Sunday, April 21, 2013

Remembering Brother Erano G. Manalo

Remembering Brother Erano  G. Manalo 

FOR MORE THAN 46 years, brother Eraño G. Manalo led the Iglesia Ni Criso. He dedicated his whole life for the welfare of the Church. Although the Lord God laid him to his well-deserving rest on August 31, 2009,  the members of the Iglesia Ni Cristo will not forget him. We will always remember him as what the apostles admonish the Christians to:

“Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.” (Hebreo 13:7 NIV)

Read the brief biography of Brother Eraño G. Manalo and view the two parts documentary about our beloved brother.

His Life and Ministry

"Ka Erdy" was born on January 2, 1925, when the Church was only twenty years old. It was Brother Felix Y. Manalo who gave his name, "Eraño," from the words "era" and  "nuevo" ("new era") because he was born the day after the new year. Indeed, Ka Erdy was the first to be called by that name "Eraño."

He was the fifth child of Brother Felix Y. Manalo and Sister Honorata De Guzman-Manalo. His older siblings were Pilar, Avelina, Dominador and Salvador. His youngest sibling is Bienvenido. As pioneer members of the Church related, Ka Felix called him "munting anghel" ("little angel"). It is said that Ka Erdy grew up to be very studious. Instead of playing with other children, he was always reading books in his father's library. This love of reading and of knowledge was something he would carry with him as he grew older.  He always accompanied his father in visiting the brethren and officiating worship services in different locales.

He received elementary education in San Juan, Metro Manila. He also completed high school at the same institution. Before the Second World War, together with his brothers, Dominador and Salvador, they were taught the same lessons taught to those being trained as ministers of the Church. Brother Felix assigned Brother Mariano Castro to teached them Ministerial lessons, Doctrinal lessons, and Bible history.

After World War II, he studied law, but because there was an intense need for Church's workers during that time, he left his studies and entered the ministry. He was ordained as a minister of the Gospel on May 10, 1947, at the old House of Worship of Tayuman, Manila, at the age of 22 years old. One of the candidate for ordination during that time narrated: "When Ka Felix approached Ka Erdy to lay on his hand, he first said to Ka Erdy, 'Wealth and richness I have nothing to give you. Look up, Erdy. The faith in the Almighty God is all I have that I can give you.'"

Brother Felix Y. Manalo personally trained Brother Eraño as a public speaker and debater. Once introducing him before a bible exposition saying, “Ang susunod na magsasalita ay mas mahusay pa sa akin (The one who will speak after me is more skilled than I am.)”. Pioneering brethren in Dinalupihan, Bataan, attest that they witnessed Brother Eraño G. Manalo engaged in a public debate in the plaza of the said town against a defensor Katoliko (Catholic defender). According to them, this happened around 1955-1956. They added that "napakagaling ni Ka Erdy na debatista" ("Ka Erdy is really a great debater").

On January 18, 1953, ten years before brother Felix Y. Manalo's passing away, an election was held in the House of Worship of the F. Manalo Locale in San Juan, Metro Manila (the Central Office of the Chrch was then located at F. Manalo, San Juan). It was an election for the next Executive Minister of the Church. There were three nominees, bother Eraño G. Manalo, Brother Isaias Samson and Brother Isaias Reyes. The majority voted for brother Eraño G. Manalo. Prior to this election, brother Eraño was already serving as the General Treasurer of the Church.

Since then, he was trained by Brother Felix Y. Manalo as to be the next Executive Minister. For ten years he was trained by his father, especially in decision making. He also served as district supervising minister of the ecclesiastical district of Manila.

Bro. Eraño G. Manalo married Sister Cristina A. Villanueva on the 17th of January, 1955. They had six children, Brother Eduardo, Sisters Lolita, Erlinda, and Liberty, and Brothers Felix Nathaniel II and Marco Eraño. Brother Eraño’s nurturing and loving nature was clearly felt by each member of his family, down to his children-in-law and every single grandchild. He knew each one very well, imparting lessons and values to them both directly and indirectly. Brother Eraño’s surviving family are firmly convinced it is God’s blessing that they were among those able to witness first-hand how guided the Executive Minister was by our Almighty God in his actions and decisions.

After the interment eleven days later, on April 23, 1965, Brother Eraño G. Manalo assumed the duty of Executive Minister of the Iglesia ni Cristo. Throughout the 46 years of Bro. Eraño G. Manalo’s leadership, the INC saw the membership continuously grow in number, the proliferation of its houses of worship, and its expansion in six continents of the globe. The Executive Minister built on the own legacy of Brother Felix by formalizing the education of ministerial students and continuing to refine church procedures as the number of brethren flourished. Under the same divine guidance, he wrote not only lectures and worship services but also books. Among these were the compilation of lessons taught to bible students regarding fundamental beliefs of the church. He also wrote the official ceremony for marriage in the Iglesia Ni Cristo, first implemented on the wedding day of his eldest son, Brother Eduardo V. Manalo. The executive Minister also wrote “And mabuting kawal ni Cristo”, a guide with biblical verses intended for ministers of the Gospel and “Ang Salita ng Diyos: Ang tanging Lunas”, for the edification of church members—these two books were made into audio CD’s with verse reading and original hymns, in 2003. He was the inspirational force behind the Church administration’s projects utilizing technology in reaching out to members and nonmembers alike.

But then on August 31, 2009, Brother Eraño passed away at the age of 84. Despite the grief that we, brethren in the Church of Christ, it is indeed a fitting date to remember, since to all of us, he is more than a hero (August 31 is Heroes Day in the Philippines). Brother Eraño dedicated his long and blessed life to carrying on the divine mission of the messenger of God in these last days, caring for the entire Iglesia ni Cristo in serving our Almighty God.

What Others Say About Brother Erano G. Manalo

 The following are what the observers say about brother Erano G. Manalo:

"Under Brother Erano's dynamic stewardship a fresh era dawned in the administration of the Church, not in terms of new doctrines or new teachings but in expansion—in the ever-increasing number of brethren being added into the Church, in the numerous magnificent house[s] of worship being constructed, and above all, in its overseas expansion." [Editorial, "Iglesia ni Cristo's Executive Minister Erano G. Manalo 75th birth anniversary/' Manila Bulletin, January 2,2000.]
"Elected by Church elders almost ten years before his father's death and blessed with keen intellect, good looks, and charismatic leadership as his father, Brother Erano steered the Church to unprecedented growth not only in membership and in infrastructure projects but also in its stature before Philippine society." [Philippines-U.S.A. News Tribune, July 21-27, 1994.]
"... Bro. (Erano) Manalo's organizational leadership remains impeccable, if not admirable. Who else, for instance can move the INC as efficiently as the enigmatic Manalo?" [Lucero, Ferdinand O. "The 30 most Influential Filipinos" Men's Zone, 1998.]

A Two Part Documentary About 
Brother Eraño G. Manalo
part one 


A Two Part Documentary About 
Brother Eraño G. Manalo
part two 


Videos are courtesy of INC TV and INC Media Services
These videos are owned by the Iglesia Ni Cristo and INC TV.
Copyright 2009 by the Iglesia Ni Cristo
All Rights Reserved
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