Hi, I am Gel. I was born in the Philippines in 1949. My father was a farmer and my mother was a weaver. Both are now deceased. I have ten siblings. All of us were raised as Roman Catholics. We went to church occasionally, but there were no serious intention or desire to grow spiritually. There was no opportunity to read the Bible nor was there any sincere effort to read it. We believed in God, but our knowledge about Him was very limited. Because of this, we were unaware of God’s plan of salvation.

I graduated from medical school in 1973 and practiced medicine specializing in Dermatology for more than twenty years. It was a run of the mill existence for me in my practice and religious activities. During this period I met my wife, Jeny and we were married in 1997. Half of my private practice was spent in Manila. In 1991, we moved to Palawan which was in the southeastern part of the country where I resumed my practice.

We continued to attend mass at a Catholic church in the area. After about a year, a pastor from a local Baptist church started coming to our home to conduct Bible studies and prayer meetings. Not having the chance to read the Bible before, I developed a hunger-like eagerness to know and read the Bible. The pastor was very patient with us and came to our home many times. A few months passed before he invited us to attend worship service and other activities in his church. From those activities, I realized I was learning a lot about what the Bible says and began to be interested in knowing many things about God including the doctrine of salvation.

During this time, I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. In the year 1995, I was baptized by immersion in one of the seas in Palawan. From then on, I became an active member of the church and held different positions such as treasurer, president of the laymen and chairman of the board of deacons.

Like many other human beings, I am fond of things like fine music and exploring beautiful places. It occurred to me, after earnest spiritual exposures, that worship and service to God should be given priority in the life of any person. My life went on doing my job and serving the Lord. My wife came to the USA ahead of me. In 2002, I also came to America to join my wife. I worked at St. Luke’s Hospital as a MRI analyst in the obesity research department. We moved from one borough to another and each time we moved we looked for a Baptist church. When we moved here to Bronx, we were invited by Sam and Fe to attend Commonwealth Community Baptist Church led by Pastor Marty Silverberg. At the time, they were meeting in a storefront and now, we have this beautiful building of CCBC where we can serve God and do His work in various capacities.

We have developed a mindset, after those many years of worshipping and serving Him, to be steadfast and relentless in giving the Lord honor, glory and praise which is a manifestation of our appreciation for what He had done for us. God gives us all the blessings we could ask for. He also gave us salvation from sin’s penalty through the sacrifices of our Lord Jesus Christ. Thus, we have received His gift of eternal life.

Here at Commonwealth Community Baptist Church (CCBC), I feel elated, privileged, and blessed for the following reasons:

  1. We have a spacious and beautiful building that provides a perfect setting for worship and service of God.
  2. Our present pastor (Dr. Joel Grassi) is a teacher and preacher par excellence with his scholarly theological grasp of the Bible and his understanding of doctrinal knowledge.
  3. The members that compose this body of believers come from different races, cultures, and orientations, and yet they are harmoniously blended in a friendly and endearing camaraderie.
  4. The church is eager and enthusiastic in formulating and embracing innovations that honor and glorify God in any area of service.



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The church is like a family to me. The people are so friendly. I feel welcome here.

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Kariuki grew up Anglican in Kenya, Eastern Africa. He knew about God, but did not quite understand His gracious salvation via our Lord Jesus Christ. It was not until the end of his high school that a friend introduced him to the doctrines of the Seventh Day Adventist Church. Kariuki had noticed a jubilant confidence […]



My family and I fled to Ghana, then to the U.S. This church has the same doctrine as our church back in Togo.