Abstract: On Dr. Butch Belgica
“I entered the Benedictine Abbey at the age of 11, desiring to be a monk, as my mother, a devout Roman Catholic, had much influence in my formative years. My father, a former Baptist preacher persuaded me out of the Abbey when I got sick. At 16, I figured in a celebrated homicide case; got involved in many more troubles… Convicted, I spent almost 12 years in the National Penitentiary.” Thereafter, Butch became one of the youngest gang leaders of the underworld; was radicalized and indoctrinated into the communist movement. He then started writing for various publications in prison. Released in 1976, he was a changed man, not because prison life reformed him because the Lord Jesus Christ found him and transformed him. Now, Dr. Belgica, is a Christian preacher, reaching young people and parents with God’s message of Love and Life. In the early years of ministry, he pioneered works that directly caused the establishment of congregations here and abroad. Under PROJECT: KRISTIANO, a project for the Department of Education, a large network in campuses initiating cell group bible studies, and prayer meetings had been set up by Philadelphian Porters, a youth ministry he founded. He worked closely with Dr. Jess Pedigo, of Tulsa, Oklahoma in the mission outreaches of World Evangel Aid – a worldwide organization spreading the Gospel, aiding the needy and supporting missionaries. He was God’s steward of the Island Evangel, a 100 ton, 77 footer gospel ship also known as a “floating chapel” that went from islet to islet in the 7,100 island of the Philippine Archipelago, for 10 years. He earned a Masters Degree in Divinity (1989) and his Doctorate in Ministry (1991) from Friends International Christian University, Merced, California, USA.
The New Life of Grepor Butch Belgica
When I was child, my mother Emma would tell me that I’d grow up to be a servant of God. As a devout Catholic, Mama looked forward to the day when I’d be ordained priest, hoping to become a bishop someday. Raised in an exclusive Catholic school, the desire to serve the Lord bloomed in my heart early in life. When I was 11, I entered the Benedictine Abbey for a “trial period” to priesthood. My mother was very happy. But Papa was not. He wanted me to become a lawyer. So he took me out of the seminary at the very first opportunity. I never came back. Years went by, fast. At 14, I turned out to be a juvenile delinquent. No one could understand how a young boy, who a few years back wanted to become a priest, would turn out to be a problem boy. With some peers, I ran away from home. Vices, violence and crime soon become my way of life. At 16, I hit the headlines of the country’s dailies. Very soon, the newspaper which sensationalized every offenses I committed, branded me as “the most notorious teenage hoodlum” in the country. A few months and a few more crimes, I was clamped in prison with no bail recommended. By presidential directive, I was tried speedily, and was convicted for homicide with a penalty of Prison Mayor (a minimum of six years to a maximum of 14 years imprisonment).
In prison, I got into more trouble as I fought for survival in the company of hardened and much older criminals. Indicted for 24 cases ranging from physical injuries to murder, I accumulated a maximum sentence of 60 years of imprisonment. I was then one of the youngest gangleaders in the prison and my influence extended to the underworld beyond prison confines. Then one day, March 1, 1968, while alone in my cell, I cried out to the Lord, called upon His name, when life seemed to be hopeless, unbearable. Then and there, a feeling of release from pressure engulfed me. I basked in His immeasurable warmth and love, in His presence. There was joy and peace, unspeakable. But this rendezvous with God was short lived. While spending long periods in solitary confinement, I developed a talent in writing. I soon became a regular contributor to magazines. Radical elements, in no time, took notice of my rebellious nature, as could be gleaned in my articles and poetry. They then were added to my long list of “pen pals” as my writing began to tow their ideological line. At 23, I was a committed communist spearheading a leftist organization. It took the devil 10 years to maneuver my life from being that of a God-fearing boy toy a fearless, helpless, wretched sinner. But indeed, God is all merciful and loving. As Jesus said, the Father gives us to Him and that no one can pluck us out of His Hand (John 10:28-30). By some kind of a miracle, I was “pardoned” by President Marcos on June 12, 1976. It was Philippine Independence Day, a day of freedom for me.
I went into a business thereafter and was quite successful. Through manipulation and cunning schemes of the world, I was able to put up, together with my friends several multi-million peso corporations in three years. I became proud and indulged into more vices. Despite wealth, however, I was still unhappy. I married Meth, a lady physician and the Lord blessed us with four sons, Nazareno, Greco, Jeremiah and Jonathan. One day, our son got seriously sick. Despite all the money I had, and with a doctor for a wife, our son’s condition didn’t get any better. It was at this point that I met an American preacher, the Rev. Don Stewart. He told me that Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He said that the word of God, the Bible has power, for the Word who came in flesh and dwelt amongst us is Jesus, the Son of God. This amazed and touched me deeply. Don asked a picture of my son. He said, “The Bible says, if two touching on any one thing agree and ask in the name of Jesus it shall be done.” Then we pray and commanded sickness to leave my son, who was many miles away. Ending his prayer, he said, “Lord, you send your Word to heal... Send your Word to heal his child.” When I went back to the hospital, my son, Greco, who has not eaten for almost three days, miraculously regained strength. He started to eat again! That evening, another missionary, Dr. Ray Pedigo, laid hands on my son and prayed. In a couple of days, my son was out of the hospital bouncing and completely healed.
This encounter with God left an indelible mark in my life. In a few months, I left my business, sold my interest in the corporations, paid my debts and heeded God’s call for me to join the Ministry. I surrendered my whole life to Him. On August 26, 1982 at about 2am, the Lord woke me up and spoke in a clear, soothing voice. He said that He would set me up a ministry for the youth and give me a ministry of deliverance. The next evening at about 11:47, I was forced to stop my car on the shoulder of the road as the Lord repeated His message to me. For months, Jesus consistently dealt with me, reassuring me that I would no longer be ashamed of my past. He promised that as I preached His word, His glory would be my rearguard. Later, my wife too, totally surrendered her life to the Lord. Together, we laid down our family before God’s altar. Our marriage relationship that had soured and became a savage mess (many times, we parted ways) was mended and started to grow stronger each day. Jesus is now the Lord and Master of our home. We obey His commandments, If you want God to take hold of your life as He did to me, say this brief prayer, with all your heart.
“Lord Jesus, come into my heart. Come into my life. Wash me with your most precious blood. Forgive me of all my sins. I believe you rose again from the dead. Thank you, Lord. I surrender my life to you. Use it. Amen,”
If you pray this prayer sincerely, you are now a new creation. You have been “Born Again!” (John 3:16)
Appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte as Presidential Adviser for Religious Affairs under the Office of the President. (OPARA) 2019- Present
Also he is a...
- Evangelist, Ordained Minister of the Gospel of Christ (International Credentials)
- Senior Pastor, Elder, Teacher, The Lord's Vineyard Covenant Community
- Founder, Joshua Men's Fellowship President, The National Reform
- Association President, Prison Fellowship Philippines
- Chairman, Glimpse of Jesus Missions (Phil)
- Founder, 7-14 Missions International
- Special Projects Director, Feed my People, Intl (US Aid Agency)
- Founder, Philadelphian Porters, (Living Miracle Foundation) 1984-1988
- Implementor of KAPATIRAN, a Campus Outreach for Christian Values under the Department of Education, Culture and Sports
- Executive Director, EDSA-ILAW (Eradicate Delinquency and Substance Abuse through Information and Law)
Politics and Governance
- Councilor, 6th district, Manila 1994-1996
- Speaker of the House during his term in 1994 to 1996
- Assistant Majority Floor Leader, City Council, Manila 1995-1998
- Action & Performance Officer, Office of Manila City Mayor(Mayor Atienza)
- Special Assistant, Office of the President of the Philippines
- Consultant, Office of the First Gentleman of the Philippines
- Consultant to the Undersecretary, Department of Transportation and Communications
- Chairman & CEO, GREBBS Holdings, INC.General Manager, GREBBS
- M2 Building SystemPresident, Town Planners and Development Corporation
- Consultant, AMCO Industrial Sales & AMWAY Trading
- Corporation President, Believer Bros. Realty Management & Development Corp.
- Managing Director, San Felipe Mining Exploration
- Managing Director, Concorde Marketing Corporation
- Vice President, RL Umali Construction Corporation
- Vice President & Director, Astro Builder Corporation
Up to the present he is still invited to different occasions and events as a resource speaker.
- National Bureau of Investigation(NBI)
- Philippine National Police (PNP),
- Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP),
- Department of Education (DepEd)
- and other local/national government units.
Lecturer, Conducted more than 700 lectures, Seminar-workshops, from 1984 until present on various subjects and topics.
- Spirituality on Human Development
- Values Formation and Human Behavior
- Delinquency and Drug Abuse
- Word Approach Counseling
- Nation Building
- Family and Parenting, etc
- Adviser, 351 Media Movement Foundation, Inc.
- Chairman, KABATAS (Justice Advocates) An association of Law Enforcers, Judges, Prosecutors (active and retired) and concerned citizens involved in the continuing refinement of the criminal justice system.