THE homegrown Filipino church, Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC), has committed to “restore, rehabilitate, and reinvigorate” the town of Johnsonville, Connecticut that it has recently acquired as part of the INC’s “aggressive expansion in the United States.”
In a statement, INC general auditor Glicerio B. Santos Jr. bared their acquisition of Johnsonville, a 62-hectare property originally chartered some 200 years ago, is already the INC’s second major purchase in the US mainland, the first being “Scenic Town” in South Dakota.
“We already have three congregations in Connecticut and we believe that restoring Johnsonville to its former glory is just part and parcel of our responsibility as positive contributors in the state,” said Santos.
Abandoned for over 20 years now, Santos noted that Johnsonville “looks like it was frozen in time.
With a local church, a meeting house, general store, pond and covered bridge, Santos said that as it is, the town is “picture perfect” and the INC would be doing its best to restore the town as it looked when it was established in the mid 19th century.
“It is a beautiful, picturesque property, so all our efforts will be focused on restoration. We will also establish our first eco-farming here in the US to create jobs and livelihood in this town,” he added.
Just over a century after the INC was founded in 1914, the Filipino church has gone global under the leadership of Executive Minister Ka Eduardo Manalo.
Since he took over the reins of the INC in September 2009, 79 new chapels have been dedicated abroad, in countries like Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Japan, South Korea, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
In the United States alone, 45 new chapels have been dedicated during the tenure of Ka Eduardo.
Santos said among the goals of the INC leadership under Ka Eduardo is to “uplift” communities all around the world, “spiritually and physically, in form and in substance.”
“This (acquisition) is all part of the INC’s mission, part of our evangelization efforts. We want to reach out and touch lives.
“This is evangelization through expansion, fulfilling our mission through a larger and better church, serving the communities around us whether they are our members or not,” Santos said.