March 26, 1978, Tito Gene (Eugenio Sanchez Sr.) and Tita Pilar attended their first prayer meeting held by the Upper Room Prayer Group in Project 7, Quezon City.
The Sanchez’s attended the prayer meetings regularly, bringing along their children. In one of those meetings, a leader of the Upper Room, looking at the Sanchez’s youngest son Bo, then only 12 years old, prophesied that the boy would be speaking to thousands about God.
After 18 months, the Sanchez’s decided to organize their own prayer group, named the Light of Jesus, and held their first prayer meeting at the garage of their home at 56 Chicago Street, Cubao, Quezon City, on September 9, 1980, with Bo leading the meeting.
The following year, 30 regular attendees of the prayer meetings formed the Core Family of what was then called Light of Jesus Community.
The Light of Jesus has also supported various ministries of Bro. Bo Sanchez such as the Shepherd’s Voice Publications Inc. which publishes the bestselling inspirational magazine, Kerygma – from the Greek word Kerygma which means proclamation of the gospel. SVP also publishes Fish, an inspirational magazine for teenagers, All Stars, for ‘tweens’ and Mustard, for children. SVP also publishes daily devotionals (such as Companion, Didache and Sabbath) and books by Bro. Bo Sanchez and other authors.
The LOJ also supports the Shepherd’s Voice Radio and Television Foundation which produces TV shows such as – Kerygma TV, Inside the Fish Bowl, and Mustard TV, and the online inspirational show, Preacher in Blue Jeans, featuring Bro. Bo Sanchez and other speakers from LOJ. SVRTV also manages Kerygma Family – a non-physical, borderless, world-wide community that receives spiritual nourishment daily virtually and provides a venue for donations to the mission of spreading God’s Word and making Disciples.
For its Mercy Ministry, the Light of Jesus has the Anawim Lay Missions Foundation, Inc., established by Bro. Bo Sanchez as a home for abandoned elderly and Grace To Be Born, a shelter for women in crisis with an advocacy against abortion. After many years, LOJ has partnered and supports He Cares Foundation, a home with livelihood program for street children; Tahanan ng Pagmamahal, an orphanage; and Pag-asa ng Pamilya, a scholarship for out-of-school youth.
LOJ members also serve in the Light of Jesus Pastoral Center, providing telephone counseling services to hundreds of people needing comfort in their darkest hours. Following Jesus’ mandate to visit those in prison, the Light of Jesus also has a Prison Ministry which holds regular prayer meetings at the Correctional Institution for Women.
In the ‘80s, as the Core Family went out to establish prayer meetings in various parts of Metro Manila and nearby provinces, members of the Light of Jesus or LOJ rapidly increased in number. The members, coming from various walks of life, were grouped into “families,” composed of 30 to 50 members, such as the Love Family, Strength Family, Joy Family, Peace Family, Faith Family, and the Glory Family.
The families built more prayer meetings and so LOJ organized branches such as the Discipleship Communities for Christ (DCC); Homes for Christ, for couples; Youth Mission for Parishes and Communities (YMPACT); Esther, for single women professionals; Joshua, for single men professionals; and Tabitha, for single mature women.
In the 1990s, as members went to the Visayas and Mindanao to establish prayer groups, more people joined the Light of Jesus. And so the community was organized into various regions, districts, and chapters. Each chapter was composed of caring groups, the nucleus of the entire organization, composed of five to 15 members.
By the early 2000s, Bro. Bo established the Feast, a Sunday prayer gathering with Holy Mass, lively worship, and series of talks on practical Christian Living – first held at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City. The members of the LOJ regions and chapters were reorganized to build more Feasts which showed videos of talks of Bro. Bo in the main Feast.
Come 2009, Bro. Bo, following leading from the Lord, assigned Feast Builders, well known preachers and authors of spiritual books, who established new Feasts. Today, there are now over 150 Feasts, led by these Feast Builders.
Light of Jesus has also gone international, establishing prayer groups in key areas in Asia, the Middle East, the United States of America, United Kingdom, Oceania, Canada and the Bahamas which are also holding Feasts.