On Thursday, 11 January 2024, the 70th Philippine Luzon District Assembly convened at the Philippine Nazarene College in La Trinidad. Jurisdictional General Superintendent Gustavo Crocker and Field Strategy Coordinator Arnel Piliin led this historical day.
While many events are normally celebrated at district assemblies, including seven ordinations and a stage full of district-licensed pastors, something new was taking place.
The mother district, Philippines Luzon, led by superintendent Marcelino Ochoco Jr., is splitting into two Phase-3 districts. According to the Manual of the Church of the Nazarene, a Phase 3 district must “include a minimum of 20 organized churches, 1,000 full members, and ten ordained ministers.”
In addition, the district “must be 100% self-supporting in regard to district administration.”
The decision to split into two Phase-3 districts was voted on last year and then sent to the Board of General Superintendents for approval.
After the business of the combined district was concluded, Crocker gave instructions and led the official split into two districts — the Philippines Luzon Highlands and Lowlands Districts. The two groups then separated so the Philippine Luzon Lowlands District could complete their elections for the new year.
Those gathered appreciated the Philippines Luzon Lowlands District Superintendent Ochoco for his graceful leadership over 25 years and his ability to establish leaders and make this historical move during his term. This district will retain its 70-year history.
The new Philippine Luzon Highlands District was escorted to a separate room where the members’ joy and excitement were evident. The vote for the first district superintendent was taken, and the results were given after lunch. Sam B. Galino was affirmed as the new district superintendent in just one vote. When asked if he would accept the vote to be the district’s first superintendent, Galino said, “I accept the challenge.
“For I believe the Lord is with me, and I believe we have a strong team to lead the new district,” Galino said. “I also believe we can accomplish the mission entrusted to us by God’s grace, with a fervent faith, and through the power of the Holy Spirit.”
–Church of the Nazarene