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Nicolas Zamora

1875-1914. Filipino pastor. Grandnephew of the martyred priest Jacinto Zamora,* he was born into a family that was already studying a smuggled Bible. His father was exiled for this crime, but Nicolas continued Bible study secretly as a student of arts and then law. As a soldier in the revolutionary army, he translated his Spanish Bible into dialect and read it to the men. When the Methodists began evangelistic meetings in Manila in 1899, he was invited to speak because the Spanish interpreter failed to arrive. He attracted crowds. He was ordained deacon in the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1900, the first Protestant Filipino clergyman. After a few months of seminary study in Shanghai, he worked widely and effectively as an itinerant evangelist. From 1904 he became pastor of the largest Protestant church in Manila, where he normally preached in the local dialect.

In 1906 he was asked to quiet some nationalistic Methodists who wanted independent Filipino Methodism. Zamora eventually came to agree with them, and objected to the church's being foreign- financed and dominated by paternalistic missionaries. On 28 February 1909, after a question of church discipline had been raised by a foreign Methodist bishop, he announced the formation of La Iglesia Evangelica Metodista en las Islas Filipinas. Many of the older Tagalog Filipinos joined the new denomination. Zamora died in a cholera outbreak in 1914 while he was general superintendent of the new church.