Photo: OD File Photo
God says in Ezekiel 22:30, “And I sought for a man among them that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land that I should not destroy it but I found none.” A calling accepted by a remarkable man of God, the sitting Board Vice Chairman, Pastor Emiliano Moral Neric. He had accomplished a lot in God’s Kingdom. He is known to be humble and enthusiastic in sharing the Gospel of our Lord JESUS CHRIST. He has truly inspired the lives of many, through the working of the Holy Spirit.
Pastor Emil was born in Albay, Bicol on January 15, 1957, the youngest among the three sons of Isabelo and Catalina Neric. Farming was the main source of their living. He was married to Pastor Marilyn Lawenco Neric for 39 years. Their marriage was blessed with a wonderful daughter, Sis. Rachel Neric Alvarez, after ten long years of waiting. His only daughter is now happily married to Bro. Bernard Alvarez and the two were gifted with a son, Psalm Daniel, whom Pastor Emil is fond of.
He attended his first schooling in St. John’s Academy in Camalig, Albay and graduated with a degree of Bachelor of Science in Commerce- Major in Economics at Divine Word College in Legazpi City in 1977. A year after his graduation, he was hired in Guevent Group of Companies Personnel and Recruitment staff. And nine years later, he decided to work abroad. It was in the year 1987, when he first landed in the Middle East. He worked as a Procurement Manager to one of the prestigious companies in the Middle East where he rendered service for 31 wonderful years.
In the year 1990, in OPIF Dunes S1, through Pastor Peter Tolod and Pastor Mar Cortan, when he first heard the Word of God. Raised from the family of traditional religious beliefs and new to Apostolic teaching, it was not easy for him to accept the Gospel. He felt so uncomfortable and bewildered by the way Apostolic Born-Again Christians worship. For him, it was entirely different to what he was used to. Also he was troubled why the Apostolic Born Again Christians do not pray to the mother of the Savior, which is far from the teaching he had known for so many years.
But through the eagerness, perseverance, and God’s anointing through Ptr. Tolod and Ptr. Mar, God worked in the midst of them and made a way, and gave Him the full understanding of the gospel. Ptr. Emil then submitted to the will of God and wholeheartedly obeyed His Word. It was April 20, 1990, when he accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Savior and submitted to water baptism in Jesus’ Name. October 15 in the same year, when he was baptized in the Holy Ghost, an experience which brought him “unexplainable joy”. His life was totally changed by this event in his life. Old things has passed away and he became a new creation in Christ. From being a chain smoker, he engaged his life to chain prayer and fasting, from a drunkard to a Holy Spirit filled Christian, and from a life in darkness to a life of full of hope and light. This is the very reason why he is so eager for his fellow brethren who are new converts to receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost as well.
God provided a herald through him. He became an instrument in bringing the message of God’s grace, love, and forgiveness. He became a motivator of faith, an encourager, a revivalist, and a soul winner. He has stood in the gap to help other people find God. Though he did not envision himself to be a leader of a congregation, but it happened one day. He became a Pastor of OPIF Dunes-S6 for 4 years and set his goal to have a permanent place of worship. According to him it was really a sacrifice holding a ministry without any resources. They needed to share church, particularly with Sector 3 for them to hold a service. When he was transferred to OPIF Dunes S9 because of job relocation, there he became the resident Pastor of S9 for 14 years and spent 5 years as a Senior Pastor and later became the OPIF Chairman of the Board, the last position he held before his retirement. With all this and more, he never stopped sharing The Good News.
During his stay in the ministry, he envisioned that there will be more churches that will be established and more souls to reach out and harvest. This vision came into reality by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. With their dedication and commitment in what God has commissioned in Matthew 28:19, churches started to thrive and withstand every trials. As a matter of fact, as one of the pillars of OPIF, he envisions this God’s organization five years from now, that the number of churches will be doubled through commitment to God’s Word of all brethren. Together with the establishment of a Bible School in the Philippines, that will train and equip brethren to be continually used by God in His vineyard.
On a lighter note, Pstr. Emil is known for dropping brethren to their homes whilst only using a single route, like how the one route to salvation applies - the GPS or the God’s Plan of Salvation. He may not be as good as SIRI or Mr. Google Map that may help you navigate alternative ways to reach your destination, but he is like the man in the Bible, which he sees himself as Zacharias, who had been an instrument in proclaiming God’s plan of salvation to mankind.
Speaking of route, not all journey we take is always a scenic one, sometimes we pass through a rocky road. Like the others, Ptr. Emil took a route that shook his faith. One point in his life, he wanted to go back to his old life. Pressures from family and friends gave him doubts to continue his ministry. Tempting to do it, God reminded him through his favorite passage in the Bible, from the Book of Psalms Chapter 23. This passage gives significant meaning to his life. From the first day he accepted Jesus, overflowing of God’s goodness has filled his empty cup.
Being in the kingdom for more than 3 decades, he humbly shared some words of encouragement to those who are new. Seek God first and be an instrument to the expansion of God’s Kingdom. Also, be a wise steward of God’s material blessings. And to the newly baptized brethren, be enthusiastic in receiving the power of the Holy Ghost and to never depart from the house of the Lord.
Together with his wife and daughter, they continue in God’s vineyard. Their true dedication, humility and commitment serve as an inspiration to many. His wife, Pastor Marilyn Lawenko Neric holds a position in OPIF as Finance Board of Directress, also a remarkable teacher in her ministry. Sis Rachel Neric Alvarez, his daughter, is also actively working in God’s given ministries. She’s a Directress of Education in OPIF Philippines and has various local church ministries. As what Joshua says “As for me and my house we will serve the Lord”, Neric family continues to devote their lives in serving the King.
July 25, 2020, marked the date of his last day in the Gulf and those 33 wonderful years will be cherished forever. He would be delighted to continue God’s legacy in the Philippines in full time. All what he had learnt from the School of the Prophets (SOP) and the OPIF Bible School (OBS), he is confident that he is more equipped and ready to continue his ministry to the next level.
When asked how he envisions his life, he cheerfully replied. “I will continue serving the Lord, praising and giving thanks to Him alone all the days of my life for His goodness to me and family. And I will continue to serve Him for as long as I live.”
Truly, a remarkable servant of God, who is not just a leader but a great follower; not just a teacher but a good role model. Not just a pastor but a friend and spiritual counselor to his fellow brethren. A true great man of God, Senior Pastor Emiliano Moral Neric, who simply describes himself as dedicated, patient, responsive, cheerful, initiator, and enthusiastic in serving our One True King Jesus. A man who’s truly anointed by God’s power to serve his fellow brethren and inspiration to all.