Manila, Philippines (October 28, 2016) – October 2016 marks the 36th anniversary of Ang Dating Daan (ADD), the longest-running religious program in the Philippines which started in 1980.
Through the years, ADD continues to propagate the gospel, using modern technology, preaching the words of God based on the Bible and answering questions of faith. It also launched various public service and charitable projects, aligned with the Biblical principles.
Due to its popularity and easy recall, the term “Ang Dating Daan” which is based from Jeremiah 6:16, is commonly being tagged as a religious organization. However in reality, it is the title of the religious program produced by the Members Church of God International (MCGI). MCGI is now an international Christian organization which started in the Philippines. It is hosted by radio and television evangelist, Bro. Eliseo F. Soriano or simply “Bro. Eli,” the Overall Servant to MCGI (Presiding Minister) and veteran broadcaster Bro. Daniel S. Razon, also known as “Kuya Daniel,” Assitant to the Overall Servant to MCGI (Vice Presiding Minister).
Bro. Eli began town-to-town preaching in the province of Pampanga in 1970s and held Bible studies called “pulong” (assembly). Later, he realized that his lifetime is not enough to cover the Philippines. With this in mind, he decided to go on air with a 30-minute radio program over DWWA 1206 KHz on the AM band in the last quarter of 1980. Bro. Eli who used to be a cook at a young age, sells “lumpia” (spring rolls) to sustain payment for the airtime. After a month, he was invited to become a panelist in Don Manolo Favis’ three-hour radio program on DZBB 594 KHz, “Dis is Manolo and his GENIUS (God Eternal News in Universal Salvation) Family” along with other preachers from other denominations. In 1984, Mr. Favis recognized Bro. Eli as “The Most Outstanding Gospel Minister of the Year.” The program was also heard in DWAR, DZME, DZMB, DWAD, DZRD, DWAN, DZXQ and other local radio stations in the country. In 1999, ADD’s radio broadcast was heard nationwide through Radio Mindanao Network (RMN) and Manila Broadcasting Company’s DZRH and 100 Radyo Natin stations.
In 1983, Ang Dating Daan was aired on television through Intercontinental Broadcasting Corporation (IBC) 13. It started with only three persons handling the production consisting of Bro. Daniel Razon as director, cameraman and video editor, Sis. Luz Cruz as executive producer, make-up artist and researcher and Bro. Eli himself as main host. In 1997, it transferred to RJTV 29 then to government-owned People’s Television (PTV) 4. In 2000, it moved to Southern Broadcasting Network (SBN) 21. Watch a classic opening billboard (OBB) of Ang Dating Daan program below:
In 1993, the Ang Dating Daan Bible Exposition was introduced and was first held in Roosevelt Ave., Quezon City. Conceptualized by Kuya Daniel, the “Bible Expo” which is done off-camera served as venue where guests could personally ask Bro. Eli on matters concerning faith. It was televised on the program and became a regular segment called “Itanong Mo Kay Soriano, Biblia ang Sasagot” (Ask Bro. Eli, the Bible will Answer).
In 1999, Ang Dating Daan joined the internet with the launching of its official website with live streaming, http://www.angdatingdaan.org. It consistently gained recognition from the Philippine Web Awards. In 2002, the first Bible Expo via live streaming was held in Singapore. In 2006, it launched another 24/7 broadcast on the internet via http://www.theoldpath.tv. In 2012, MCGI launched the “MCGI Broadcast” mobile application, where mobile users can watch MCGI programs in four languages.
In July 2004, Ang Dating Daan found its new home, the rock music station of the Progressive Broadcasting Corporation, UNTV (now UNTV News and Rescue). The station was transformed as a public service channel, airing news and current affairs, entertainment and educational programs as well as religious programs of MCGI. It became ADD’s long-time partner in its charitable and public service initiatives.
In October 2004, MCGI signed a contract with Globecast to air the English version of ADD entitled “The Old Path” (TOP) on its own “TOP Channel,” in United States and Canada via direct-to-home (DTH) satellite broadcast.
Because of ADD’s straightforward preaching, its detractors from other religious groups joined forces and petitioned against its airing on IBC 13. ADD moved to RJTV 29. In 2001, persecutors were able to stop its radio program in DZRH for 10 days.
In 2004, ministers of the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC), a powerful and influential religious group, lodged a complaint against Bro. Eli before the Movie and Television Review and Classificatiom Board (MTRCB). The MRTCB preventively suspended the ADD television program for 20 days. Later, the MTRCB imposed a penalty to Bro. Eli, a 3-month suspension from appearing on the ADD program.
In October 2005, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) issued a resolution citing that MTRCB committed grave abuse of authority when it indefinitely suspended Bro. Eli from appearing on any broadcast, whether free or cable television, and said the agency violated Bro. Eli’s human rights. In 2009, the Supreme Court rendered a decision, upholding MTRCB’s power to impose preventive suspension but applying the 3-month suspension only to the program and not to Bro. Eli. It was followed by series of lawsuits filed against ADD’s main host by his detractors, which aims to ultimately stop him in preaching the gospel.
In 2005, Bro. Eli was forced to leave the country due to intense persecution of his opponents from other influential religious organizations and their allies in the government during that time. While the turn of events may seem unfavorable for the loyal televiewers of the program, it opened the doors for the truth to reach other parts of the globe. Leaving his homeland gave Bro. Eli and the congregation the opportunity to preach the good news on international scope. Bro. Eli held the first Live Bible Expo in Singapore in 2005 and in Los Angeles, California in 2006.
TV Verdade, TV La Verdad
In December 2009, the church’s own religious channel TV Verdade (Truth TV) was launched in Brazil airing O Caminho Antiguo (OCA) in Portuguese, via satellite. It also began airing El Camino Antiguo (ECA) in Spanish-speaking countries. Its broadcast emanates from a small garage, transformed into a makeshift broadcasting studio. Between 2010 and 2011, the program started to air in India, Uruguay, Argentina, Bolivia, Portugal and other countries in Central and South America. On September 15, 2011, The Old Path launched ts 24/7 satellite broadcast in Europe, Africa, and Middle East through Hotbird satellite. In 2012, MCGI launched its own 24/7 satellite channel TV La Verdad (Truth TV) for Spanish-speaking countries, airing ECA. ADD/MCGI Coordinating Centers abroad started to grow as the program reached more areas.
UNTV Radio La Verdad
The dream of having its own radio station in Mega Manila became a reality when UNTV Radio La Verdad 1350 kHz (formerly DZXQ) was launched in 2011.
Largest Gospel Choir
On October 12, 2015, Ang Dating Daan held its 35th anniversary celebration at Smart Araneta Coliseum where ADD Chorale offered songs of praises to the Almighty God, with persons with disabilities (PWDs) as special guests. On the same date, MCGI bagged the Guinness World Record for the “Largest Gospel Choir” with 8,688 participants. Watch the official video of the World’s Largest Gospel Choir (2015) by the ADD Chorale below:
Intensified evangelization in the west
In 2015, TV Verdade was granted the authority by the Ministry of Communications of Brazil (Ministério das Comunicações) to build and operate its own television network. Currently, MCGI rolled-out more than 10 UHF relay stations, airing OCA in Minas Gerais, Brazil’s second most populous state then followed by the state of Paraná.
n 2016, Ang Dating Daan made another first in religious broadcasting when it aired its Worldwide Bible Exposition through Facebook Live and also in YouTube.
Today, MCGI programs in different languages are being carried by at least seven satellites covering six inhabited continents, own relay stations in Philippines and South America, internet webcasts, and timeslots in local free radio and television channels in different parts of the world. [techthetruth]
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