Getting the opportunity to study abroad
In 1961, Juan became the Director for Mission and Evangelism of the Convention Baptists. Through the help of Rev. Jesus Vaflor, CPBC General Secretary (1954 – 1964), Juan got the chance to study Master of Divinity in Berkeley Baptist Divinity School, Berkeley, California.
When he went to Divinity School, he found out that his studies wasn’t a full scholarship. He had to work for his board and lodging. The work he experienced in the US school was worse than in CPU for he had to wash plenty of dishes, big stew pots, toilets and scrub floors. Receiving nothing from the Philippines, he found extra income by working in a Dog and Cat Hospital.
In 1964, Juan got a job in a Methodist church. This paved way for the United Methodist denomination to call him to pastor a church in 1965. While working as pastor, Juan did extra job as a house parent. He needed income to finance his wife’s travel to the states.
Venturing into real estate
In 1973, their neighbor’s house was up for sale at a low price. Having the amount, the Anchetas bought the property. Then prices of real estate properties went up because of inflation in the US. It provided the Anchetas the opportunity to resell the property at a much higher price. Thus, began the real estate business of Juan and Nellie Ancheta.
The business did not deter them from God’s work. Juan remained as a full time pastor while Nelly busied herself with the church’s women organization and US-wide ministry involvement. Their faithfulness to God and the Christian ministry provided more business opportunities for them.
The apartment business grew and it provided Juan and Nellie the means to extend the blessings that God endowed them through financial donations. CPU has been the recipient of the generosity of the Anchetas.
The annual Celis-Ancheta Seminar for pastors of the Convention of Philippine Baptist Churches is one of the continuing education programs that the Ancheta family is supporting through their endowment fund donations at Central Philippine University.
Further educational advancement
Juan finished his Doctor of Ministry at the American Baptist Seminary of the West, Berkeley, California in 1984. A humanist by heart, he translated every opportunity to serve his fellowmen as his spiritual fulfillment.
His passion for service is given life both in the Philippines and the United States. As pastor, he zealously devoted himself to evangelism work with the Convention of the Philippine Baptist Churches. Proving himself to be a genuine servant of God, he was given the honor as Pastor Emeritus of Melrose Methodist Church, Oakland, California.
CPU Alumni Involvements
Imbued with true Central Spirit, Rev. Dr. Ancheta has kept the high ideals of CPU by tendering selfless service, invaluable assistance, and financial help to further the religious, educational, and humanitarian causes of the University. Indeed, his unconditional generosity, social consciousness, humanitarian concerns are Christian acts worth remembering and emulating.
He is active in the CPU Alumni Chapter of Northern California, which he and Nellie were pioneer members. Both Dr. Ancheta and Nellie were among the first five persons who started the CPU Alumni Chapter of Northern California in 1969. They both had served as either president or treasurer of the CPUNorCal.
When Nellie had a stroke in 1995, he was chosen by the group to take her place and continue to lead the group until 2009 when the Chapter accepted to host the 2010 Global reunion in San Francisco.
When the Chapter finally accepted to host the gathering, Dr. Ancheta asked to be replaced by a younger leader. He found joy in being one of those who started the CPU Alumni Chapter of Northern California.
Devotion to CPU’s welfare
For his lifetime commitment and Christian achievement as minister of the Gospel and humanitarian leader, Central Philippine University takes pride and pleasure in giving Rev. Dr. Ancheta due recognition and honor.
The Anchetas have been known for their passion for service and generosity in helping church related institutions in the Philippines , and Central Philippine University is a recipient. The Celis-Ancheta Hall for the College of Theology dedicated and inaugurated on June 25, 1997 is concrete evidence.
When Nelly joined her creator in 1998, Juan at 70 years old spend his life fulfilling Nellie’s unfinished dreams of helping those who are in need and developing the work of God both here and abroad. For his benevolent work, Rev. Ancheta received the Honorary Doctorate Degree from Central Philippine University on 3 September 1998.
Juan’s later successes
At age 83, Dr. Johnny Ancheta is still strong and busy in their business and in the work of the Lord. He testifies how the Lord is gracious to him and the members of his family. When Nellie passed away, Junell quit his teaching job and his graduate studies to take care of their business. He is blessed with three grand daughters.
On January 25, 1999, Juan married Aurora Carnaje, a US-based nurse and graduate of CPU.
His son, Jorge is working in the Alameda County and living alone.
His eldest, Junell and his wife, Ritsuko have three children, namely: Joan, 13; Jane, 10; and Ellena, 8.
In November 2010, Dr. Johnny Ancheta and wife, Aurora Carnaje Ancheta visited their Alma Mater, especially the College of Theology
Juan Ancheta’s story remains as one example of a man’s successful search for better life, which he achieved through hard work, determination, and most of all, his faith in God.
Indeed, the “greener pasture” is always waiting for those who are willing to commit their lives to diligently work for it, not only for personal welfare but for the greater purpose of helping humanity.
Photo credits: Engr. Pio Go, College of Theology, and Link