Bible Baptist Church began in the heart of a young missionary just fresh from Bible College in Springfield, Missouri, USA. Bob Hughes was born August 8, 1932 to Theron and Thelma Hughes on a farm near Center, Texas. He was their fourth son in a family of nine boys and one girl.
At 17 years old, Bob joined the U.S. Air Force and found himself in the Philippines stationed at Clark Field for about two years. Bob was not yet a Christian, but started seeking the friendship of Baptist missionaries Frank Hooge and Joe Vella. He often attended the church of Frank Hooge in Sta. Mesa. Bob received the Lord a few months later after Brother Vella had witnessed to him.
After being discharged from the U.S. Air Force in January 1953, he entered Baptist Bible College in Springfield, Missouri. It was there that he met and married Helen Johnston. In April of 1956, Bob, Helen, and their first daughter, Cindy, arrived on Philippine soil to begin their first term as missionaries of the Baptist Bible Fellowship. Bob pastored the Baptist Bible Church in Sta. Mesa, Manila in the absence of Brother Hooge.
After one year in Manila and after the birth of Karen, the Hughes family moved to Cebu City to begin what is now Bible Baptist Church. They planted the seed of the Word of God through personal contacts and witnessing. These efforts resulted in regular services held in a small apartment space situated at Jones Avenue. The first service held the last Sunday of March in 1957, saw 14 people present, Before long church attendance increased and the services were held in a larger house on Mango Avenue. The whole downstairs of that house served as auditorium and Sunday School rooms for the growing congregation.
Another transfer had to be made and this time the Church rented a second story building on Espana Street, close to downtown. In 1964, Pastor Bob Hughes led the Church to purchase an 800 sq. meter property in Tres de Abril where a two-story concrete building was constructed. For nine years, Bible Baptist Church was to hold services there. By now attendance steadily increased to 600 every Sunday and every available space in the building was occupied by people.
With God’s blessings, coupled with a people determined to reach even more people for the Gospel, missionary Bob Hughes, and Dr. Armie F. Jesalva, by now the Pastor of the congregation, led the Church on another building program on a new property on Katipunan Street. In 1972, the new 3,000 seat auditorium was dedicated. This is where they continue to hold services.
In September, 1975, Pastor Bob Hughes was diagnosed with cancer and was said to have only a few months to live. The Hughes family said goodbye to their friends in Cebu and went to the States to seek further medical help. Pastor Bob Hughes died and went home to be with the Lord, August 22, 1976 in Dallas, Texas. However, his loss didn’t prevent the Lord’s work from continuing.