Over the course of her life, Rogelia Gayoba has been a passionate worker for God, serving Him in a variety of ways she never anticipated. “My philosophy in life is: ‘Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might,” she said.
Currently, Gayoba serves as assistant head elder at the American Canyon Fil-Am church, and she regularly teaches a Filipino language Sabbath School class. She’s also involved in many aspects of church outreach and organization. “The pastor calls me the ‘backup speaker,’” she said. “I think my assignment is like that of Aaron and Hur, holding up Moses’ arms. I have to be ready to support the work of the Lord.”
Because she is the oldest member of the congregation, she is also called “the GM,” which stands for “the Grand Matriarch.”
Born and raised in the Philippines, Gayoba is a lifelong Adventist. Her mother was pregnant with her when she decided to join the Church. “I was first baptized in the womb!” said Gayoba.
When she was a very young girl, her father was killed during World War II. Gayoba had to work to pay for her tuition to Adventist schools—from elementary through college. While in the Philippines, she graduated from Mountain View College with a degree in ministry and from other colleges with degrees in accounting and public health.
Over the decades, Gayoba enthusiastically responded to whatever the Lord called her to do. Although her various jobs are too numerous to list, they included district pastor, secretary to the union president, roles in hospital administration, dean of women, missionary to Pakistan, adoptive single mother, and much more! After she moved to the United States, she held several different positions at Glendale Adventist Hospital and Pacific Union College.
No matter the calling, Gayoba passionately took on the task. “I believe if you really put your heart into the work—just give all you’ve got—the Lord will grow you,” she said. “Mrs. White wrote: ‘All His biddings are enablings.’ Many people forget that because they are afraid. But when you put your feet on the water, the river will dry up like it did for the priests at the River Jordan. I have found this to be true in my life.”
By Julie Lorenz