The Jesus is Lord (JIL) church celebrated its 42nd founding anniversary on Sunday amid the coronavirus 2019 pandemic.
With the limitations on mass gatherings due to COVID-19, and in accordance with the guidelines from the Inter-Agency Task Force for Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, only a selected number of church pastors, coordinators and leaders physically attended the event held at the JIL Prayer Garden in Bocaue, Bulacan.
JIL’s local chapters and other delegates from all over the world participated in the event “virtually.”
The celebration was also live-streamed on JIL’s Facebook page and was also made available on other platforms so as to reach more people.
A day before the event, Senator Joel Villanueva, son of JIL leader Bro. Eddie Villanueva, posted this message on his Facebook page: “This year’s celebration might be an emotional one, personally, and very different from what we normally do, but we should keep our eyes focused on God and still make it work to give Him the highest glory, honor and praise for giving us 42 wonderful years and counting.”
In his anniversary message, JIL founder and spiritual director Bro. Eddie Villanueva also spoke of the pandemic.
“This novel coronavirus pandemic has adversely affected all nations of the world. It’s worldwide,” he said.
“This is a very horrible plague warning the entire human race this is the time to repent,” added Villanueva.
“Repent and go back to the creator. Submit to the lordship of God because we are now living in a very dangerous time,” he said.
The theme of the celebration was “Preparing for Eternity.”
JIL was founded in 1978 at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines where Villanueva, then an economics professor, started a bible study group. The church has since grown into one of the biggest evangelical churches in the world with congregations in over 60 nations.