachings I heard from the church of Christ people are not applicable to our time. Other pastors told their members to shun me and avoid me like a plague, to never ever have any conversation with me about the teachings I heard. But I did not stop. I persisted until my friends were convinced to attend the worship service at Dasmariñas church of Christ, San Jose, Dasmariñas, Cavite.

HOME BIBLE STUDY IN SILANG. On September 7, 2004, we started a home Bible study in my home in Lalaan I, Silang, Cavite, with Bro. Neph Sico doing the teaching. He came with his wife Sis Bing and his Nanay Gloria. In attendance were me and my two daughters. It was scheduled every Sunday afternoon, after the worship in Dasmariñas.

BEGINNING OF THE WORK IN SILANG. After two months, we decided to start the work in the town of Silang, rented an apartment so we could invite our friends to attend the Bible study.  With continuous study of the Bible, praying, sharing the Word of God with other people, inviting them, God worked with us. To our number God added the Montegrande family. And so one afternoon of November 6, 2004, the church of Christ in Silang, Cavite started its first Sunday worship, together with our brethren from Dasmariñas. In attendance too were some old friends in Silang.

MORE ADDITIONS TO OUR NUMBER. After years of continuous services, prayers, visitation and sharing the Word of God, the Lord added again to his church people who are longing to find and serve Him in truth. Our recent addition for the year 2012 is a couple from Laguna, who visited, found a job and stayed for good. Praise the Lord for His greatness and love, for His unwavering plan to keep on looking for a people who will truly serve Him, outside of the denominations!

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