Filipino Evangelist and Bishop
Dionisio D. Alejandro, at a young age became an interpreter for the American missionaries in his hometown of San Isidro, Nueva Ecija, stirring an early passion for the church. He became an active member of the Methodist young people’s group called the Epworth League, forerunner of the Methodist Youth Fellowship. Rev. Cirilo Kasiguran, first Filipino evangelist in Nueva Ecija, had a profound effect on Alejandro who later became an evangelist himself in the old Central District in 1915 to begin his ministry after obtaining his Bachelor of Philosophy and other theological courses at Asbury College in Kentucky, USA. He taught at the Union Theological Seminary and Union High School in Manila while completing his Bachelor of Divinity at UTS. He became the first Filipino delegate to the Southeastern Asia Central Conference and also the first Filipino ministerial delegate to the General Conference in 1936.
During the Japanese occupation when the church was being pressured by the Japanese Army Religious Section to join the Evangelical union, the Philippines Central Conference held its 3rd session at Knox Memorial Methodist Church and Alejandro was elected to the episcopacy on January 22, 1944, becoming the first Filipino bishop to head The Methodist Church in the Philippines, thus ending the American leadership.
Bishop Alejandro left a lasting legacy to the church with the book he wrote entitled “From Darkness to Light,” published by the Philippines Central Conference in 1974 after his death. The book chronicled the early beginnings and spread of Methodism in the Philippines until the early seventies.
Taken from Methodism in the Philippines: A Century of Faith and Vision, ed. by Bishop Jose Gamboa, Jr., Gamaliel T. de Armas, Jr., Roela Victoria Rivera, and Sharon Paz C. Hechanova. (Manila: Philippines Central Conference of The United Methodist Church, 2003).