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The First Filipino American United Methodist Church (FFAUMC) started as fellowship in 1979 at St. Stephen UMC in Mesquite, Texas with the Reverend Dr Leo Tipay as founder and Reverend Salvador Capuli and the late Reverend Silverio Ignacio as co-founders.
The fellowship moved to a more centralized location at Munger UMC on July 1, 1979. Some members of the Filipino Ecumenical Fellowship which was in existence since 1969 under the leadership of Reverend Philip Del Rosario joined them and on July 27, 1981, The First Filipino/American United Methodist Church (TFFAUMC) was chartered by the North Texas Conference. Reverend Dr. Philip Del Rosario became the first conference appointed pastor of TFFAUMC. In 1982 TFFAUMC moved to the facility of Glendale UMC which had just closed on Freddie Drive in Pleasant Grove in Dallas. In July 1983, per arrangement by the bishops of both conferences, there was an exchange of pulpit when Reverend Del Rosario went to serve as the Senior Pastor of Central Church UMC in Manila, Philippines and to do a special mission, while Reverend Eduardo Cajiuat came to Dallas from Central Church to be the Senior Pastor of TFFAUMC. On Dr. Del Rosario’s return in 1984, Reverend Eduardo Cajiuat served as his associate.
In 1985, Reverend Eduardo Cajiuat became the Senior Pastor of TFFAUMC. The church at Freddie Drive was built for 80 people only but by 1988 we already have 123 full members. At that time, Briarwood UMC in Plano was closing and its facility was made available to us. About one third of the original members went to Plano, the rest stayed, and we became a church in two places: Plano and Dallas and it was this way for two years. Both congregations were allowed to have their own administrative council. In June1989, Reverend Cajiuat was designated to work in Plano while Reverend Levy Laguardia who had been working as part time Christian Education Director and Youth Worker since 1986 was asked to serve as the Senior Pastor in Dallas, now called Umphress UMC.
The church in Plano worked tirelessly to become a chartered church of the North Texas Conference. Their dream came into fruition when on May 27,1990 in a constituting conference presided over by the Rev. Ira Thompson in behalf of the Dallas Central District Superintendent Gary Regan, a new church was born with 92 full members and 30 preparatory members.
On June 3, 1990, the Administrative Council voted to name the church FAITH UMC. The name was chosen because the young people pointed out that the church was not just for Filipinos but for everybody. Reverend Eduardo Cajiuat’s appointment as Senior Pastor of the new church was read by Bishop Bruce P. Blake in the 124th session of the North Texas Conference held in Dallas on June 3-6, 1990.
The church followed the track of growth not only among Filipinos, but with other groups also. True to its name, Faith UMC sought to minister to all people, regardless of age, color and ethnicity. As a result, an increasing number of African Americans, Caucasians and Asians from different parts of the DFW Metropolitan area became part of its membership. Our members consist of people from Plano, Richardson, Garland, Mesquite, Rowlett, Carrollton, Southlake, Seagoville and Grapevine.
When Reverend Cajiuat was the Senior Pastor of the church, the late Reverend Kai Manimoi who is married to a Filipina Deaconess, Aurora Bote. formed an African American fellowship consisting of people from Sierra Leone, Nigeria and other parts of Africa where they hold their meetings at Faith UMC. When he left to become a pastor in a church in Iowa, most of the members of the fellowship started to attend Faith UMC worship service and they now are active members of the church.
In June 1996, PriscillaTorres, a deaconess from the Philippines came to help the church in its ministry with children and Christian nurture as well as serving as part time Church Administrative Assistant until 2002, when she returned to the Philippines. Margie Naguit, an active lay member, replaced her to continue her responsibilities and ministry.
In 1998, when Reverend Cajiuat retired, Reverend Dante Simon became the Senior Pastor of the church. Reverend Simon shared his pastoral gifts for a year and left in 1999 to become the pastor of a church in California. Reverend Cajiuat became interim Pastor for one year while the search for a replacement pastor is ongoing. In 2000, Reverend Jerico Pagdilao, a Christian Missionary Alliance Church Minister and taking his Master of Divinity in Pastoral Theology at Perkins was appointed as senior pastor and has been serving as pastor of Faith UMC up to the present time.
Because of the continued growth, the building on Sherrye Dr. become too small. On Sunday mornings, people were standing or sitting outside the sanctuary during the worship service. A capital campaign was launched in 2001 under the leadership of Jeff Brueggeman. With the help of the Texas Methodist Foundation, the church was able to receive $300,000 in pledges where 97% of which was raised. During the fund raising campaign, the search for a new facility was also ongoing and after many prayers, we found the Trinity Bible Church facility on Old Campbell Road in Richardson. It was purchased in November 2003 for $800,000 from the money in building fund, pledges, sale proceeds from the Plano Church property and a loan from the Texas Methodist Foundation.
During this time, Reverend Dr Leta Gorham, a missionary to Congo and Kenya who just retired from the ministry had been a constant presence and help in the church. She is a missionary to Korea since 2005.
In 2006, the Reverend Richard Ramos II with his Master of Divinity in Pastoral Theology at Perkins became the church Christian Education Director and Administrative Assistant. He was Director of the Care Group Ministry since 2004 and became the Associate Pastor in 2009..
In January 2008, Pastor Wilfred Job, a student of the Word at Perkins and Dallas Theological Seminary joined the staff of Faith UMC as Discipleship and Church Development Program Director.
In July 2009, the first overseas mission in the life of Faith UMC became a reality when Reverend Ramos and Pastor Job led a group of youths and adults on a mission trip to Korea and the Philippines.
In the past 7 years, since we moved from Sherrye Drive in Plano to Old Campbell Road in Richardson, Faith UMC had experienced difficult situations and crisis. However, God is always faithful and he stirred the church to a deeper commitment of loving one another, witnessing to others and to each other and study of God’s words and prayers. Individuals and families continue to join the church. Gifts and talents abound and are used for the glory of the Lord. Faith UMC has become what God wants us to be, with open hearts, open minds and open doors.
Today, we declare our thanksgiving to God for 20 wonderful years of challenges and victories. We honor and express our deepest gratitude to Reverend Dr Leo Tipay, Reverend Salvador Capuli, Reverend Eduardo Cajiuat, Reverend Dante Simon, Reverend Jerico Pagdilao and special thanks to the late Reverend Silverio Ignacio and Reverend Dr Philip Del Rosario for the legacy that they left all of us. They are God’s disciples that brought Faith UMC to exist and helped Faith UMC to continue to exist.
Faith United Methodist Women
Mother’s Day Banquet
Saturday, May 11, 2013
9:00 am to 11:00 am
Doubletree by Hilton Hotel – Richardson
1981 N. Central Expressway
$15.00 Per person. Children 5 years and below is Free