Members Church of God International

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For other organizations with the same name, see Church of God International (disambiguation).
For other uses, see Church of God (disambiguation).
Members of the Church of God International
Members Church of God International - Logo.png
Abbreviation MCGI
Classification Nontrinitarianism, Restorationism
Overall Servant
(formerly "Presiding Minister")
Eliseo Soriano
Region Philippines, Worldwide
Headquarters ADD Convention Center, Sampaloc, Apalit, Pampanga, Philippines
Founder Nicolas Perez
(claimed predecessor)
Eliseo Soriano
Origin April 20, 1980 registered as Mga Kaanib Iglesia ng Dios kay Kristo Hesus Haligi at Saligan ng Katotohanan sa Bansang Pilipinas (MKIDKHHSKBP)
Pampanga, Philippines
Separated from Iglesia ng Dios kay Kristo Hesus Haligi at Suhay ng Katotohanan (Church of God in Christ Jesus the Pillar and Support of the Truth)
Congregations 1,360 as monitoring/coordinating centers[1][2][3]
Aid organization ADD Foundation International
Kamanggagawa Foundation
Tertiary institutions La Verdad Christian College
Other name(s) Ang Dating Daan, ADD, MCGI
Official website

Members Church of God International is a Philippine-based Christian-based organization that started in 1977 with Eliseo Soriano as its Overall Servant (Former title: Presiding Minister). It is colloquially known in the Philippines as Ang Dating Daan (English: "The Old Path"; abbreviated as ADD) which is the name of its flagship television program.[4]

The church has a Nontrinitarianism orientation, meaning that they reject the doctrine of the Trinity, which is considered is the central dogma of mainline Christianity,[5] They do not observe Christmas, Easter, or other holidays and customs they consider to have pagan origins incompatible with Christianity. It is not related to the many Church of God groups that descended from the Barney Creek Meeting House revival of the late 19th century in the United States.


An ADD coordinating center of MCGI

The Members Church of God International in the Philippines 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 first led 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 congregations.

After Perez's death in 1975, Levita Gugulan, the secretary-general of the church, succeeded as presiding minister; Soriano countered the authority of Gugulan. In February 21, 1976, Eliseo Soriano, the only ordained minister by Perez, together with 16 other members created a schism and began a new church organization called "Mga Kaanib Iglesia ng Dios kay Kristo Hesus Haligi at Saligan ng Katotohanan sa Bansang Pilipinas" (translated as "Members Church of God in Christ Jesus, Pillar and Ground of Truth in the Philippine Nation") which was officially registered in 1977.[6]

In 1980, missionary works started and was first done in the towns of Pampanga and then, the neighboring provinces of Bulacan, Rizal, Nueva Ecija, Bataan, and Metro Manila. In the last quarter of 1980, the church launched the radio program Ang Dating Daan (ADD). Through the local radio station DWWA 1206 kHz, ADD was heard in many parts of the Philippine Archipelago. The program became popular in the Philippines because of its live question and answer portion. In 1983, the program kicked off its national television appearance through Intercontinental Broadcasting Channel 13. Ang Dating Daan as a program in radio made its stint in RJTV 29, PTV 4, SBN 21, and now UNTV.

In 2005, the church changed its name to "Members Church of God International". On January 7, 2006, the first live Bible exposition in the United States was held in Los Angeles, California. In 2008, Bible Expositions were conducted in the continent of Oceania bringing forth the first congregation in Papua New Guinea. In the same year, congregations were established in Ghana, West Africa as a result of a series of Bible studies in Africa. The early months of 2009 saw the Church introduced in Latin America.[7]

A schism in MCGI happened in 2009 when Willy Santiago, one of the bible readers of Eliseo Soriano in his radio and TV programs had a dispute over the church leadership succession and "erratic" changes in church doctrines (such as prostrating towards the east in prayer and Sabbath). This resulted twelve MCGI members including Willy Santiago to split from the group on October 2009 and established a new religion, the Members Church of God in Jesus Christ Worldwide or MCGJCW, with membership now consists mostly of former MCGI followers.[8]

Organization and administration[edit]

The ADD Convention Center, the MCGI headquarters.

The MCGI Central Administration is composed of the Overall Servants, the Council of Assistants to the Administration and Church Workers. In locale congregations, Workers administer spiritual services, such as Thanksgiving, Prayer Meetings, Worship Services, Indoctrination Sessions, and Bible studies. The Over-all Servant (formerly termed as "Presiding Minister") supervises the entire activity of the church and implements all policies and projects. Currently, Soriano is the Over-all Servant while his nephew, Daniel Razon, is his deputy. The Assistants to the Administration was assigned to supervise church Divisions ( Church Divisions is equivalent to one region in the Philippines). Area Servants assigned to supervise church ecclesiastical Districts (Districts are equivalent to one Philippine province). Workers, on the other hand, are assigned to preside in various activities and services done in church locales under the supervision of the Over-all Servants and the assigned Assistant to the Administration.[9]

The MCGI headquarters is located in Brgy. Sampaloc, Apalit, Pampanga, Philippines.

Propagation and evangelism[edit]

24/7 satellite broadcast[edit]

MCGI is using the modern satellite technology in propagating the Word of God and to reach more souls in every nation possible. MCGI's Ang Dating Daan (ADD) television program that started in the Philippines is translated in different languages via The Old Path (TOP) Channel for English-speaking countries, TV Verdade for Portuguese-speaking countries and TV La Verdad for Spanish-speaking population aired via satellite in almost 70 countries 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

MCGI Worldwide Satellite TV Broadcast


Doctrines and beliefs[edit]


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,[10] God is not omniscient (he does not know ahead of time all future human actions and choices), and God is not omnipresent (he created hell but 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.[11]

The church believes that the Holy Spirit came from the Father and part of the Godhead.


Baptism is a key part in their doctrines. Membership is conferred through immersion baptism of adults.

Indoctrination classes are required prior to joining the organization. The classes are composed of nine lessons concerning church doctrines prepared by the Presiding Minister Eliseo Soriano. Indoctrinees must fully accept the doctrines taught during the indoctrination before they can be baptized.[12]

The church rejects infant baptism. Members not living in accordance with the church's teachings may be excommunicated, or expelled, from the Church.[13]

Members are required to be modest in dress and grooming. Women are prohibited from cutting their hair and wearing expensive jewelry and denim pants, and men are prohibited from having long hair. They are strictly prohibited from drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes, using drugs, and gambling.

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 quarterly.[14]

Places of worship and church gatherings[edit]

ADD Central Compound[edit]

ADD Central Compound in Apalit Pampanga, Philippines © MCGI

Located in Apalit Pampanga (Central Luzon region), the 10-hectare ADD Compound is the Philippine headquarters of MCGI. It houses the ADD Convention Center, the chapel, baptistry, MCGI Central Administration Office, dormitories for Church officers and volunteers, transient home, orphanages, mini-hospital (ADD Infirmary), school building for La Verdad Christian College (LVCC) and houses for the ministers and workers.

ADD Convention Center[edit]

Main article: ADD Convention Center


A multipurpose venue for Church services such as 24/7 community prayer and praise-singing, Mass Indoctrination sessions, prayer meetings and worship services. It also serves as extension of the ADD Convention Center during International Thanksgivings.

Locale and Coordinating Center[edit]

The Church Locales and Coordinating Centers (also known as MCGI Satellite Monitoring Centers) are established in communities in the Philippines and abroad, where brethren meet weekly to attend various Church services and host Indoctrination sessions. Most Locales are equipped with satellite dishes and broadband connection to receive real-time broadcast feeds coming from the MCGI headquarters for regular and special religious gatherings and Worldwide Bible Expositions. Officers and assigned Church workers at the Locale are ready to receive inquiries about schedules of Church services, Indoctrination sessions in their area and other concerns regarding membership in the Church. From 1,280[15] in 2014, the number of monitoring centers increased to 1,360[16] in 2015.


Since 1980, there have been conflicts between religious organizations Iglesia ni Cristo ("Church of Christ", INC) and the Members Church of God International (MCGI) when MCGI Presiding Minister Eliseo Soriano started his radio program Ang Dating Daan (ADD). Through his program, he discussed biblical issues and "exposed" what he believes are wrong doctrines of other religious groups, including those of INC. In 2001, after 21 years of reticence, the INC launched its own program, Ang Tamang Daan (English: The Right Path), as a direct response for the first time to Ang Dating Daan and to debate and rebuke the claims of Eliseo Soriano, featuring video footages and recordings of ADD hosts as issues were tackled.


The Ang Dating Daan Chorale of MCGI officially broke the record of the Iglesia ni Cristo as the World's Largest Gospel Choir in the Guinness Book of World Records. Consisting of 8,688 choir members, the ADD Chorale render religious hymns during the 35th anniversary of the religious TV and radio program Ang Dating Daan at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on October 12, 2015. The original record holder was the Iglesia ni Cristo's Centennial Choir (4,745 members) during the church's centennial celebration in the Philippine Arena on July 27, 2014.[17]


External links[edit]