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Felix Manalo

1886-1963. Founder of the Iglesia ni Kristo in the Philippines. Born near Manila in a devout Catholic home, he was converted to Protestantism in 1902. After study with the Methodists and Presbyterians, he became first a Disciples and then a Seventh-day Adventist preacher. In 1912 he turned to agnosticism, but after special revelations during Bible study in 1913 he began to preach his own doctrine, and in 1914 founded the Iglesia ni Kristo. He denied the divinity of Christ and justification by faith, argued that the church did not exist between a.d. 70 and 1914, and therefore claimed that salvation is to be found only in the Iglesia ni Kristo. In 1922 he declared himself to be the angel from the East mentioned in Revelation 7:1-3. He built many splendid chapels of distinctive architecture, personally appointed all his clergy (and wrote their sermons), and dictated to his members how they should vote in state elections. He appealed to contemporary nationalism by teaching that there were many specific references to the Philippines in Bible prophecy. The INK doubtfully claimed 3,500,000 members in 1963. Felix's son Erano succeeded him as “Executive Minister.”