Bong Bugarin is the Pastor of Jesus the Good Shepherd (JTGS) International Church situated in 23 Rue Taitbout, 75009 Paris, France.
Born Apolinario Bugarin in the province of Paniqui, Tarlac on August 4, 1964 to parents, Apolinario Bugarin Senior and Corazon Bugarin both origin of Tarlac and are Tagalog.
His preaching is intended to bring Scripture alive and invariably includes practical applications, touching stories and amusing humor.
He met Marivic, a beautiful and young lass from Baguio City, and married her in 1984 at the City’s town hall.
The couple were blessed with three beautiful daughters and a granddaughter: Marla, Pia, Apoline and Tala.
As a father, his heart is to provide for his family. Due to economic reasons, Bong Bugarin and his wife embarked a journey to France oblivious of the calling God planned for them.
History of Ministry
- 1991: the couple joined an American-led church in the outskirts of Paris named Bon Berger. Because of the display of humility and dedication, Bong became an elder, then eventually promoted to Assistant Pastor where he served for almost ten years.
- 1998: while he and his wife were serving as Associate Pastors under the leadership of Robert Baxter, he heard the call of God to start a new mission in the centre of Paris. At this point of his life, all he knew was they were called to reach out not just to his fellow countrymen but also to the English speaking communities in this multicultural city.
- February 1, 1999: Jesus the Good Shepherd International Church (or JTGS) was formally established as an independent evangelical church, registered as cultuel association in France under 1901/1905 French law as AAES (Association d’Assemblée Evangélique de Sentier SIRET number 42291380600010).
He then dedicated full-time service in the ministry the same year.
Phases/Evolution of JTGS:
The church shows a sturdy 19 years of existence in Paris. Through it all though, from the years 2001 to 2008 the church underwent transitions and encountered many challenges. But JTGS remained resilient; she experienced healing and great restoration.
And indeed, 19 years of existence is a testimony to God’s promise found in Matthew 16:18 “upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it”.
Paris is considered as the most beautiful city in the world. However, conducting a ministry in the City of Lights is not for the faint of heart.
Here are some of the challenges JTGS faced:
- No permanent place (moving every 3-5 years): the church moves from one worship place to another without any guarantee of permanent place. Being sensitive to the growing needs of JTGS family, she needs to have a place to call its own and it has become a great challenge because the cost of rent in Paris is exorbitant. We reckon that the only way to overcome this is to have our own building complex. And for so, we are working hard towards this goal and we believe God will help us bring in the provision in 5-7 years time.
- The principle of laïcité in France which have made the people dismissive to any conversation leading to Jesus Christ. France adheres to a strict form of secularism, known as laïcité, which is designed to keep religion out of public life. For example, we can never pray in public and preach the Bible to anybody we meet. It is something that you do privately. A closed culture that we will pursue to break for the expansion of His Kingdom in France.
- JTGS has already established a branch in the provinces of Gerona and Paniqui Tarlac, Philippines (https://www.facebook.com/JTGSPhilippines/) led by the brother of Pastor Bong, Henry Bugarin.
- JTGS has planted a church in Boutique Venance Rivière l’Or, Saint-Joseph, Martinique (https://www.lefeudureveil.org/) an overseas region of France located in the Caribbean Sea: Le Feu de Réveil led by Jeanne Desbrailles.
- JTGS is a member of ELIM Pentecostal Churches of France which functions as its spiritual covering.
- Bong and Marivic earned an Online Master’s Degree in Theology and Divinity from Western Carolina USA College of Theology in June 2017. Hence, being promoted to Apostolic calling, they have been invited to speak to many churches in Indonesia, and they travel regularly to Martinique to support Le Feu de Réveil church. Their goal is to make disciples and plant more overseas churches.
- Furthermore, Pastor Marivic demonstrates a special gift in healing: she has a genuine sensitivity to those who are suffering in illnesses. She attends to them through praying and counselling.
- More than three decades later, God continues to confirm their calling to Paris, where they have found their home and ministry.
- JTGS celebrated its 19th anniversary on March 4, 2018. JTGS has grown its members to about two hundred adults, more than thirty youths and more than twenty children attendees every Sunday. Check out our JTGS turns 19 article for further reading.
To learn about our vision-mission, click here
To visit our church, click here