From the monthly archives:

April 2005

Personal Testimony of Jose Ruel A. Fedilis

by Original Author on April 28, 2005

Originally posted by Elder Gus Harter

Several months ago while visiting in Manila Elder Manuel Briva introduce me to a minister by telephone. It was obvious in our conversation that he had a good grasp of our doctrine and was hungry to know more. His name is Jose Ruel A. Fedilis however he is affectionately called Roy. I finally met him in person March 4, 2005 at a Minister’s Meeting in Manila. He was then close to the Kingdom. In March 2005, Brother Roy requested I speak at his church on a Wednesday night. He is the pastor of a Conservative Baptist Church in Santa Rosa, Laguna just south of Manila. They have beautiful building and about 100 in their congregation. The building was pleasantly full and they welcomed a message on the doctrines of grace. Only a few days after my visit with him he united with the Primitive Baptist. He was baptized by Elder Manuel Briva. I asked him to share his experience so I could put it in our web page. I will be speaking again at the church he pastor’s on May 22, 2005.

G. H.
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This is a short biography of my search for the historic church of the scriptures and a people embracing the Apostolic Faith. I was first converted to Christianity in a full gospel charismatic church in 1983. I remained with them for 15 years. I began in less than a year as an evangelist, then appointed as superintendent of the Sunday school and by 1993 was given the position of Senior Associate Pastor. It was in this position I attempted to systematize their doctrinal belief and establish a training institute with in the church. But by my studies I began to question the beliefs and practices that I was called to defend.

In 1995 I ceased my association with this ministry for three reasons; 1.) Doctrinal confusion, 2.) Doubt about the biblical validity of their teachings , 3.) My need to work to support my family. I had signed a two year contract in secular work. Two months before the termination of the contract, the Presbyterian Church offered me a pastorship of one of their outreaches. I served there for three years. It was three years of struggle because I opposed infant baptism and some of their unbiblical practices. In the year 2000, the first of March, I resign from being the outreach pastor. I began a study of the Quakers because they were the descendants of the Anabaptist. But it was a great disappointment. They were not different form the Pentecostals. They practiced visions, prophecy, using “thus saith the Lord”, “the Lord spoke to me”. I began an investigation of a group call the Evangelical Church. I again was disappointed because they were strong Armenians as well as using human inventions for evangelism. I was convinced of the doctrines of grace, congregational church government and believers baptism by immersion. These principles enabled me to narrow my search for the right church.

In the year 2004, I attended a Reformed Baptist Pastor’s Conference. They subscribed to the London Baptist Confession of Faith. I had come to embrace this document as the closest condensation of Bible truth. At that conference I met a Primitive Baptist minister named Elder Manuel Briva. Our first conversations turn to an argument over some points of the 1689 confession. The following day Brother Briva shared the faith and practice of Primitive Baptist. He gave me some booklets authored by Elder Michael Gowens and Elder Lasserre Bradley, Jr. My mind and heart the Lord opened to the truths in these booklets. For the first time I saw the depths of Total Depravity. I was enlightened that a dead person cannot understand or even comprehend the things of God. He is incapacitated to respond to the gospel call. I understand that regeneration must come before conversion. The last day of the conference Brother Briva invited me to attend a Primitive Baptist Ministers Conference held at Pasig City, March 18, 19, 2004.

In May 2004, the Conservative Baptist Church in Santa Rosa, Laguna accepted me as their Pastor. Elder Briva was just returning from preaching trip to America. I was eager to renew my fellowship with him and question him about the doctrine of Primitive Baptist. We began to meet weekly and my curiosity about these people turn to a passion to understand their doctrine. I studied not only Biblically these doctrines but research in depth their church history. Thru the clear teaching of Brother Briva and movement of the Spirit of God I became convinced of the Primitive Baptist was the nearest form of worship to the pattern found in the New Testament. With joy I wrote an article about Church Perpetuity in our own dialect.

April 01, 2005, I was baptized by Elder Manuel Briva in the river beside his home of as a member of the Primitive Baptist. I rejoice that my search was over and I rejoice to serve in our Lord’s Kingdom. The fulfillment of my happiness is giving my utmost for His highest. Let me quote in closing the words of late Elder Hassell Wallis to Elder Zack Guess. “I realize that Primitive Baptist are not perfect, and that we must constantly be examining ourselves by scriptures. However, I still believe the best place to be on the top side of this old earth in a good Primitive Baptist Church”. I give all the glory and praise to the only God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen

Brother Fedilis

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Albert

by Original Author on April 26, 2005

Originally posted by Betty Jo Harter

“Once A Prisoner Tied To A Nipa Hut, Now, The Glorious Freedom; A Prisoner Of Jesus Christ”

This is the experience of our dear child Albert, 14 years old.

This past Sunday was one of the most beautiful experiences a child of God, a lover of Christ could experience. I witnessed with our church members Albert going down to the front of the church and asking for baptism.

It took Albert longer than it would most of us. Albert crawls on all fours to move about, and so he did. Independent of help to go on his own on the most important journey of his young life. Unless you were seated on the aisle, you could not see him as he worked his way from the back of the church all the way to the front on his hands and feet. His little body is so thin, his head is very large which makes his arms and legs appear much longer. Almost in “crab like” position. His eyes are almost closed because of the ravages of muscular dystrophy in his body.

His going before the church was a complete surprise to all of us. He has attended all the services, as do all the children at Beauty for Ashes. He is always expressive of his love for the Lord. He is always joyful!

Gus tenderly picked him up and held him so that everyone could see him and hear his testimony. Oh, I do so want you to be able to view these children and their love for Jesus. Everything was perfect Sunday morning. It was our 2nd meeting in our “new temporary” building on our property. We have a front, a roof, plastic chairs, concrete floor, no side wall, but a concrete baptistry. Solomon’s temple could not have appeared more splendid that morning! Having no walls allowed the breeze to flow through the congregation. We could also view the magnificent beauty of God creation; the fields, the terrace, the mango grove and the fruit trees. Most of all about 150 of the Lord’s pilgrims filling the building. Forty-five of them survivors from Beauty for Ashes. Most of them already baptized now.

Gus asked Albert if he brought any clothes. He said, “No, I’ll go home wet”. Someone got some “big pants and t shirt”. Gus sat him on a plastic chair, thinking he could manage and control his little body better for baptism. When he leaned the chair back, Albert eyes rolled back. And for a brief moment I thought we might have lost him. In a moment he came back around and the joy was written all over his face of having submitted to the Lord’s command. We then wrapped a blanket around him and everyone wanted to hug him and tell him once again how very much we love him.

You see, Albert was abused most of his life and at one time tied or chained to Nipa Hut (Filipino small native house) he now rejoice in being a prisoner of the Lord Jesus Christ. His muscular dystrophy is progressing, please pray for him.

Mom Betty
Picture of Albert

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“My Times are in Thy Hands”

April 18, 2005

Originally posted by Betty Jo Harter I have been shown this direct application to my life time and time again throughout my life. I am home again in Davao. Diagnosis Saint Luke’s Hospital Manila:Deep vein Thrombosis upper and lower extremities. Cause; most likely due to genetic mutation in Coagulation. Treatment: Active life time anticoagulation injections […]

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Condition of Betty Jo Harter (Gus Harter’s wife)

April 10, 2005

Originally posted by Betty Jo Harter Once again I covet your prayers. It is alright with me whatever the Lord wills for me. I feel selfish sometimes continuing to ask the Lords people to pray. But I do know that I have been delivered more times than I can remember because of the prayers of […]

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