PAC: A Brief Historical Statement

PAC: A Brief Historical Statement

The Methodist Episcopal Church in the Philippines was officially organized in 1900 as a district of the Malaysia Annual Conference that was then a part of the Southern Asia Central Conference, India. It was called the Philippine Islands District Conference. Its organizing session was held from 20 to 23 August 1900 at the Methodist Girls School in Ermita, Manila with Bishop Frank W. Warne presiding and Mary A. Cody acting as secretary. The District Conference held its fifth and last session as a district on 10 to 16 March 1904 with Bishop Homer C. Stuntz presiding. The General Conference that year authorized the conversion of the Philippine Islands District Conference into a separate mission conference.

On 11 March 1905 the Philippine Islands Mission Conference was organized with 25 ministerial members and 17 probationary members, under the jurisdiction of the Southern Asia Central Conference. Its first session as a Mission Conference was held at Central Methodist Episcopal Church in Manila with Bishop William Oldham presiding.

Because of the rapid growth and development of the Methodist Episcopal Church in the Philippines, the 1904 General Conference passed an enabling act which granted regular annual conference status to the Philippine church. Thus, in 1908 the Mission Conference became the Philippine Islands Annual Conference.

In 1936 the Philippine Islands Annual Conference was divided into two separate annual conferences pursuant to an enabling act passed by the 1932 General Conference. In its twenty-ninth session, the Philippine Islands Annual Conference which gathered in Central Student Church in Manila from 12 to 28 February 1936 first met as one body and transacted the routine business of an annual conference. Thereafter, the Philippines Annual Conference and the Philippines North Annual Conference met separately to conclude their respective organizations.

It was also in 1936 that the name of the Philippine Islands Annual Conference was legally changed to the Philippines Annual Conference when the 1935 Philippine Constitution changed the name of our country from the “Philippine Islands” to the “Philippines”.

Pursuant to an enabling act of the 1960 General Conference, the Philippines Annual Conference was again divided in 1961 into two annual conferences, namely, Philippines Annual Conference composed of Manila District and Southern Luzon-Visayas District and the Middle Philippines Annual Conference composed of Bulacan District, Bataan-Zambales District, Pampanga-South Tarlac District, and Nueva Ecija-Aurora District.

By the action of the 1968 General Conference held in Dallas, Texas, U.S.A., as recorded in pages 245 and 774 of the 1968 Daily Christian Advocate, “the Philippines Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church was authorized to convert Mindoro-Palawan District into a provisional Annual Conference in full compliance with all the provisions of the Discipline relating thereto.” This was implemented during the fifty-ninth session of the Philippines Annual Conference held in Knox United Methodist Church, Manila from 28 May to 1 June 1969. The new Philippines Annual Conference comprises the following: the City of Manila, Caloocan City, Quezon City, Naga City; and the provinces of Rizal, Cavite, Batangas, Quezon and Bicol region; and the Islands of Masbate and Catanduanes.

As approved by the 1992 Philippines Central Conference, the Philippines Annual Conference was further divided in to three, namely, Philippines Annual Conference covering what then constituted the West Metro Manila District together with the provinces of Cavite and Batangas; Philippines Annual Conference East covering what then constituted the East Manila District together with the provinces of Laguna, Quezon and Marinduque, and the Bicol Philippines Provisional Annual Conference covering what then constituted the Bicol Mission District, together with the provinces of Catanduanes and Masbate.

During the 83rd session of the new Philippines Annual Conference held in St. Peter UMC, Navotas, Metro Manila, by action 93:032, it was voted to increase the number of districts from one to two and by action 93:210 they were named Northwest Metro Manila District and Southwest Metro Manila District. In the 89th session held in Knox UMC, by virtue of action 99:046, the Cavite District was organized.

At the end of the quadrennium in 2004, the Philippines Annual Conference consisted of three districts, namely, Northwest Metro Manila District; Southwest Metro Manila District and Cavite District and with a total of 85 organized local churches. In the 95th session the supervision of the province of Batangas was divided between Northwest and Southwest Metro Manila Districts.

In 2008 during the 98th regular session of the PAC, the conference acted to petition the 2008 session of the Philippines Central Conference for the creation of a new annual conference that will come from the Cavite District. The petition was approved and on January 10, 2009 the Cavite District formally separated from the PAC and became known as the “Philippines Annual Conference-Cavite.”

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Sources:
1. Alejandro, Dionisio D., From Darkness to Light: A Brief Chronicle of the Beginnings and Spread of Methodism in the Philippines, Manila, Philippines: Philippines Central Conference Board of Christian Education and Communications, The United Methodist Church, 1974.

2. Journals of the Philippines Annual Conference.

3. Journals of the Philippines Central Conference.

4. Methodism in the Philippines: A Century of Faith and Vision, Manila, Philippines: Philippines Central Conference, The United Methodist Church, 2003.

5. Notes of Cornelio R. Ferrer, Jr., former lay delegate from Central United Methodist Church and former treasurer of the Philippines Central Conference.