FIL-AM COMMUNITY CHURCH STORY
A few days after the " Blizzard of '96 ", Pastor Romy and Kaye Capuli, with their only son, one-year-old Ryan Kevin, came to Northern Virginia
to obey God's call. They knew God was calling them to plant a church for Filipino-Americans. They had nothing but a missionary vision from the Lord
and prayers of their supporting churches.
After conducting community surveys and making friends with Filipinos, the Capulis started holding Bible studies in their rented home in Fairfax. Several people came every week and expressed their desire to learn more. During those first few months even little Ryan was able to attract families with small kids who loved to play with him.
Then the greatest challenge came that tried the faith of the Capulis. Being born with a severe congenital heart defect, Ryan had to undergo open heart surgery at the University of Virginia Medical Center just days after he celebrated his second birthday. Ryan fought to survive for a week, until he was too weak to fight any longer. On April 29, 1996, Ryan went home to be with the Lord.
At his funeral services, more than 400 people came to comfort Pastor Romy and Kaye. During these services, people had the opportunity to hear the gospel preached. The death of Ryan could have easily discouraged the Capulis, but by the grace of God, they did not let this devastating pain hinder them from fulfilling their God-given call.
God, in his sovereignty, used that tragedy as a powerful and effective means to advance his work to touch and save many people.
Seven months later, on November 17, 1996, Fil-Am Community Baptist Church was born. The first worship service was held at Comfort Inn in Springfield, Virginia, with 146 in attendance.
Since then, the church has met in different locations touching lives and impacting people in and around the community through its various church services and activities and outreach programs. One of its notable ministries is the medical missions which is held every year in March. Missions volunteers from the church go to the Philippines for a week to distribute food and medicines and with the help of local doctors and nurses also provide medical assistance to indigent families.
In December of 2009, sensing God’s call to become full-time missionaries, Pastor Romy and Kaye bade goodbye to the church and joined a missionary organization called Advancing Native Missions. At the time, Pastor Rolly Estabillo had been with the church for a year after leaving New York. He
stepped in as interim pastor and then in April 2010, the church called him to be their senior pastor.
In November of the same year, the church transitioned from afternoon service to morning service. At the same time, they changed their location from Calvary Road Baptist Church in Alexandria which has made their facilities available to them for many years to an elementary school in nearby
Springfield where they are still meeting at present. The move has brought significant changes in terms of increased attendance and reinvigorated
Seventeen years have come and gone, and today Fil-Am Church is a healthy, growing and vibrant church! Currently, people are enjoying personal relationships with God and are being constantly taught to become committed disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Fil-Am Church is not driven by programs, traditions, or gimmicks. Although it started with the aim of bringing Filipino-Americans to Jesus they are now reaching out to everybody of every culture they come in contact with because everyone needs the Lord.
It is the dream of Fil-Am Church that one day they will be able to acquire a piece of property to build a multi-purpose community cente and call it "Ryan Life Center" in order to pay tribute to Ryan's wonderful memory. They want to guarantee that the next generation can have a land to stand on as they continue to spread the gospel not just in North America but to the ends of the earth.
Through it all, God has been faithful to the church. His blessings are abundant and people in the church are ever grateful to him who has made all this possible. They want to honor and glorify God because as the theme of the church 15th anniversary states, truly “It’s All About Him” (Psalm 115:1).