Pastor Portraits: Rev. Gil Baloy

Pastor Portraits: Rev. Gil Baloy

Rev. Gil Baloy

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I was born November 9, 1951, in Subic Bay, Philippines. My father, Gil Sr., joined the U.S. Navy in 1946 when Filipinos could still enlist from the Philippines. He met and married my mother who was working in Manila as a registered nurse. I have two younger brothers and a sister. Almost one year prior to my father’s passing, a retired Filipino pastor about his age gave him the gospel and he called upon the name of the Lord. My mother, sister, and sister-in-law, are the other professing Christians in our family so far.

The Lord used the fear of being drafted and dying in Vietnam to drive me to my knees. My draft lottery number was close to being called in my district, when President Nixon called the troops home. I lived at the time in Seaside, California. In 1972, I moved to San Diego to continue my education. It was there that I heard the true gospel of God’s sovereign grace on a bus to San Diego State University. My “spiritual dad” patiently taught me all that he knew. He too was new to the Reformed Faith but was able to keep one step ahead of his disciple. Shortly after that he invited me to a Christian Reformed Church in Chula Vista, and a few months later to the Paradise Hills Presbyterian Church, Evangelical and Unaffiliated (formerly the Paradise Hills Orthodox Presbyterian Church). The church would not long after that be renamed the Puritan Evangelical Church of America. God converted me to Himself, although I could never be sure of the precise time. That was not as important as knowing that my life was now right before God. From that time forward, I possessed as my “only comfort” the undeniable fact “that I, with body and soul, both in life and in death, am not my own, but belong to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ.” (Heidelberg Catechism #1) And what a comfort that is in light of my struggle with the fear of death!

I remained in PECA for the next 25 years. It was there that the Lord taught me much from His Word. Also, a regular evangelism program was promoted through a weekly door-to-door visitation of neighboring homes and a monthly open air outreach in Balboa Park in San Diego. The pastor also had an eye to foreign missions. That warmed my heart to the prospect of one day being sent by the church back to my native homeland. I graduated in 1990 from Westminster Seminary in California with the hope of doing church planting in the Philippines. Instead, God has kept me in the U.S. to do home missions. Later, in the RCUS, I, along with a few other pastors, would be given the opportunity to engage in short-term mission trips to the Philippines in order to strengthen the Reformed Faith in some of the churches there.

Starting in 1998, I have supplied the pulpit of a small congregation, which eventually joined the Reformed Church in the United States (RCUS) in 2000. In May 2003, after having been licensed in the Western Classis, I was ordained and called as an associate pastor of Covenant Reformed Church in Sacramento over the mission work in Chula Vista. We finally organized as a church in 2012 to the praise of God’s glorious grace. I thank the Lord for the godly and patient example of our RCUS brethren, and particularly the testimony of those of our “mother church.” I am particularly drawn to the RCUS by its faithful stand for God’s Word and the truth as it is expressed in the Three Forms of Unity. The doctrine of Covenant Theology, central to the Reformed Faith, which I first learned at WSC, is more thoroughly taught and consistently applied to the worship and life of God’s people. By the way, I have been married to my wife Maricar for 28 wonderful years. She, along with our two sons Ezra and Ethan, are an integral part of God’s blessing to my life and ministry. How I thank Him for the unspeakable gift of eternal life.

 

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