| Photo via Iglesia Ni Cristo
NEW YORK – A newly renovated, 328-seater worship building of the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church of Christ) in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada, [to accommodate the growing number of INC members,] re-opened July 24 following government health protocols. INC Executive Minister Eduardo V. Manalo led special worship to mark the 107th anniversary of the INC via live streaming from Manila, the Philippines. The new house of worship in Canada brings INC’s completed worship buildings during the pandemic to 143 worldwide.
The church building, formerly owned by the Surrey Pentecostal Assembly, was first dedicated on Oct. 11, 2003, after INC purchased it in October 2002 for approximately $2.1 million. The money was raised through the voluntary contributions of its members and had its first renovations to meet INC worship building standards. The INC congregation was established in June 1996 and has been part of the community for 25 years. According to a news release, INC renovated to accommodate the growing number of INC members in the area.
INC said that despite unavoidable delays due to COVID-19 restrictions, the project officially received its Fire Safety Renovation Permit from the Surrey Fire Department in January 2020 and its Demolition Permit from the City of Surrey in July 2020. More than $1.3 million worth of renovations went into beautifying the property, all through the voluntary contributions of INC members.
“It is important for us inside the Church of Christ to beautify the house of worship because it is the house of our Almighty God. His name dwells in the house of worship, and we would like to give honor and glory to our Almighty God. It is for the worship service to our Almighty Father,” District Minister of British Colombia, Noriel Cadacio, said. “That is the reason we did everything, through prayers, striving hard, with all the brethren helping so that the renovation would be completed although there were hindrances along the way.”
The renovation included the demolition of the facade, its rebuilt and adding the three steeples that are prominent in worship buildings following the INC’s architectural design. The building went through extensive upgrades and fitted with a new, expanded raised podium and choir loft, redesigned ceiling, modernized lighting system in the sanctuary, and a balcony on the second floor to accommodate more worshipers. Stairs were built, one on each side of the foyer. Sanctuary windows were replaced in offices and rooms.
INC also said they did other upgrades in the building’s facilities. An automatic standby generator was also placed, while a new intrusion system, a security video system, a brand-new organ, and audio and video systems were also installed. Volunteers worked on the exterior of the worship building, which was finished with a completely new stucco wall. INC also added an open concrete walkway and canopy on one side of the building leading to the podium. Finally, INC built concrete walkways to facilitate exits to the front and rear doors of the sanctuary.
The Iglesia Ni Cristo was first registered in the Philippines on July 27, 1914, by its first Executive Minister, Felix Y. Manalo. After 107 years, it has spread to 158 countries and territories, with its members belonging to 147 nationalities and races.
–With Jay Domingo/PDM