About Our Pastor
Pastor Gil Aranda grew up in Sta. Mesa Bible Baptist Church, but it was not until he was 18 years old that he got saved. Three years thereafter, the Lord called him into full-time ministry. He wrestled with God in prayer, wanting to make sure that God really wanted him to become a pastor. Finally in 1971, he surrendered to the call of God, enrolled in Bible School and became a full-time church worker. After his graduation from Manila Baptist Bible College in 1975, he wanted to start a work in either Aklan or Cavite, but God led him to Caloocan. He started to pastor a small group (consisting of two families), which met at a carport. After three years, the church grew to 200 hundred and the carport could no longer accommodate them. So they started to pray for a church and building. God answered in a big way. A missionary transferred ownership to them of a newly built church, complete with a piano and pews. With the huge blessing came greater challenges. In 1982, Pastor Aranda started a tuition-free school using the ACE curriculum and used it as an evangelistic arm of the church. The church continued to grow so that they had to expand (building-wise) in order to accommodate the people. By 1990, when God lead Pastor Aranda to migrate to the United State, the church was running over 500 in attendance.
When God opened the door for Pastor Gil to migrate to the United States, he had no intentions of staying for good. He came to give his sons the opportunity and obtain the surgeries he needed. He worked secularly to get medical insurance. His plan was to go back to the Philippines and continue to pastor the church in Caloocan. Why would he stay in America, when he already has a successful ministry in the Philippines? However, God had other plans.
Through another pastor, God introduced Pastor Aranda to a small group of Christians (consisting of four families) who met every week for Bible Studies in Gurnee. They desperately needed a Filipino pastor. When Pastor Aranda was offered the pastorate of an already established church in Chicago, with a stable salary, housing, medical insurance and other benefits, he turned them down. He did not see God calling him to pastor that church. But when this small group asked him to be their pastor, he couldn’t say no. He said yes without promise of any financial support because he was sure that God called him to minister to them! For several years, Pastor Aranda would travel from Chicago to Gurnee to minister to this small group of Christians who could only give him $300 a month (just enough to cover his transportation). But God is good! Soon, God blessed the work. Today, the church is running 150 in attendance and owns a newly-built church sitting in a 9-acre land! Once again, a tuition-free school ministry using the ACE curriculum was started and Pastor Aranda is expecting God to bless the work once again!
To be more effective in his ministry, Pastor Aranda continued his studies and enrolled in Andersonville Baptist Seminary and obtained the following degrees: Bachelor in Theology, Master in Christian Counselling, and Doctorate in Religious Education. But his most loved degree was the honorary degree conferred to him by Landmark Baptist College as Doctor of Divinity, in recognition of his over 30 years in the ministry
Over 30 Years in the Ministry