Ramos, Gerardo de la Rosa (1941–2016)

By Mary Grace Ladion-De Guzman

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Mary Grace Ladion-De Guzman taught at Lipa Adventist Academy for eleven years, the first established academy within the territory of South Central Luzon Conference. She is a licensed science teacher and holds a master's degree in Science Education. She is particularly interested in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and staff development. Her husband, Marlon De Guzman, is a senior auditor for the South Central Luzon Conference. They have two children. Guzman is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Education with a specialization in Curriculum and Instruction from the Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies.

First Published: January 29, 2021

Gerardo de la Rosa Ramos was a literature evangelist, preacher, philanthropist, and leader from the Philippines.

Early life

Gerardo de la Rosa Ramos was born October 3, 1941, to Amando Ramos and Victoria de la Rosa in Batangas City, Philippines.1 He was the eldest of eight children and grew up to be a responsible person. At a young age he knew very well the value of earning and having money. He was described as a business-minded boy, who never failed to impress his peers with his financial management skills. This skill was instrumental to his success in the future ministries he would be engaged in. On November 3, 1953, he was baptized by Pastor M. P. Arevalo in Lucena City and was welcomed into the SDA Church.

Education and Marriage

Gerardo Ramos received his elementary education from Lucena SDA Elementary School and Cotta Elementary School, Lucena City, Quezon. He attended Lucena SDA school for one year and Cotta for five years. He finished high school at Luzonian College, now Enverga University in Lucena City, Quezon. He obtained a Batchelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in theology at Mountain View College (MVC) in 1967.

Before finishing his B.A. degree, he married Eva Gotico from Davao City, whom he met at MVC while studying. Eva was born December 18, 1941, in Iponan, Misamis Oriental, but later resided in Davao City. They were united in marriage on April 16, 1964. After the wedding, Gerardo, or Gerry as he was fondly called by his friends, resumed his schooling. To support his education and his family, he engaged in canvassing work.2

The couple was endowed with four children: Elsa Barbara, born June 11, 1966; Evelu Beth, born July 2, 1968; Gerardo, born in October 1969; and Ervin, born August 4, 1973. All the children of Gerry and Eva became medical professionals: a dentist, medical technologist, and nurses.

Ministry

After graduation, Ramos immediately joined the literature ministry work and served Davao Mission as an Associate Publishing Director3 from August 1, 1967, to June 30, 1968. His active involvement in the literature ministry was admired by the leaders. On July 1, 1968, the Northern Mindanao Mission (NMM) called him to be the ABC manager4 or publishing assistant,5 which he did until August 31, 1969.

After serving three years in Mindanao, his home mission, South-Central Luzon Mission (SCLM), called him to pastor various districts in the territory. From September 1, 1969, to December 31, 1979, he served SCLM as a district pastor.6, 7 In 1973,8 during the South-Central Luzon Mission Session, Ramos was ordained as a minister. Two other couples, Pastor and Mrs. Bernardo Villarias and Pastor and Mrs. Romen Rivera, joined him and Eva9 in the sacred ordination ceremony.

With his experience in the publishing work, which he dearly loved, he was called to serve as the SCLM associate publishing director,10 which he did from January 1, 1980, to December 31, 1982, since Pastor Benjamin Abellona had vacated the position due to his migration to the United States.11 From January 1, 1983, to December 31, 1985, he was the publishing director of SCLM.12 These years were considered as one of the glorious moments of the publishing work in the mission. He provided training both for publishing leaders and literature evangelists (LEs). Incentive programs for leaders and LEs were instituted; such as the millionaire’s tour for LEs who sold at least one million pesos worth of literature, the yearly banquet for LEs who achieved P100,000 in sales, and an Asian City trip for leaders who reached the annual goal in ten months or less. These programs were established before Abraham La Rue’s Hong Kong trip of the Southern-Asia Pacific Division program existed.13

Ramos’ dedication to the literature ministry was noticeable and resulted in his election as publishing director of the North Philippine Union Mission (NPUM).14 From January 1, 1986, to December 31, 1992, he enriched the work of the publishing ministry throughout Luzon peninsula with the help of God and the faithful literature evangelists. His motivation and enthusiasm as the leader of the publishing work encouraged many literature evangelists to join the ministry. His dedication to the ministry led to NPUM’s highest number of literature evangelists and sales. Consequently, the Philippines became “the literature evangelist capital in the world.”15

He was instrumental in the construction and realization of the NPUM Literature Ministry Seminary located on the beautiful campus of Lipa Adventist Academy, Lipa City, Batangas.16

Construction started in May 1990 with the encouragement of Elder R. C. Thomas, the SSD publishing department director. In the following years Ramos was busy with the facilitation of the construction. In the middle of his second term as the publishing director of NPUM, he was called to lead SCLM as president on January 1, 1993. Finally, on August 21, 1994, LMS was inaugurated and Ramos gave the opening remarks as the president of SCLM. When he left NPUM to answer the call of the presidency, he also left six million pesos as a literature evangelist fund.17

His leadership position and his attendance at General Conference sessions while serving NPUM, increased his network of friends.18 During his presidency, he connected to these local and international friends and invited them to be his partners in developing SCLM. He initiated the purchase of the printing press facility,19 an income-generating project and a beneficial tool for the publishing work. He also introduced the use of computers and projectors in evangelism. District pastors, teachers, laymen, local and foreign missionaries, and literature workers were increased in the territory, resulting in an increased number of baptisms. Moreover, he commenced a “Praise Program” in the SCLM territory by province, a thanksgiving celebration at the end of the year. The amount received from this church gathering was used to build churches and schools, and conduct evangelistic meetings.20

This great work, guided by the Holy Spirit, paved the way to change the SCLM status21 from a mission to a conference in 2002.22 He also helped in establishing a cooperative (SCLUMCO) for the SCLC workers. He served SCLM for two terms as a president from January 1, 1993, to April 30, 2002.23 On May 1, 2002, he was called to serve NPUM as the philanthropic coordinator.24 His skill in philanthropy cannot be overvalued. The establishment of the Literature Ministry Seminary and the LE’s incentive programs are products of such skill. He served NPUM as the philanthropic director until December 31, 2005.25

Later Life

His retirement years were spent in various church activities such as pastoring, sponsoring evangelistic efforts, and other projects, including the Gerry Ramos Media Center in South-Central Luzon Conference, San Pablo City, Laguna, Philippines.26 He faithfully served the church for 38 years as a literature evangelist, district pastor, publishing director, mission president, and philanthropic director.27 Pastor Gerardo Ramos died on July 7, 2016, in his residence at Victoria, Laguna, Philippines. His strategies in implementing programs are living examples of ingenuity and innovation. He never ran out of ideas to make things work better.

Contribution and Legacy

Among his contributions and legacy to the church was the establishment of the Gerry Ramos Media Center Project in SCLC. He was a visionary leader. The crisis brought by the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 provided opportunities for SCLC to conduct online evangelism and broadcasting. This pushed the conference and union to work together and engage the church members to support the complete acquisition of the media center equipment.28 Going forward in evangelism through technological devices allows for better facilitation and comprehension of the Three Angels’ Messages—this was always the goal of Pastor Ramos.

His advancement of the publishing work was also remarkable in that he encouraged and engaged many church members to be gospel workers through literature ministry. He also established a culture of gift-giving to the children of SCLC workers during the workers’ Christmas party/annual yearend gathering—including the children of pastors, teachers, literature evangelists, office workers, and staff. During such events, the children gathered together and received their cash gift from him.

Sources

“Delegates.” ARH, July 5, 1990, 17.

Gerry Ramos Media Center Project. Accessed August 4, 2020, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dpi6ud_RpOg.

M. G. L. De Guzman. “South-Central Luzon Conference.” Accessed August 2, 2020, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=CAST&highlight=south|central|luzon|conference.

North Philippine Union Mission minutes, May 19, 2003, SEC Registration-SCLC (2003-108), North Philippine Union Mission Executive Committee.

“Ordinations Around the World: Europe, Far East, North America.” ARH, October 18, 1973.

“Personal Information of Pastor Gerardo Ramos.” North Philippine Union Mission archives. Accessed July 1, 2020.

Ramos, G. D. Service Record, Southern-Asia Pacific Division archives.

Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook, various years. https://www.adventistyearbook.org/.

South-Central Luzon Mission Ordinations. Far Eastern Division Outlook, July 1973.

Notes

  1. Gerardo D. Ramos Service Record,” Southern-Asia Pacific Division archives.

  2. Eva G. Ramos (spouse) and Pastor Vicente. Personal Information of Pastor Gerardo Ramos.” Accessed July 1, 2020.

  3. Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook, 1969, 142.

  4. Gerardo D. Ramos Service Record.

  5. Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook, 1970.

  6. Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook, 1971, 157.

  7. Ibid.; Gerardo D. Service Record.

  8. South-Central Luzon Mission Ordinations, Far Eastern Division Outlook, July 1973, 17.

  9. “Ordinations Around the World: Europe, Far East, North America.” ARH, October 18, 1973, 20-21.

  10. Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook, 1982, 132.

  11. Ibid.; E. G. Ramos (spouse) and Pastor Ramos. “Personal Information of Pastor.”

  12. Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook, 1985, 148.

  13. Ibid.; E. G. Ramos (spouse) and Pastor Vicente. “Personal Information of Pastor.”

  14. Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook, 1987, 124.

  15. Ibid.; E. G. Ramos (spouse) and Pastor Vicente. “Personal Information of Pastor.”

  16. Roland Fabon, Interview with treasurer of the South-Central Luzon Conference via Facebook, August 4, 2020.

  17. Ibid.; E. G. Ramos (spouse) and Pastor Vicente. “Personal Information of Pastor.”

  18. “Delegates,” ARH, July 5, 1990, 17.

  19. Ibid.; Roland Fabon interview with treasurer of the South-Central Luzon…

  20. Ibid.; E. G. Ramos (spouse) and Pastor Vicente. “Personal Information of Pastor.”

  21. North Philippine Union Mission minutes, May 19, 2003, SEC Registration-SCLC (2003-108), North Philippine Union Mission Executive Committee.

  22. M. G. L. De Guzman, “South-Central Luzon Conference.” Accessed August 2, 2020, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=CAST&highlight=south|central|luzon|conference.

  23. Gerardo D. Ramos Service Record.

  24. Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook, 2005, 355.

  25. Gerardo D. Ramos Service Record.

  26. Gerry Ramos Media Center Project. Accessed August 4, 2020, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dpi6ud_RpOg.

  27. Ibid.; E. G. Ramos (spouse) and Pastor Vicente. “Personal Information of Pastor.”

  28. Gerry Ramos Media Center Project.

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Guzman, Mary Grace Ladion-De. "Ramos, Gerardo de la Rosa (1941–2016)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. January 29, 2021. Accessed November 29, 2022. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=BCWB.

Guzman, Mary Grace Ladion-De. "Ramos, Gerardo de la Rosa (1941–2016)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. January 29, 2021. Date of access November 29, 2022, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=BCWB.

Guzman, Mary Grace Ladion-De (2021, January 29). Ramos, Gerardo de la Rosa (1941–2016). Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved November 29, 2022, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=BCWB.