From the monthly archives:

July 2003

Elder Harvey D. Fulmer Trip to the Philippines

by Original Author on July 9, 2003

Originally posted by Elder Gus Harter

Brother Luke Poe and I, Harvey D. Fulmer, arrived in Manila June 3 at about 12: midnight. Sisters Joanna and Rebecca Guess were to accompany us from Dallas-Ft. Worth on but their flight was delayed by bad weather and they spent the night in Texas with friends and arrived a day late in Manila. We were met at the airport by Chris Fulmer, Elders, Dominador Lozada, Ronaldo Lopez, Manny Briva, Conrado Quinto, and Ricky Enoposa. Who escorted us to a hotel room for the rest of the night. Wednesday was spent in visitation with the brethren and then we went to The First Primitive Baptist Church of Manila, which is in the Pasig area for services. We had provided the funds for transportation and meals but the dear brethren and sisters did all the work. The Filipino people have pride and are reluctant to take financial help because they want to give as much as anyone does, but since they do not have resources to do with, they make it up in other ways. We had a lovely meal before and after services. I preached on "That name which is above every Name" and Brother Harter followed with a powerful message on the Inspiration of the Holy Scriptures". There had been some disturbance over whether the name of Jesus was correctly translated from Greek to English. In fact the argument was that the Hebrew name for God should be used. This had come from a movement known as The Sacred Name of God, which I had not heard of until Brother Harter sent me information on it with a summary written by Elder Michael Gowens. Brother Harter’s message seemed to be received well and the meeting closed with high spirits and we were escorted back to our rooms for the night. The Guess girls came during the night and we saw them briefly on Thursday morning before they were escorted to Davao City by Brother Gus.

We went Thursday to Cebu and were met by our good and faithful friend Elder Jovencio Bael. We accompanied him to two Bible studies. One with a wealthy lady who had come to the truth on the doctrines of grace but had not joined the Old Baptists yet. This was an encouraging meeting. Then we went quite a distance to visit a poor family who had several children. The husband was working out of town but we had a good Bible Study with the lady and her children. They would be members at Lapu-lapu Primitive Baptist Church but for the distance and the poor transportation. We then went back and had services at the Lapu-Lapu church with a good crowd and a terrific spirit. On Friday Elder Bael accompanied us to the Island of Bohol. We were met here by Brethren Emelio Boloran, Mario Omila, Jeffrey Tiansay, and others. We had services with Brother Omila. They need a pavilion. They only had a tarp spread up to keep the sun off. Also his wife is in poor health and needs surgery, but we had a good service. We met there a brother Marlon Dabatos who went with us on the rest of our visit there. We met next in the home of brother Emilio Boloron. He is a very sweet brother but has only a small room in which to hold services and his wife also is in very poor health. On Saturday we met at the home of Brother Jeffrey Tiansay. He lives in a grove of coconut trees and while there one of the boys climbed to the top and got several coconuts which were dressed for us and we drank the milk which was delicious and refreshing. We met there in the open air. Brother Jeffrey is a very energetic brother and shows great promise.

Saturday: Elder Bael left us today in order to be with his church Sunday. We went today to the home of Brother Bernado Dalinson. He lives near the water and we had to walk a good distance to get there but there was a good crowd with neighborhood children attending. We went next to the home of Brother Perfecto Mumar. Here we had to walk a great distance in a mountainous area but when we got there it was a beautiful location. This family has sixteen children. We had good services with refreshments to follow. On Sunday morning we met first with Elder Max Quiachon, then with Brother Richard Famador who pastors a large Bible Baptist Church. We enjoyed being there and preaching to them. They were very hospitable and received the message well. Sunday afternoon we traveled to Davao City and were in services Sunday night with Providence Church where Elder Harter pastors. This is a very good church with many professional people. We met there Brother Teodoro Badilles who pastors a large Sovereign Grace, Landmark Missionary Baptist Church. He accompanied us to General Santos City on Monday, June 9th. He is very sound in the doctrine of Primitive Baptists. Our trip to Shekinah Primitive Baptist Church in General Santos City was very enjoyable. This is a very scenic road, mostly mountainous with coconut and banana trees everywhere and great viewing. Elder Marino Oliveros is the pastor there. He is a very sweet brother who has never asked me for anything. He is happy in his environment with a nice family and church. They provided us with a very nice meal after which we had church services with good attendance. Almost all of the Filipino churches start with a song, "There’s a welcome here and they come around and shake hands with all the visitors as they sing." It was late when we got back to Davao. Elder Rolly de Guzman, who works closely with Brother Harter, drove us back. Brother Rolly is a very fine man and minister. He also has a fine family of a good wife, three natural sons and I believe two adopted daughters who are blind. From Sunday night till Thursday we made our headquarters at the Harter home. It is a delight to see the children enjoying their home, which they did not have before and would not have now except for the compassion of the Harter’s. Sister Betty Jo has a full load and sometimes barely has strength to go but she is in the height of her glory when she is providing a home, food, care and loving to the little sheep of God.

We went Tuesday to three (it turned out to be four) churches and fellowships. 1st. Mt. Olive Church with Elder Raul Cabuyao, next Boiling Springs Church with Elder Antonio Maglinte, and Nabunturan with Elder Levi Sebuala and an outreach in the home of Brother Romeo Dominguez. All of these were delightful places with good crowds and good visitation. Wednesday we went to Matanao, a mountain village where the church is made up of native tribes. They live in bamboo huts surrounding the church building, which is partially finished with metal roof overlooking a beautiful canyon with a river running through it. There are many children here. Elder Ricardo Tabanyag serves here as well as the Sovereigh Grace Primitive Baptist Church in Davao city where we went Wednesday night. It rained very hard both Tuesday and Wednesday nights but the services were well attended anyway. The Guess girls and two of Brother Harter’s daughters were able to go with us Tuesday and Wednesday.

Thursday we traveled to the Island of Iloilo. This is where the "Sacred Name" thing got started. Six of the ministers from there met us and accompanied us to the hotel where we had a lengthy discussion on the above subject. After discussing the matter awhile, tensions finally got calmer and there seemed to be a willingness to drop the matter and not let it be a means if division. From then on we had an excellent visit with these brethren and became very close to them. We baptized 23 members of Brother Avelino Tarde’s group and baptized 6 members of the group, which was to be constituted on Guimaras Island, we then ordained Brother Efren Delmo then constituted the church there. It was a lovely sight. Brother Efren has a nice family and a good church. This was Friday. On Saturday we went to the Island of Negros and constituted a church and ordained Brother Raul Panes who was called to be the pastor. He is very promising. We had a very bountiful meal served here with charbroiled tuna, fish balls, rice, noodles, and crab. Several dishes of vegetables and meat. This trip took all day.
Sunday morning Brother Gus flew back to Davao to be with Providence Church. It is very encouraging to me that churches are still being planted in foreign soil and young ministers are being called and ordained. This pattern was set by the Apostle Paul and others in Acts. It does not matter to me that these people speak a different tongue (Isaiah 66:18,1 Cor.14:21) God has a people in every nation, kindred, people and tongue. (Rev.5:9) Sunday, June 15th we went to Brother Rogie Tasoy’s fellowship. This is where Brother Dave Bergman’s wife lived and we got to visit with her family. We had good services there then went to Bagacay to Elder Jerry Navarro’s church. I had been in his ordination in 1996 and I remembered asking him if all the money that was being sent to the Philippines by American churches were to dry up, what would he do. His answer was, " I am in this for the long haul, for better or for worse." He has been very faithful to the Lord and to the churches.

We went after services at his church in the town, to an outreach where we had to ride in a big army truck to get there. Some ladies in their sixties and seventies climbed up into that truck for the long rough trip. It was a really pretty mountainous area with farming being done on steep hills. We had good services in a building partially built by Elders James Pruitt and Don Farris. Their names, along with Travis Housley and many other American Primitive Baptists are greatly appreciated for their efforts to improve conditions. Monday, June 16th we went to Elder Edmond Linatan’s church, which was very far across rough roads. We finally had to park our jeepney and walk across a footbridge over a stream then we came to a swift running river approximately 200 feet across where we had to ride a bamboo raft pushed across the stream by young men who waded the river and guided us across. There was a good-sized village here with this their only access to the outside world. We had services in their beautiful (by Philippine standards) building then Brother Linatan returned with us and stayed until we were ready to leave this island. He was a good singer and with the other brethren we had some excellent singing as we traveled. Our last service in Iloilo was in the city where Elders, Ronnie Cabaobao, Ike Benia Jr. Leo Engbino were all members. With us were all of the above named ministers in addition to Edmond Linatan, Efren Delmo, George Cuadra, Avelino Tarde.

June 17th Tuesday we went to the fellowship pastored by Brother Avelino Tarde where we had to go through a real muddy area to get to the church. They had a carabao (water buffalo) hitched to a sled. Brother Luke rode the animal and I rode on the sled about a mile to the church house. Others walked with boots on and through grassy areas outside the road and finally a good crowd arrived and we had good services. This is where most of the 23 we had baptized earlier belonged and there were others there who wanted to be baptized but time would not allow it for this trip. On Wednesday, June 18th we went back to Manila and were met by Brether Lopez, Lazada, and Quinto. We checked into a hotel with some difficulty. Bro. Luke lost his money in some way, we are not sure how, maybe pickpocket, maybe through carelessness. The hotel did not accept credit cards. Brother Luke’s loss was about 4,000 pesos. We managed to pull together enough money between us to make it all right. We went to a Sovereign Grace church where Brother Harter had made us an appointment on Wednesday night. This brother was named Imperial. He was very gracious and kind and was glad to have Americans visit them. Most of the Primitive Baptist ministers were there . We had a good time. On June19th we had services with Brother Conrado Quinto’s Church in Manila, Kalookan City Church. This was an excellent meeting. I preached mainly on practical matters and all was well received. Brother Raddy as he is affectionately called, is a very good host. He was able to bring most of his congregation through Holy Spirit Regeneration as opposed to Gospel Regeneration. This ended our trip and we had to say goodbye to Chris who had gone all the way with us. The trip back home was uneventful. We were glad to see our families waiting for us.