The Early Years

There was no Filipino evangelical church in Houston before the 1980”s, although in the early 1960”s, Rice Temple Baptist Church (RTBC)
located at the Medical Center was and is still home church to a number of Filipinos, mostly nurses and their families. They were like a “church” in a church. Three couples felt spiritual hunger and started meeting for Bible study and prayers. The fellowship was sweet, the number grew and the call to share their faith was deeply felt – especially with the many unchurched “kababayans” concentrated in Southwest Houston. In right time RTBC honored the group”s intent to become the church”s mission arm to reach Filipinos. Commissioning service was held on March 24, 1987. More than 30 members or 50 percent of the RTBC International Sunday School group took a bold step to be counted. From other surrounding churches more Filipino believers joined forces. There were 47 of them altogether on the momentous day. Braeburn Valley Baptist Church (BVBC), located off Fondren and South Braeswood, opened their doors to the mission. Rev. Tomas Calisterio pastored/nurtured this yet-to-be-born body of Christ.

Building Through Partnership

ourstory_002By January 1988, financial support from the Union Baptist Association (UBA) and the Baptist General Convention of Texas (BGCT) was no longer needed. On November 20, 1988, the First Philippine Baptist Church was born! Being convinced that the new church is in need of new leadership, Pastor Tomas Calisterio tendered his resignation effective July 1, 1989 and strongly recommended Rev. Denmark Suison to succeed him. The Suisons, Pastor Denmark, his Wife Dora, and their children Cyril and Gift arrived from the Philippines to Houston on September 26, 1989. The priority now was to resume the search for a building considering that FPBC was overstaying at the BVBC. The Church facility at 8809 Bissonnet St. was acquired through the spiritual and financial support of the BGCT, Deer Park Baptist Church of Pasadena, Wood Forest Baptist Church of northeast Houston and the personal guarantee of each chartered member, including the new pastor. The Lord is God and made this building amazingly affordable. The first service was held on April 4, 1990.

Growing Stronger

 FPBC went through some growing pains and has grown stronger not only in membership but also in its mission goals, as seen in broad ministry in worship, study, prayer, and outreach. On December 13, 1994, Associate/Youth Pastor, Rev. Ernest Howard Dagohoy joined in the ministry, wonderfully turning the church”s young people into godly and strong church members. His beautiful and multi-talented wife, Cecile, joined him after a few months – a tireless helpmate and mother to their first born, Faith Alexine, born August 27, 1997. After almost 8 years of building up the church, Pastor Denmark Suison resigned to become a church planter in the San Francisco area. Our faithful God saw to it that the church had somebody who was equal to the task – Pastor Ernest Dagohoy.

To God Be The Glory

The enemy has often tried to destroy this body of believers. After all these years, the members altogether say “what a Godly heritage the Lord has bequeathed to us”. The very existence of the FIRST PHILIPPINE BAPTIST CHURCH is indeed a testimony of God”s undying love, His faithfulness, and wonderful provision.