EFC-Puerto Princesa, Palawan
EFC-Puerto Princesa was pioneered in January 1999 by Pastor Ricky Tamayor and Pastor Christopher Magbanua. At that time, Puerto Princesa City was known for malaria and the notorious Iwahig, Penal Colony, a far image of what it is today- a top tourist destination home to the Underground River, one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature in the World.
Back then, the two pastors started out their mission by befriending some street sweepers and some men in the place whom they invited for lunch for a few weeks. From this small group, they were able to start a Sunday Service on the first Sunday of March 1999.
In July 2001, Pastor Tamayor married Greta Tita Gapasin, and after two years, they were blessed with a son named Hans. By this time, the couple felt lost in the ministry and were thinking of quitting their work in Barangay Bagong Pag-asa, Puerto Princesa. Then a catastrophic fire swept this barangay and burned most of the houses, but the church was spared. For the couple, this disaster has spiritual implication for the purging fire of God to revive the church in Bagong Pag-asa. In that same year, God sent the AIM team to the church, through the arrangement of the JECPP regional director, which trained and revolutionized the pastors and members with the T4T church planting vision and strategy.
Pastor Tamayor could not forget Rev. Dr. Robert Lim’s prodding that “vision is very important in starting a church”. This vision was crafted, written and cascaded to all the members in EFC-Bagong Pag-Asa. As a result, the members also took on the vision and volunteered to plant churches in some barangays of Puerto Princesa City.
Today, there are already nine EFC barangay churches in Puerto Princesa City, a town church in Bataraza, and four tribal outstation works handled by Pastor Letecia Potestad in some barangays of Bataraza. There are also two feeding programs in Bagong Pag-asa, and in Sicsican which are all funded by church members. The Children and Teens Ministry, now called New Generation Church, are producing fruits that mostly comprise the church workers.
The spiritual vigor of the church also transcends to the improving economy of the place. Barangay Pag-asa today is no more a settlement of squatters. The government has built tenement houses for them and engaged them in livelihood programs through a thriving bazaar called the Bay Walk, famous among locals and tourists.