In view of the growing Filipino community in the Durham Region, particularly in the Oshawa-Courtice area, Filipino members from the College Park Adventist Church felt God’s call to establish a Filipino congregation with a special mission to reach out to fellow countrymen in the area.
The initial effort to establish Filipino Adventist presence in Durham took place on Friday evening, September 22, 2006 at the Guarin’s residence in Oshawa. Present were the Arriola, Flores, Guarin, McCarty, Quiambao and Rosa families. Prayer, study of God’s Word and outreach were paramount to the life and ministry of the group. But as years passed by, majority of the group members became more assimilated into the various ministries of College Park Adventist Church (CPC), which put the church planting plan on hold for a while.
Thankfully, after six years, the desire to plant a Filipino congregation in Durham was rekindled. On May 7, 2012, the Filipino Adventist Minister’s Association, under the chairmanship of Pastor Joseph Batiancila, voted to pursue a 10-year church planting plan to be participated in by all Filipino churches in Ontario. Five cities/municipalities were chosen to be the focus of this concerted effort with Oshawa being the first in the list. Dialogues were arranged between the Filipino pastors and CPC’s pastoral staff to discuss ways on how to materialize the said plan.
Then on the eve of September 21, 2012, forty-five (45) individuals (adults and children combined), met at the Orijuela-Martin-s place in Oshawa to pray together for God’s leading – and this marked the beginning of the weekly Friday vespers meetings that united the group in purpose and mission. In attendance were the Arriola, Babida, Bautista, Bongato, Dela Cruz, Lubiran, Martin, Moncada, Orijuela, Pascual, Pornillosa, Rey, Telebrico and Tuburan families. The number of weekly attendees continued to increase. Different families hosted the weekly vespers service on a rotation basis and various speakers were invited including Pastor Leo Launio, Pastor Jesse Anunciacion, Pastor Gerry Pasikatan and Pastor Sereivudh Lee. This paved the way for the establishment of the Durham Filipino-Canadian Group.