Davao City, or Dakbayan sa Dabaw to its local inhabitants, is Southern Mindanao’s Most Livable City lauded in the country and the whole world for its exemplary stance on peace and order. It always lands in the Top Ten Safest Places in the World and has won Most Child Friendly City in the Philippines for a number of times. It is a 1st class highly urbanized city in the Davao region in the Philippines. It is also the world’s largest metropolis in terms of land area measuring up to 244,000 hectares, making it the third-most populous city in the Philippines after Quezon City and Manila, and the most populous in Mindanao According to the 2020 census, it has a population of 1,776,949 people. The local city government is divided into three congressional districts, which are subdivided into 11 administrative districts with a total of 182 barangays.
Approximately 7.8 times the size of Cebu and 3 times that of the entire Metro Manila, Davao prides itself as home of the Waling-waling, the queen of orchids; Mt. Apo, the country’s highest peak; Durian, the king of all fruits; and the majestic Philippine Eagle, the country’s national bird. From islands to highlands, Davao enjoys mild pleasant tropical climate with no pronounced dry or wet season.
In 1993, a Singaporean pastor received a vision from God to become a missionary and plant a church in a city alien to him. Armed with passion for the lost, he and his wife Christine and three-year-old daughter Ena, packed their bags and left the comfort of their home and country to come to Davao City – a city at that time dreaded even by local tourists simply because it is a part of the war-plagued island of Mindanao. This city though is strategically located in the naturally rich southern part of the Philippine islands. The pastor who received the vision was none other than Rev. Peter Wee, now the senior pastor of Evangel Family Church-Davao and the Senior Overseer of JECPP.
With God’s favor upon them, the first ever EFC-Davao church service began in its first location at Matina, along McArthur Highway on August 8, 1993 with eight adults and five children in attendance. In 1995, it already had 40 regular members excluding children.
In October 2008, EFC-Davao settled into a new worship sanctuary which has a 700 seating capacity at 2nd floor Evelyn Fabie College Bldg., Telstar and Pioneer Sts., Doña Vicenta Village.
After a fifteen-year stay in this rented church, EFC-Davao have been wanting, saving and praying for its own Worship Sanctuary. As a step of faith to this milestone, the church registered under the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) last April 2015 under the new name Evangel Family Church of Davao, Incorporated. In the year 2019 they were able to buy a piece of land in Maa Davao City which is a testament of God’s faithfulness and provision to His people. After many years of struggle with certain circumstances to be able to build on the said lot and due to the world-wide CoViD-19 Pandemic it is only in the year 2022 that the plans for the church building was finalized and early in the year 2023 the contractors started the building process with a projection to be able to finish the project and move in to the new church property by the following year.
In almost 30 years, this city church has become the base to more than 158 churches spread out in the five Southern Mindanao provinces- Davao del Norte, Davao Oriental, Davao del Sur, SOCCSKSCARGEN, and the Tribal Areas of Marilog District in Davao City .
The JECPP Southern Mindanao outreach extends to five core churches. The EFC-Tagum, planted in 1994, is under Rev. Gregorio and Rev. Rosario Simpas who heads the Davao del Norte section. This section has almost 40 main and cell churches. The second core church, EFC-Mati in Davao Oriental, was established in 1995 and led by Rev. Delia and Rev. Renante Miguel. EFC-Mati oversees 16 churches. EFC-General Santos under Rev. Alberto and Rev. Jane Poliño was established in 2005 and is the third core church that oversees 37 churches all over South Cotabato and Sarangani Province. The fourth, EFC-Kidapawan, also began in 2005, was pioneered by Rev. Tony and Rev. Liza Angelias who are now in-charge of 21 churches in Davao del Sur and North Cotabato with their radio program airing every Sunday morning. EFC-Marahan, pastored by Rev. Patricio and Rev. Mivelyn Margate, is the core church among 44 churches in Marilog District and Arakan Valley of North Cotabato.
Regional and Tribal Outreaches
Another priority of EFC-Davao is the tribal work in the hinterlands of Davao and the slopes of Bullokan, Laak in Compostela Valley province. Despite its humble beginnings and the difficulties in reaching these tribal villages, God has opened up many doors of ministry among the “Matisalug” and “Mansaka”natives. Since 2004, EFC-Davao has accomplished twelve Medical Missions in Marahan and Marilog Districts. According to the Davao City government, the Marilog District is the poorest of the City’s three congressional districts.
To intensify tribal missions, JECPP is instrumental in the establishment of the Evangel Tribal Training Centre or ETTC originally situated at Brgy. Datu Ladayon, Arakan Valley but recently transferred to Marahan due to NPA rebel infestation of the previous location. This Training Centre houses a two-storey dormitory for men and women, a separate teacher’s quarters, a multipurpose lecture hall, a kitchen and a dining hall. ETTC holds an annual Tribal Workers Intensive Training (TWIT) aimed to empower tribal ministers.