July 3, 2017

History

Light of Jesus

In obedience to the mandate of Jesus Christ before His Ascension:

“Go and make disciples of all men” (Matthew 28:19)

It all began in the garage of the Sanchez Family.

Only a year and a half after attending their first prayer meeting with the Upper Room Prayer Group in Quezon City, Eugenio Sanchez Sr., Pilar Sanchez, and the rest of the Sanchez family spun off their own fellowship, holding their very first prayer meeting at the garage of their home in Cubao. By the following week, at 14, Bro. Bo led his very first prayer meeting, September 16, 1980.

In August of 1981, Sister Aida Manongdo, leader of the Upper Room, prophesied that the young Bo would preach to thousands in the world about God. A year later, with the support of his family, Bro. Bo announced that their prayer group would become a faith community under his leadership.

They called it the Light of Jesus (LOJ) Community, based on family friend, Helen Arceo’s vision of a lighthouse, later on confirmed by Sister Aida. True to this vision, the LOJ serves as God’s lighthouse, shining Jesus’ light to those who are lost at life’s sea, bringing them back to the Father’s embrace.

But a community was not enough.

During the 80’s, the 30 regular attendees who made up the LOJ Core Family, went out to set up prayer meetings all across Metro Manila and nearby provinces.  Their numbers grew rapidly and they were eventually grouped into “families” made up of 30 to 50 members.

These families established more prayer meetings and they were then organized as branches, such as the Discipleship Communities for Christ (DCC); Homes for Christ, for couples; Youth Mission for Parishes and Communities (YMPACT); Esther, for single women professionals; Joshua, for single men professionals; and Tabitha, for single mature women.

As the prayer groups spread out to the Visayan and Mindanao regions, not only did more people join LOJ, it also became crucial to organize the growing community into regions, districts, and chapters.

Reorganized as Feasts

By the turn of the millennium, the Feast was born. It is a weekly prayer gathering with Holy Mass celebrations, lively worship, and series of talks on practical Christian Living. Starting with the very first Feast at Camp Aguinaldo, the regional, district, and chapter prayer groups were reorganized to hold Feasts all over the Philippines.

Bro. Bo led a team of able leaders, known as the Feast Builders, well-known preachers and authors, to fortify the Feast expansion. There are now more than 150 Feasts worldwide, including in Asia, the Middle East, the United States of America, United Kingdom, Oceania, Canada and the Bahamas.

 

Gone South

In 2009, South Feast was launched comprising of the areas under Light of Jesus’ LAMP (Las Pinas, Alabang, Muntinlupa, Paranaque) District, including Laguna, Cavite and Batangas. All LOJ leaders and members in these areas volunteered to serve. Hermie Morelos initiated the organizational setup with Arun Gogna as the Feast Builder. “The happiest place on earth” became the tagline.

The soft opening in June of that year was done in the smaller Festival Mall cinema after a problem prevented it from having SM Southmall as the Feast venue.

South Feast session formally opened in July, 2009 at Cinema 10 Festival Mall, initially with one session. Then another session was added due to the increasing number of attendees.

However, attendance kept on soaring that even the 2 sessions were no longer enough to seat all the attendees. A bigger and more spacious venue needed to found soon.

Providentially, the space at the 2nd level of Festival Mall became available when the previous tenant, a Christian church, vacated the area. Funds were needed to pay for the initial rent, renovation and for the purchase of fixtures and equipment.  A fund-raising campaign was jumpstarted by the Builder and leaders who committed to a certain amount, then more pledges and donations poured in.

And the Feast Center came into being – “the happiest place on earth” and our home for almost 7 years.

South Feast was also transformed. It was renamed Feast Alabang after Cavite and Laguna set up their own Feasts with their own Feast Builders.

Feast Alabang became a district.  From the initial 1 venue, it has expanded to 5 locations with 8  sessions.

Wednesday Feast Alabang (Festival Mall) opened in June, 2011.

Saturday Feast Alabang opened in October, 2012 but was eventually discontinued due to the closure of the Center.

Feast SM Bicutan commenced in February, 2013.

Feast Acacia started in April, 2013 then later became Feast ATC in September 2013. It has been renamed Feast Bellevue PM after it moved to Bellevue Hotel in January, 2017.

Feast Southmall opened its doors to the attendees in August, 2016 mainly tended by the servants from Saturday Feast Alabang.

And what about Feast Festival Alabang? As the number of attendees continued to grow, the limited space at the Center became a concern. It moved to Bellevue Hotel in July, 2015 and became Feast Bellevue with 2 sessions and 2 masses.