The Beginnings of the Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC)
In 1968, a year before New York’s Stonewall Riots, a series of most unlikely events in Southern California resulted in the birth of the world’s first church group with a primary, positive ministry to gays, lesbians, bisexual, and transgender persons.
Those events, a failed relationship, an attempted suicide, a reconnection with God, an unexpected prophecy, and the birth of a dream led to MCC’s first worship service: a gathering of 12 people in Rev. Troy Perry’s living room in Huntington Park, California on October 6, 1968.
That first worship service in a Los Angeles suburb in 1968 launched the international movement of Metropolitan Community Churches, which today has grown to 43,000 members and adherents in almost 300 congregations in 22 countries. During the past 44 years, MCC’s prophetic witness has forever changed the face of Christianity and helped to fuel the international struggle for LGBT rights and equality. (Read more about MCC’s history)
MCC in the Philippines
In 1991, a group of Filipino gay men wrote to the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches (UFMCC) asking – “how can we be MCC?” Fr Richard Mickley, a former Roman Catholic Priest and then MCC Pastor in New Zealand, upon knowing of the request, went to the Philippines by his own efforts and helped the group to organize themselves to be MCC, and to begin the proclamation of God’s boundless and unconditional love to the Philippine Islands.
The first Church was named and registered as MCC Philippines (MCCPH). The Church was, however, more popularly known as MCC-Manila as worship services and other Church activities were held in the City of Manila. Rev. Edgar Mendoza was named the first Filipino Clergy-Pastor of MCC in the Philippines. The first MCC Church in the Philippines has now relocated to the City of Makati has renamed itself as Good Samarian MCC. The Church is more popularly known as MCC Makati. Pastor Edgardo “Egay” Constantino currently heads MCC-Makati in their Worship Center located in Palanan Street, Brgy Palanan, Makati City.
Establishment of Metropolitan Community Church Quezon City (MCCQC)
The MCCPH leadership, under then Interim Pastoral Leader Regen Luna, decided to expand MCC in the Philippines and gave authorization for Bro. Ceejay Agbayani to be a Special Envoy to the MCCPH-Quezon City Mission. Bro. Ceejay Agbayani, together with other MCCers like Bros. Marlon Felipe and John Paul Andaquig, established regular Bible study and support group sessions in Quezon City. The first of such fellowships was held on 13 September 2006. Attendees were from Quezon City and the neighboring cities of Marikina, Caloocan and Manila.
On 26 December 2006, the first public worship service of MCCPH-Quezon City Chapter was held in the residence of Bro. Noel Magdririla in East Fairview. The first MCCPH-Quezon City retreat was also held in Bro. Noel’s residence on February 2007.
On 15 September 2007, MCCPH-Quezon City (MCCPH-QC) Chapter celebrated its 1st Founding Anniversary. The garden, living room and dining area of Bro. Noel’s residence were turned into a mini-chapel. Officers of MCC Philippines were in attendance as well as the Union Theological Seminary Choir and faculty members Prof. Debbie Reyes and Prof. Ferdie Anno. The service was co-celebrated by Pastor Regen Luna of MCCPH, Fr. Richard Mickley of the Order of Saint Aelred, and Fr. Vincent Taguinod of the Philippine Independent Catholic Church. The logo of MCCPH-QC Chapter was also launched in the event.
MCC Quezon City’s Affiliation
In a congregational meeting on April 2008, the members of MCCPH-Quezon City decided to file a request for affiliation to UFMCC through Rev. Elder Ken Martin, UFMCC Elder in Region I. Rev. Elder Ken Martin traveled to the Philippines to grant full affiliation to MCCPH-Quezon City on 14 September 2008 rendering the Church fully autonomous and independent. The certificate of affiliation was signed by Rev. Elder Ken Martin in the presence of the MCCPH-Quezon City officers Bros. Marlon Felipe, Mark Adlawan, John Paul Andaquig and Sherman Tam. Bro. Ceejay Agbayani was installed as the Church’s first pastor. Having been granted full affiliation, the Church has since been called Metropolitan Community Church Quezon City (MCCQC).
MCC Quezon City’s First Church Home: Mindanao Avenue Chapel
In November 2008, MCCQC found its first Church home along Mindanao Avenue in Quezon City through Bro. Oliver Andaya. Facing the challenge of raising funds to rent and furnish the MCCQC church home in Mindanao Avenue, MCCQC members pooled their resources together and worked with each other to produce the necessary funds for rent and furnishings. By the Grace and Faithfulness of God, the MCCQC Chapel in Mindanao Avenue was launched as MCCQC’s first church home and was the space for worship, prayer and fellowship. In the same month, MCCQC was registered under the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as a non-profit religious association. After a sending a request for subsidy, the MCC Asian Pacific Initiative (API) granted a one-year subsidy for the chapel rental of MCCQC.
MCC Quezon City’s Period of Transition and Renewal
In July 2012, following two tumultuous MCCQC congregational meetings, a letter of concern and complaint against then Rev Ceejay Agbayani was filed by MCCQC members in the office of Rev. Elder Ken Martin. After a period of review and consultation with UFMCC legal experts, Rev. Elder Ken Martin traveled to the Philippines in September 2012 to address the letter of concern and complaint filed against then Rev Agbayani. Rev. Elder Ken Martin, following due process as mandated by the UFMCC Bylaws and SOPs, sought Rev Agbayani’s presence so he may answer the allegations filed against him. Rev Agbayani insistently delayed and refused Rev. Elder Martin’s invitations. This noncompliance led to Rev Agbayani’s de facto resignation of his ordination credentials and clergy license from UFMCC and subsequent removal as Administrative Pastor of MCC Quezon City.
MCC Makati, together with the parish extensions MCC Metro Baguio, MCC Marikina and MCC Olongapo, supported and honored the decision of Rev. Elder Ken Martin in their joint statement released the week following Bro. Ceejay Agbayani’s removal
Bro. Ceejay formally filed an appeal to the Moderator of the UFMCC, Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson. Rev. Elder Wilson convened a review panel in the Council of Elders, with the exception of Rev. Elder Ken Martin, to deliberate on the appeal. On 12 October 2012, Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson announced, in a letter, that the Council of Elders voted unanimously to uphold the decision of Rev. Elder Ken Martin and confirm the de-facto resignation of Bro. Ceejay pursuant to the letter of concern and complaint and the prevailing by-laws and policies of UFMCC.(Read more)
Following Rev. Elder Ken Martin’s decision, MCCQC began its period of transition and renewal; rebuilding the Church by rooting itself once more on no less than Jesus Christ and centering itself and all its programs and structures to the gospel of our Lord and to sound organizational protocols and policies aimed at stabilizing and growing the Church. On 18th September 2012, a set of interim MCCQC LCAB officers was appointed by Rev. Elder Ken Martin, which were Ondyk Uy, Gavin Lua, Doms Ramos and Yhel Briguela. The revitalised LCAB then assigned Bro. Joseph San Jose and Sis. Kakay Pamaran as worship coordinators in MCCQC’s period of transition and renewal.
MCCQC was prodded to leave their first Church home in Mindanao Avenue. During this period, MCC Makati lovingly and generously shared their Worship Center for MCCQC’s regular Sunday service. This fellowship, love and generosity only served to deepen the relationship between MCC Makati and MCCQC. One MCC Philippines, the fellowship of all Metropolitan Community Churches in the Philippines, was launched during the Manila Pride Parade on 8 December 2012. The launching of One MCC Philippines marks a renewed and revitalized communion of MCC in the Philippines in carrying out MCC’s core values of inclusion, community, spiritual transformation, and social action in accordance to the ministry of Jesus Christ.
MCC Quezon City becomes a Mobile Church
On November 2012, the MCCQC congregation felt it was the right time to go back to Quezon City. The MCCQC Mobile Church was launched on 18 November 2012 with its first worship service back in Quezon City. The Mobile Church was launched to enable the Church to reach communities in Quezon City following Christ’s mission of going out to the communities to share the inclusive love of God. Bro. Red Macalalad Jr who was then the volunteer Communications and Campaigns expert, was instrumental in launching the MCCQC Mobile Church and in preparing the first worship service venue in Barangay Kamuning in Quezon City.
Second Church Home: The MCC Quezon City Aurora Center
The start of 2013 was a milestone for MCCQC. In its period of transition, renewal and rebuilding, MCCQC has come home to the MCCQC Aurora chapel, also known as the Upper Yellow Room. On 10 February 2013, MCCQC’s Aurora chapel opened its doors to MCCQC members and friends with the Church’s first worship service in its new home at the 2/F Aurora Building, 836 Aurora Boulevard in Cubao, Quezon City.
By the Faithfulness and Grace of the Parent God, MCCQC presently conducts its regular worship services, Life Learners support group, and other Church activities at the MCC Quezon Ciy Aurora Chapel. Though still struggling, MCCQC has become self-sustaining church.
MCC Quezon City installs New Pastoral Leader
Upon the recommendation of the MCC Quezon City Local Church Administrative Body and the approval of the Asian Pacific Initiative (API), Pastor Kakay Pamaran was appointed Interim Pastoral Leader (IPL) of MCCQC on March 2013. Pastor Kakay is the first lesbian pastoral leader of the Metropolitan Community Churches in the Philippines. Rev. Stedney Phillips, chair of the API, installed Pastor Kakay on 16 June 2013. Pastor Kakay now leads the MCC Quezon City Local Church Administrative Board as Moderator and the MCC Quezon City Congregation and Church Ministerial Team as Pastor. Pastor Kakay installed the first set of Church Ministry Leaders into the Church Ministerial Team on June 2013.
MCCQC Parish Extensions
In 22 February 2009, MCC Metro Baguio was established as the first MCCQC parish extension. On the same date, MCC Metro Baguio held its first public worship with Pastor Myke Sotero. While Pastoring the Church, Ptr Myke goes to Ecumenical Theological Seminary for his Theological Education and formation. During the time of MCCQC Transition MCC Metro Baguio supported MCCQC and upon stability in 2013, honored its parish extension relationship with MCCQC.
In September of 2015 upon the visitation of MCC Philippines new supervising Elder Rev Darlene Garner, MCC Metro Baguio was granted its full affiliation to UFMCC By Rev Elder Darlene who is the Director of the Office of Immerging Ministries. At the same time, after Ptr Myke Sotero has completed his seminary education and other MCC clergy requirements, he was ordained by Rev Elder Darlene on the same September of 2015, and was fully licensed and credentialed as a clergy person in MCC.
In June 2010, MCC Marikina became the second parish extension of MCCQC. Led by Bro. Jason Masaganda, during the time of MCCQC transition, as early as July 2012, Bro. Jason requested to from Bro. Ceejay to make MCC Marikina independent from MCCQC, however Rev Elder Ken Martin and Rev Stedney Phillips reiterated that MCC Marikina is a parish extension of MCCQC. Upon MCCQC’s stability in 2013, after the transition, MCCQC spoke to MCC Marikina through Bro. Jason Masaganda if it wish to continue its relationship as parish extension. MCC Marikina expressed that it has a pending request of autonomy from MCCQC through the office of Immerging Ministries under Rev Elder Darlene Garner. MCC Marikina during the Affiliation and Ordination Event of MCC etro Baguio in September of 2015, received its authorization from Rev Elder Darlene Garner as an Immerging Church Community. MCC Marikina currently holds Bible study, Worship and support group sessions in Bro. Jason’s Marikina residence.
As aforementioned, Rev Myke Sotero has completed his Master of Divinity in Ecumenical Theological Seminary (ETS) in Baguio, in March of 2015. Fr Noel Bordador, an Episcopalian Priest, was instrumental in the completion of Ptr Myke’s theological education. He was then ordained and licensed as a clergy person in MCC by Rev Elder Darlene Garner in September 2015. In 2016, Rev Myke has been appointed by Rev Elder Darlene as the Network Leader for the MCC Philippines Network.
Pastor Kakay of MCCQC is the recipient of the Ken Martin and Tom Cole Scholarship under MCC’s Asian Pacific Initiative, which allowed her to enter seminary and get her Master of Divinity education and formation. Pastor Kakay Pamaran has competed her Master of Divinity from Union Theological (UTS) Seminary in Dasmarinas, Cavite.
Pastor Joseph San Jose also from MCCQC, using his own savings to start his seminary education in June 2014, also entered Union Theological Seminary (UTS) and is currently finishing his Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree. His seminary education and formation was and is currently financed by the generosity of individual donors and sponsors, from friends, from one time scholarship grants from UTS and from a few Churches and Church leaders.
MCC Quezon City Moving Forward
MCC Quezon City continues to seek and strengthen a new generation of Church Pastors and Lay Leaders as the Church moves forward in its ministries and mission of proclaiming God’s radical, inclusive and welcoming Love. MCC Quezon City continues to be a safe spiritual, communal and physical space of faith, community and friendship. It is a Church for ALL PEOPLE regardless of social class, race, nationality, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and gender identity. MCC Quezon City continues its commitment to “be MCC”.
Last updated on June 18, 2016.