A Brief Timeline History
How We Got Started
Months before entering seminary, James stumbled upon MP3 recording of “Preaching to Believers and Unbelievers,” a guest lecture taught by Tim Keller at Covenant Seminary. His mind was blown and this set him on the path of discovering more about missional ministry.
James entered the Biblical Seminary of the Philippines and took Urban Missions under Prof. Jay Halowell. This was one of the very first courses that he took in seminary. Here he became convinced of the importance of the City in God’s mission to save His people. As a result of all the readings, exposure trips, and reflections during this course, James decided he wanted to be an urban church planter.
Redeemer Church Planting Center
After a few unanswered emails to the Redeemer Church Planting Center (now Redeemer City to City), James was put in touch with a local church planter in BGC, Zuriel Bernardino who planted Heroes Church in 2009. Z and James have since been very good friends and partners in the ministry. All the more encouraged to plant a church but only as a distant prospect. Maybe after a season in pastoral ministry.
Summer in Sydney
James went to Sydney, Australia for a month-long internship/immersion trip. Here James was hosted by Rev. Eugene Hor and GracePoint Church and Rev. Ying Yee of Chinese Christian Church. While there, James followed their ministry along very closely–attending gatherings, observing and asking questions. He also had opportunities to think long and hard, and write about his future plans. The project idea Ransomed Community Presbyterian Church was born. Toward the end of his time in BSOP, James was put in touch with two churches who were interested to explore a partnership toward engaging in a church planting project. He wrote up a proposal and gave it to both.
The Big Year
After some a few meetings and much prayer, James finally went with one of the two churches, United Evangelical Church of the Philippines. This was the start of the Pilgrim Community Project. James graduated in March, moved to Katipunan in May, got married to Keren in November, and by God’s grace, they’ve been laboring in this neck of the woods ever since.
City to City
James, the ill-equipped church planter, has the opportunity of his life. He attends Redeemer City to City’s first ever International Intensive in Asia Pacific and comes back with a renewed plan for ministry as well as an executable plan of action: prelaunch (advent 2012), soft launch (once a month service from January to May 2013), and launch on June 2, 2013. In November, Katie was born.
In June of 2013, Pilgrim Community Church launched for the first time.
In 2016, after five years of fruitful partnership in the Gospel, UECP and Pilgrim parted ways. Pilgrim Community Church became a mission partner ofGracePoint Church in Australia. Support in their ministries come from different partners and donors, mainly in the Philippines.
After two years of exploring the possibility, James finally got ordained under the British Presbytery of the International Presbyterian Church.