Members Church of God International
||This article may require copy editing for grammar, style, cohesion, tone, or spelling. (June 2014)|
|Members of the Church of God International|
Logo used by the Church; note the use of the Tetragrammaton.
|Presiding Minister||Eliseo Soriano|
|Region||More than 100 countries worldwide, Concentrated in the Philippines|
|Headquarters||Ang Dating Daan Central Compound
|Founder||Nicolas Perez in 1928 and register with the Philippine government in 1936. Eliseo Soriano in 1976 and registered as Mga Kaanib sa Iglesia ng Dios kay Kristo Hesus Haligi't Saligan ng Katotohanan sa Bansang Pilipinas in 1980.|
|Separated from||Iglesia ng Dios kay Kristo Hesus Haligi't Suhay ng Katotohanan|
|Other name(s)||Ang Dating Daan, ADD, Tagalog: Iglesia ng Dios, Spanish: Iglesia de Dios, Portuguese: Igreja de Deus|
The Members Church of God International is an Christian organization with headquarters in the Philippines. The organization is colloquially known through its flagship international television program, Ang Dating Daan (English translation: The Old Path).
The MCGI that originated in the Philippines originally rooted from a similar denomination, the Iglesia ng Dios kay Kristo Hesus, Haligi at Suhay ng Katotohanan (Church of God in Christ Jesus, Pillar and Support of the Truth) which was started in 1928 in Pulilan, Bulacan and registered with the Philippine government in December 10, 1936 by Nicolas Antiporda Perez as the first Presiding Minister.
By 1975, the church had already established less than hundred locale congregations in nearby provinces around Manila with a Central Office in Pasay City. In 1977, Eliseo F. Soriano, assumed overall administration and continued the legacy and work of the leader before him.
MCGI was in holding religious gatherings called Grand Bible Expositions regularly where visitors can ask questions to Bro. Eli concerning faith and spirituality. This method of MCGI in propagation attract more followers.
The church now has more than 5,000 locale congregations divided into 100 church districts in the Philippines and in more than 100 countries scattered in six continents.
- 1 History
- 2 Church Organization & Administration
- 3 Geographic Distribution and Membership
- 4 Practices
- 5 Doctrines and Beliefs
- 6 Membership
- 7 Criticism
- 8 Propagation, Missionary and Charity Works
- 9 Notes
- 10 References
- 11 External links
The Members Church of God International that originated in the Philippines originally rooted from a similar denomination, the Iglesia ng Dios kay Kristo Hesus, Haligi at Suhay ng Katotohanan (Church of God in Christ Jesus, Pillar and Support of the Truth) was first preached by Nicolas Antiporda Perez in Pulilan, Bulacan, Philippines in 1928. On December 10, 1936, the Church was registered with the Philippine government by Nicolas Antiporda Perez as first church Presiding Minister with a Central Office in Natividad St., Pasay, Rizal (now Pasay City). Since the year the church was established, church workers were being sent to the nearby provinces around Manila.
Nicolas Antiporda Perez, lead the church from 1928 until the time of his death in May 1975, the church was then a small group with less than hundred locale congregations.
In April 20, 1980, the Philippines organization registry officially recognized the group as Mga Kaanib Iglesia ng Dios kay Kristo Hesus Haligi at Saligan ng Katotohanan sa Bansang Pilipinas (Members Church of God in Christ Jesus the Pillar and Ground of the Truth in the Philippines) with Eliseo Soriano as its Presiding Minister.
Eliseo Soriano started to preach the church from town to town holding a “Pulong” during his early years as church leader. Bro. Eli (the term called to him by his followers) would move from one town to another to conduct Bible studies (usually three towns every night). From Pampanga, the church’s main seat, he reached out to the provinces of Bulacan, Rizal, Nueva Ecija, Bataan, and Metro Manila to do his missionary works. However, Soriano calculated that his lifetime is not enough to reach Filipinos in distant regions even with his nightly town-to-town preaching, so he decided to go on air.
In the last quarter of 1980, the Church launched the radio program Ang Dating Daan, hosted by the church's Presiding Minister, Eliseo Soriano. Through the local radio station DWWA 1260 kHz, ADD was heard in many parts of the Philippine Archipelago. The program became popular more than any other religious program in the country because of its live question and answer portion. The first of its kind, the uncensored Q&A format became the trademark of Ang Dating Daan.
In 1983, the program kicked off its national television appearance through Intercontinental Broadcasting Channel 13. Over the years, it has gained loyalty from its viewers that when it later moved from station to station due to some concerns, people followed it. Ang Dating Daan as a program in radio made its stint in RJTV 29 (now 2nd Avenue), PTV 4, SBN 21 (now ETC), and now UNTV. Ang Dating Daan or The Old Path was derived from Jeremiah 6:16.
In 1993, the Church introduced what is now the popular Bible Exposition. Daniel Razon, an Officer-in-Charge then, now the Vice-Presiding Minister of the Church, proposed and organized a social event where guests could dine together and ask Soriano matters concerning faith and spirituality. The event, done off-camera, was a success that paved the way for Bible Expositions in larger venues. The first local Bible exposition was held in Roosevelt, Quezon City also in 1993. It was televised in the Philippine provinces through the Ang Dating Daan program. Bible expositions then became a regular segment of the program that attracted more viewers.
Since the church launched its radio and television program in 1980, the Church had already expanded to as far as Ilocos Norte in Luzon to the provinces in the Visayas. The propagation reached the far south in Mindanao in early 1990’s. Local radio stations 100 Radyo Natin and DZRH acted a major role in the Church’s missionary works in the Visayas and Mindanao regions. Through these relay stations, the Ang Dating Daan reached the residents of the Southern Philippines which resulted in the establishment of locales in the area.
With the abounding works of evangelization at hand, the members saw the need of someone who will help Soriano to administer the Church. In 1998, the congregation elected Daniel Razon as Vice-Presiding Minister. Ministers-in-Charge and Officers-in-Charge, now known as Katulong ng Pangangasiwa (Assistants to the Administration) and Tagapangasiwang Pampook (Area Administrators), were also chosen to oversee the members and locales in various districts of the country.
In the late years of 1980’s, members fleeing to seek job abroad started church worship services in small groups. The Church administration thru sending VHS tapes and telephone patch in able the members abroad hear the church worship services topics. In 1990’s the first locale congregation outside the Philippines was established in Hong Kong, since then church workers were sent to oversee the brethren in different countries.
In 1999, the Church crossed the Philippine boundaries and took advantage of the power of modern technology in mass communication. Through AngDatingDaan.org, the first webcast and live video streaming of Ang Dating Daan program was seen in the World Wide Web.
On July 13, 2002, a live video-streamed Bible Exposition held in Singapore took its first foreign appearance. With the help of members living abroad, locales were established in many countries in Asia, Australia, and Europe.
On October 7, 2004, the Church explored the possibilities of using the satellite and introduced the English version of Ang Dating Daan, The Old Path (TOP). It was broadcast in the United States and Canada through the services of Globecast, a direct-to-home provider of free-to-air television via satellite. Subsequently, locales were established in North America.
The zealous effort of the Church to propagate the Gospel won the hearts of many people. As the Church became even more popular, envy and efforts to disband the group heightened. Death threats especially for Eliseo Soriano came left and right, eventually pushing him to leave the Philippines in the last quarter of 2005. The members of MCGI, though, believed that Soriano exit was God’s will as it paved the way for more non-Filipinos to hear the teachings of the church. Evangelization works abroad grew intensely since then. As Eliseo Soriano continued his missionary works in other countries, Daniel Razon, the church Vice Presiding Minister accompanied to establish the locales in the United States and to oversee the members in the Philippines.
On January 7, 2006, the first live Bible Exposition in the United States was held in Los Angeles, California. Later, in 2008, Bible Expositions were conducted in the continent of Oceania bringing forth the first locale in Papua New Guinea in Madang. In the same year, locale congregations were established in Ghana, West Africa as a result of a series of Bible studies in Africa. The early months of 2009, the Church was established in Latin America. At first baptism, 263 Brazilians in Porto Alegre, Brazil were converted making it the first locale congregation in the continent.
Since the time Soriano left the country, rapid growth of non-Filipino members is counting more as he stays longer abroad. The change of the group’s name to Members Church of God International in January 13, 2004 shows its utmost relevance to what is now a global religious entity.
Church Organization & Administration
|Members Church of God International Presiding Ministers|
|Name||Tenure of office|
|Nicolas A. Perez||December 10, 1936 – May 1975|
|Eliseo F. Soriano||March 30, 1977 – Present|
Formally, the Members Church of God International is led by a Presiding Minister (Tagalog: Tagapangasiwang Pangkalahatan). According to MCGI teachings, God the Father (through Jesus Christ) is the original founder of the church, hence the term Church of God. According to their doctrine, the Members are simply adhering to the teachings of original Christianity.
The Presiding Minister supervises the entire activity of the Church and implements all policies and projects aimed for the improvement of the congregation’s spiritual well-being. He ensures the proper and rightful execution of the duties and responsibilities of the Ministers and officials of Church ministries and organizations. He also teaches the Ministers and Workers all Church doctrines and stance on theological matters.
Along with the Presiding Minister is the Vice-Presiding Minister which caters to help the Presiding Minister. Aside from this, there are other ministers assigned to oversee various locale congregations. These ministers are called Katulong ng Pangangasiwa (Helpers of the Administration, abbreviated as KNP) and other ministers are called Tagapangasiwang Pampook (Area Administrator) or TP, the Presiding Minister, Vice Presiding Minister and all ministers forms the Central Administration of Members Church of God International to in administering church members.
The MCGI Central Headquarters was located in Sampaloc, Apalit, Pampanga. It houses the ADD Convention Center which was opened in 1997, can accommodate up to 100,000 persons. The Convention Center serve as the main venue of church's services and major gatherings. The Central Administration Office, La Verdad Christian College, dormitories for church workers and officers, a mini hospital and orphanages were also located. From the MCGI Headquarters, administration and ministerial work are delegated into Church Divisions which are led by KNP's and TP's (formerly, division's Ministers-in-Charge and Officers-in-Charge). Church divisions comprise 30 to 200 congregations (referred to as locales) on average. The church Division range is generally a single region of the Philippines; however, Divisions are divided in Districts which are headed by District Servant. Districts (a district is generally a single province in the Philippines.) are also divided into Zones which was administered by a Zone Servant. There were about 5,000 MCGI locales in more than a hundred countries.
Geographic Distribution and Membership
|Members Church of God International Philippine Districts|
|National Capital Region||Metro Manila Central||Metro Manila North||Metro Manila East||Metro Manila West||Metro Manila South|
|Cordillera Region||Abra||Benguet||Ifugao||Kalinga-Apayao||Mountain Province|
|Ilocos Region||Ilocos Norte||Ilocos Sur||La Union||Pangasinan|
|Cagayan Valley Region||Cagayan include the Batanes province.||Isabela||Nueva Vizcaya||Quirino|
|Central Luzon Region||Aurora||Bataan I||Bataan II||Bulacan I||Bulacan II||Bulacan III||Bulacan IV||Bulacan V||Central I||Central II||Central III||Nueva Ecija||Pampanga - Angeles||Pampanga - Magalang||Pampanga - Guagua||Pampanga - San Fernando||Pampanga - Arayat||Tarlac||Zambales|
|Southern Tagalog Region||Batangas||Cavite Central||Cavite South||Cavite East||Cavite North||Cavite West||Laguna West||Laguna South||Laguna East||Laguna North||Quezon I||Quezon II||Quezon III||Quezon IV||Rizal Central||Rizal West||Rizal East||Rizal South||Rizal North|
|MiMaRoPa Region||Coron||Palawan North||Palawan South||Marinduque||Mindoro||Romblon|
|Bicol Region||Albay||Camarines Norte||Camarines Sur||Catanduanes||Masbate||Sorsogon|
|Western Visayas Region||Aklan||Antique||Capiz||Iloilo includes island province of Guimaras.||Negros Occidental|
|Central Visayas Region||Bohol||Cebu North||Cebu South includes island province of Siquijor.||Negros Oriental|
|Eastern Visayas Region||Biliran||Leyte||Leyte South||Samar West||Samar East||Samar North|
|Zamboanga Peninsula||Zamboanga del Norte||Zamboanga del Sur includes province of Zamboanga Sibugay.|
|Northern Mindanao Region||Bukidnon||Lanao includes Islamic province of Lanao del Sur and Misamis Occidental.||Misamis Oriental includes island province of Camiguin.|
|Davao Region||Davao del Norte includes province of Compostela Valley.||Davao East||Davao City||Davao del Sur|
|Central Mindanao Region||SarGen includes province of South Cotabato and Sarangani.||North Cotabato||Sultan Kudarat|
|CARAGA Region||Surigao del Norte includes island province of Dinagat.||Surigao del Sur||Agusan del Norte||Agusan del Sur|
|Muslim Mindanao Region||ARMM West includes island provinces of Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-tawi.||Maguindanao|
Today, the MCGI membership comprises now many nationalities. It maintains more than 2500 congregations and missions grouped into more than 100 church districts in the Philippines and 15 church districts divides more than 80 other countries and territories in six continents. Although keeping formal number of membership the church was estimated to have more than a million members with a monthly convert of 5,000 during its regular and mass baptisms.
Members Church of God International conducts gatherings of diverse forms, from worship to worthwhile socio-spiritual assemblies. Non-members should be enjoined.
A pasalamat or thanksgiving is a way of offering gratitude to the Almighty God for His goodness. Those who offer thanksgiving range from individuals to groups, with varying reasons for rendering it. Presenters offer songs of praises which boast of God’s kindness (Psalms 92:1-2). In the Church, the sacrifice of thanksgiving has a discipline to ensure that those who will offer it are spiritually prepared. The process includes the registration or enlisting of oneself for thanksgiving, the orientation or consultation done to prepare the participant, and the practicing of the songs to be offered. The group in charge of organizing the presentations and orientation is called the Thanksgiving Orientation Committee.
Quarterly International Thanksgiving
The Quarterly International Thanksgiving celebration is the most anticipated time for brethren from all parts of the globe to come and meet to altogether offer thanksgiving unto the Lord. It is held quarterly and takes about 3 days to finish. The convention center becomes fully packed with brethren and visitors participating in and witnessing the event.
Held every Saturday, completing 52 weeks annually, the Weekly Thanksgiving is a whole-day affair for members and visitors, which starts at 3 o’clock in the afternoon, Philippine Time, and ends at about 12 midnight. The Weekly Thanksgiving celebration allows smaller Church groups like locales, committees, districts, divisions, even families and individuals, to offer thanksgiving.
An additional service provided for the brethren who are unable to attend live thanksgiving rites on Saturdays, the Thanksgiving Viewing usually starts at 11:00 in the morning of Sunday in MCGI coordinating centers. This is inspired by the admonition of St. Paul in Hebrews 10:25-26.
The Worship Service is a gathering of members on the first day of the week, which starts on Saturday at 8:30 in the morning, based on the biblical meeting done by the first century Christians recorded on Acts 20:7 and the 2nd batch for Saturday at 2:30 in the afternoon. More batches of the Worship Service are also conducted on Sunday beginning at 8:30 in the morning to accommodate brethren who are not available or were not able to attend the Saturday gathering. In this service, a 10-minute Bible reading is allotted before the main topic is delivered to the congregation. After the sermon, the members line up in front of the offertory box and voluntarily give monetary contribution that they have stored for the week. This contribution is patterned after the Christian practice written on I Corinthians 16:1-2.
The Prayer Meeting is an assembly of congregants done mid-week, either Wednesday or Thursday, which usually starts at 5:30 or 6:30 in the evening, jiving with the setting of the sun in the Bible’s reckoning. During this service, members render songs of praise and worship, after which is the opening prayer. A 10-minute Bible reading is then allotted before the topic is delivered, which is the first cut of a two-part sermon, and is concluded during the worship service. It is slightly different from the worship service as brethren do not conduct the offertory ceremony. This assembly is also patterned after the commandment in Hebrews 10:25-26.
Special Prayer Meeting
Monthly, MCGI leaders deliver the topic for the Prayer Meeting live and in full. It also serves as an additional avenue where they can discuss some Church matters with the brethren. The event is scheduled every first Tuesday of the month. The first service begins at sunset. 
Doctrines and Beliefs
We believe in the Almighty God, the Father, the Creator of the universe, in Christ Jesus, the Father’s Begotten Son, a true and Mighty God, the only Savior of mankind and the only way to the Kingdom of God in heaven (cf Acts 14:15; 1 Corinthians 8:5-7; John 14:6; 14:1). We believe that Christ descended on earth from the bosom of the Father, suffered for the redemption of sin, died on the cross, resurrected after three days, ascended to heaven and sat on the right side of God.
— Section 1 & 6, Article 2 of MCGI By-Laws
- , (God of Israel) or God the Father who is the Creator of the universe with Christ, the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ. God cannot lie, God is not omniscient (he doesn't foreknow all future human actions and choices), and God is not omnipresent (he created hell but he is not there).
- Jesus Christ is God the Father's only begotten son (in Romanized Greek: monogenestheos). He is the Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Prince of Peace referred in Isaiah 9:6. He is recognized as the Apostle, High Priest and Mediator of the church. He is the sent savior of mankind and the way, the truth and the life.
- The Holy Spirit came from the Father and part of the Godhead.
We believe that only the Bible or the Holy Scriptures, composed of 66 inspired books, teaches the full wisdom of God for the salvation of man and that no other book should be used as basis for serving God and Christ Jesus (Romans 1:16-17; 2:16; Galatians 1:8-9; 2 Thessalonians 1:1-9; John 20:31; Isaiah. 34:16; John 5:39).
— Section 2, Article 2 of MCGI By-Laws
About the Church
- The Members Church of God International affiliates to the only true church of God first preached in Jerusalem during the 1st century AD and brings the message of salvation to the world. The church of God is the Kingdom of God on earth and is necessary for one's salvation. Those who have heard of the gospel and of the church must join this church in order to be saved.
We believe that God the Father sent His son Jesus Christ, instrumental in the establishment of the CHURCH OF GOD , the congregation of the Apostles, Prophets, Teachers, and others; first planted in the city of Jerusalem, and later on scattered, and preached in by the Apostles in different places of Asia Minor (Matthew 16:18; Acts 8:1; Galatians 1:22; 1 Thessalonians 2:14). We believe that the Gentile nations, including the Philippines, are partakers of the promise, of ETERNAL LIFE through belief in Christ Jesus and the Gospel, and are not authorized by God TO ESTABLISH THEIR OWN CHURCH, but are members associated with the same body or Church written in the Gospel by accepting and executing the doctrines written by the Apostles (Ephesians 3:6; Colossians 1:18; 1 John 2:25; 1:3-4; I Corinthians 12:27; Psalm 127:1; 1 Timothy 3:15). We believe that God is calling His people with determination to serve Him, bringing them in His fold, teaching them righteousness after baptism for their sins to be covered by the priceless blood of Christ poured in Mount Calvary, for the redemption of sin, to make them qualify for life eternal in heaven (1 Corinthians 1: 9, 2; Ephesians 4:1,10,14; Acts 2:38; Philippians 1:27; 1 Pet. 1:15-16; Ephesians 2:10; 1 Thessalonians 1:1).
— According to the Section 3, 4 & 5, Article 2 of MCGI by-laws
- The official name of the true church in the Bible is just Church of God.
- Some of the laws of Moses, the 10 Commandments including Shabbat and tithing have been abolished and replaced with the laws of Christ in the New Testament.
- Salvation may only be promised by following all the laws in the New Testament. However, a person can be saved even though he has not heard of the Gospel. He shall be judged by God according to his conscience.
- The establishment of the Members Church of God International in the Philippines is the fulfillment of Zachariah 8:3, Isaias 24:15 and among other prophecies in the Bible because geographically, the Philippines is an archipelago located in the Southeast.
- Zechariah 13:7-9 was fulfilled in the Members Church of God International when the Iglesia ng Diyos kay Kristo Hesus Haligi at Suhay ng Katotohanan, founded by Nicholas Perez, split into three sects: Levita Gugulan's group, Filomeno Hizon's group and Eliseo Soriano's group.
- Women are forbidden to lead the church.
Congregational Services and Prayer
The service involves singing hymns, hearing sermons, offering prayers, and giving to the church. Bending the knees, facing the ground ("panikluhod") is the posture of prayer observed throughout the service.
We believe that all Christian believers should always attend the divine service executed by the administrator of the members of the church or of the congregation every first day of the week, wherein they should sing hymns, hear sermons, offer prayers and alms which is always voluntary according to one’s faith (Hebrew 10:25; Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 14:28: Acts 1:14; 1 Corinthians 16:3; 2 Corinthians 9:7-8, 12-13).
— Section 7, Article 2 of the MCGI by-laws
Members are required to be modest in dress and grooming. Women are prohibited from cutting their hair and wearing expensive jewelry, and denim pants, while men are prohibited to have long hair. They are strictly prohibited from drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes, using drugs, and gambling.
Indoctrination classes are required prior to joining the organization. The classes are composed of 9 lessons concerning church doctrines prepared by the Presiding Minister Eliseo Soriano. Indoctrinees must fully accept the doctrines taught during the indoctrination, then they will be baptized.
- The Last Supper should not be commemorated literally. The bread symbolizes the teachings of Jesus and the cup of wine symbolizes the sufferings that Christians must accept.
- The Bible does condemn the hormonally imbalanced persons or the gays and the lesbians. The Sodomites are heterosexuals who practice homosexual sex due to their perversion. However, homosexuals are prohibited from having intercourse.
- The soul is a combination of spirit (breath of life) and body including the emotions, memory, faculties. When a person dies, his soul is in the hands of God and will be restored in the resurrection to face judgement.
- Jesus had younger brothers and sisters.
Membership is conferred through immersion baptism of adults. The word baptize was derived from the Greek word baptizo, which means “immersing.” Baptize, in Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries, means “to make whelmed (that is fully wet); used only (in the New Testament) of ceremonial ablution, especially (technically) of the ordinance of Christian baptism: - baptist, baptize, wash.”
Baptism is a key part in their doctrines. More details concerning baptism is discussed during the indoctrination sessions, which a person is required to undergo before being baptized. The church rejects infant baptism. Members who are not living in accordance with the church's teachings may be excommunicated or expelled from the Church.
The MCGI keeps its formal number of members but does not openly reveal it. Thousands of local chapters are scattered throughout the Philippines and abroad because of increasing number of membership through mass baptisms which gained an average of 5,000 monthly.
Propagation, Missionary and Charity Works
The church uses radio, television and the World Wide Web in its missionary and propagation labors. Flagship program Ang Dating Daan is primarily hosted by Eliseo Soriano, the Church Presiding Minister. The flagship program currently airs in 73 countries worldwide including United States, Brazil, Portugal (as "O Caminho Antigo"), Spain (as "El Camino Antiguo"), India, South Africa, Saipan and Canada. Soriano also hosts his own Livestream channel, where he broadcasts his Bible preaching shows.
Aside from free channels in the Philippines, MCGI airs English-format programs such as Biblically Speaking, Truth in Focus and Bible Guide through the TOP (The Old Path) Channel, carried by satellite and direct-to-home (DTH) service provider, Globecast. TOP Channel is available in the United States and Canada.
Through the Ang Dating Daan Foundation International or ADD Foundation, MCGI is able to provide various forms of support to orphans, senior citizens, abandoned babies, and less-fortunate people, regardless of their religious affiliation. The scope of the assistance comprises daily essentials like food, clothing, basic hygiene needs, and medicines.
Giving of medical, dental, legal, and caregiving services and provisions are also part of the MCGI's charitable commitment to society. Likewise, MCGI maintains several residential institutions including orphanages that house hundreds of orphans and senior citizens, and a transient home for a night or day of rest with free food.
The charity works of the MCGI spread to the education sector. MCGI established the La Verdad Christian College in Caloocan City and La Verdad Christian College in Apalit, Pampanga to offer scholarship to poor yet deserving students. Aside from giving free access to college education, free meals, free uniforms, and free books, among other benefits are given to students. Other assistance given include livelihood programs and financial aid. 
- http://archives.newsbreak-knowledge.ph/2002/04/14/ang-dating-daan-an-unbeaten-path/ By Jet Damazo in Apalit, Pampanga Newsbreak Researcher/ writer
- Saipan Tribune - Members Church of God International Worldwide Bible Exposition
- Ang Dating Daan - Biblical Topics
- Ang Dating Daan - About Us
- Ang Dating Daan - Biblical Topics
- Ang Dating Daan - Biblical Topics
- Daniel Razon's second album out - Philippine Star
- Free Bus Ride of UNTV
- Official Members Church of God International Website
- Official Website of Bro. Daniel Razon
- Old Path TV
- Bro. Eli Soriano