Died: Ferdie Cabiling, Philippines’ ‘Running Pastor’

One of the founding leaders of Victory megachurch, he never stopped running to share the gospel.

Ferdinand “Ferdie” Cabiling, a bishop at one of the Philippines’ largest megachurches who ran across the Philippines to raise money for disadvantaged students, died April 1, the day after Easter. He was 58 years old.

Dubbed “the Running Pastor,” the moniker describes not only Cabiling’s epic race but how he lived his life and served as an evangelist. For 38 years, he was a vocational minister of Victory Christian Fellowship of the Philippines, which has nearly 150 locations in the country. The branch he led, Victory Metro Manila, averaged more than 75,000 people each Sunday.

In the past two years, his focus was on teaching evangelism to Victory leaders. Every time he received a teaching invitation, his answer was always yes, said his assistant, Faye Bonifacio.

“He was a maximizer,” Bonifacio said, noting that Cabiling developed a habit of taking short naps while parked at a gas station between long drives. “Because he liked to drive, he did a lot in a day.”

Hours before his death, Cabiling had visited a church member at a hospital an hour away from his hometown of Cuyapo before parking his car at a gas station, likely for a break before heading to his next destination. It was there that an attendant found his lifeless body and rushed him to the hospital he had just visited. Cabiling had died of a heart attack.

“He was a serious man of passion, action, and conviction,” wrote Steve Murrell, the founding pastor of Victory, the flagship church for the charismatic-leaning Every Nation Churches and Ministries, which has churches and campus ministries in 82 countries, in an Instagram post. “For 40 years, he was a part of every major decision made by Victory …

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