STOCKTON – “I was really trying to run away,” Romulo Soy said, about visiting the United States after a terrible family tragedy.
Romulo is the Filipino Church Starting Consultant with the California Southern Baptist Convention (CSBC) Church Starting Group. A native of the Philippines, Romulo encountered Christ in 1963 during a Philippine Baptist Mission New Life Crusade. He was 18.
After studying law, Romulo felt God’s call on his life. He graduated from the Philippine Baptist Theological Seminary (PBTS) in 1981. Romulo’s love for Jesus and the Filipino people directed his life. He became a church planter, pastor, evangelist, and regional director of SEE, Seminary Education by Extension, for PBTS.
“One day, my daughter died in a swimming pool accident and I was so devastated,” Romulo related. “I asked my wife if she would allow me to go to America for a visit and a break. I was really trying to run away, but here in America the Lord restored my passion and my heart to serve Him.”
Romulo accepted the opportunity to start a new work in Las Vegas, Nevada, and his wife, Mel, and five children joined him in the United States. The Soy’s sixth child was born in California.
In 1990, CSBC asked Romulo to plant a new Filipino work, Hope International Baptist Church in San Diego. Since its start, Hope International has multiplied itself by starting five additional churches. Romulo became the Convention’s Filipino church starting strategist in 1992.
Romulo has a busy weekly schedule that includes encouraging pastors individually and through his Church Planting Network, holding house church for seniors in Stockton, and helping with plans for family festivals. On Sundays, Romulo often serves Christ at two or three different churches.
With one million Filipinos in California, Romulo relies on prayer to see where God is working in order to plant churches. There is one Filipino church start for 2012 joining the 51 Filipino churches and 26 missions throughout California. He serves with a passion, believing that church planting is the best and most exciting way of winning souls.
“I am just an ordinary guy who happens to be on God’s assignment, God’s mission, doing the best I can. I know that if this is my last day I will give the best of my life and everything that God has given me to accomplish His purpose. Simply reaching out to the lost of our people is my passion,” Romulo stated.
Romulo’s message to California Southern Baptists:
“Be caring and compassionate. We need to come out of our comfort zones and engage in the activity of helping people know the Lord. Try using creative ways to build relationships for Christ such as festivals, concerts, sports, and Vacation Bible School. Invite your friends to go camping with you. Show your compassion by following the command of our Lord Jesus Christ and give a cup of cold water to people who are down, who are hurting. My challenge to California Southern Baptists—let Jesus Christ be real. When people see that you care and that you are not just interested in them joining your church and becoming a Baptist, they’ll see that it is all about the Lord.”
Romulo’s prayer requests:
Pray for church growth seminars and evangelistic meetings throughout the state.
Pray that the Lord of the Harvest will raise up more church planters and pastors for new Filipino church starts as well as for church starts throughout California.
Pray that more seminary and college extension programs will become available to develop leaders and train pastors to start new churches.
Pray for generous giving to the California Mission Offering.
Praise God for my wife, Mel, and for her understanding of my work.
Praise God for the Convention and its exciting church planting ministry.
Praise God for the upcoming California Mission Offering and Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.
Praise God for the partnership of the North American Mission Board.
Did you know?
The Philippine Baptist Theological Seminary and Bible School, Inc., from which Romulo Soy graduated, was established in 1952 by the Philippine Baptist Mission of the Foreign Mission Board (SBC). With encouragement from SBC, the seminary is moving towards becoming an indigenous self-supporting institution.
Romulo’s contact information
7523 Inglewood Avenue
Stockton, CA 95207-2030