The first Protestant preaching of the gospel in the Philippines was done by Major John Milsaps who’d been appointed to accompany U.S. Army troops to Manila in 1898. The major conducted open-air and regular meetings and led many people into a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. The advance of The Salvation Army in the Philippines was begun in 1933 by Filipinos who’d become Salvationists in Hawaii and had returned to their homeland. Regular meetings started being held in Panay, Luzon, Cebu and Mindanao.
The Army’s work was officially inaugurated in 1937 by Colonel and Mrs. Alfred Lindvall on this Southeast Asian archipelago of 7,107 islands with a land mass slightly larger than Arizona. Today the country has a total population of 101 million. Evangelism, discipleship and financial stability have been recent major thrusts of the Philippines Territory. Nine new centers were opened (five in the Mindano Island Division and four in the Central Philippines Division), while in the Northern Luzon Division the Nancalobasaan Outpost became a society and the Moncada Society became a corps.
Despite a strict implementation of fundraising laws by the government, giving has increased significantly and a close working relationship has been established with the Department of Social Welfare. A number of corps officers are working with the government on two major ministries among the poor and marginalized. The Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) is an initiative of the department to provide financial as well as spiritual and educational help to the poorest of families. A seminar on human trafficking held in Mindanao addressed abject poverty as the major reason why women and children succumb to the risk of trusting strangers with the hope of a better life. Salvationists were trained in awareness and indications of human trafficking, counseling victims and networking with other agencies.
Today, The Salvation Army in the Philippines continue to grow, expand, and triumph for the Great Commission that Jesus Christ has commanded to his believers. For the Philippine Territory, this means exactly to “Go and preach the Gospel” with its signature catch phrase, “Soap, Soup, and Salvation”, bringing the Good News that Jesus Saves with the help that our neighbors in need really deserve. The Salvation Army Philippine Territory is blessed by God through Jesus Christ, in the ministry of the Holy Ghost that is vested on its officers, soldiers, and adherents standing strong against any challenge that the world and its prince has to throw.