Blessing: Rev. Pedro M. Torio Jr. (center, wearing black) with the District Superintendents of Central Luzon Philippines Annual Conference extend their hands as a sign of blessing during the Ordination Service. (Photo: Kier Ocampo, Communications Officer)
Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. Isaiah 41:10 NLT
The only son of the Rev. Pedro E. Torio, a former District Superintendent of The United Methodist Church, and Dr. Monica Marquez Torio, a licensed Optometrist. He was born on April 10, 1965. His sister, Rev. Dr. Fe M. Torio, is also a pastor and an Optometrist. Pastor Pete followed suit, graduating from Centro Escolar University in 1985, passing the board exam in 1986, then finishing his Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary in 1996 and Master of Theology from Duke University in 1999. He wrapped up his Doctor of Ministry degree from Wesley Divinity School in 2013.
He led the Regional Council of the Cordillera in 2006-2009 as Chairperson. He served as Professor and later as Dean of Aldersgate Divinity School from 2000 to 2002, Dean of World Citi Colleges from 2002 to 2005, and Vice-President for Academic Affairs of the University of Eastern Pangasinan from 2009 to 2010 while serving as part-time Managing Editor of the Binalonan Times and Executive Assistant to the Bishop of the Baguio Episcopal Area, Bishop Rodolfo Juan. He was appointed District Superintendent of Ilocos South District in 2010, the same District that provided full, official and prayerful support for his first attempt to run for the Episcopacy. He was elected to the Episcopacy at the age of 47 in Bayombong United Methodist Church, Nueva Vizcaya in December 2012. In this quadrennium, he serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM); he is also the present Executive Committee Chairperson of the Commission on Central Conference Theological Education of GBHEM.
His Episcopal leadership gave birth to the following initiatives: 1) His book, LEADERS, acronym for Lay Evangelists and Disciple-makers Equipped for Renewal and Service, pioneered one-on-one disciple-making in the Baguio Episcopal Area which is composed of more than 714 churches; 2) his revivalist worship and conference tradition launched the United Methodist Aldersgate Mission Conference in 2014 and sustained in 2015; 3) his passion for evangelism and church planting celebrated the establishment of twenty-eight (28) new local churches from 2013-2016, 12 local churches from 2017-2018, and 178 mission congregations waiting to become fully recognized as local churches; 4) he supported church-based cooperatives as flagship programs for social ministries, establishing the GEMS E Network Credit Cooperative in 2013; 5) he worked for scholarship programs from the General Board of Higher Education’s Commission on Central Conference Theological Education that distributed educational assistance for theological students of the Baguio Episcopal Area in 2014 up to the present; 6) he launched the Baguio Episcopal Area Theological Schools Trust Fund to support five theological colleges; 7) he launched the Chaplaincy program in 2013 that now deploy 309 Chaplains serving 381 Barangays; and, 8) his enthusiasm for Covenant Discipleship Groups led to the BEA-wide distribution of his latest book, CARE for the Margins, a small group ministry approach to microfinance ministries.
As National UMYF President in 1988-89, Bishop Pete is well known for articulating that the supreme task of the UMYF is “to know Christ and make Him known.” It was during his term that the Hakbang sa Pananampalataya was finally edited and published through the efforts the young people in partnership with the author, Rev. Dr. Homer Wesley Refuerzo. In addition to books like The Christian Faith, LEADERS, and other published works, he wrote the compendium of UMC theology and doctrines, programs and ministries, and a Gospel witness presentation in the 2016 BEA Diglot Bible.
He is married to Joyce Orpilla Torio, fellow alumni and Valedictorian of Candon National High School in Ilocos Sur. Joyce was a systems analyst, licensed teacher, academic administrator, and now a full-time Bishop’s wife serving as the BEA Coordinator for Research and Development. They have four children: John Wesley, a licensed Medical Doctor, midwife, and registered nurse, a Cum Laude graduate of the University of Northern Philippines in 2012, graduated at the medical school of the Cagayan State University; Debbie Anne, formerly an E-Learning Specialist of Diwa Learning Systems with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, now a graduate of BS Accountancy in Cagayan State University; Pete Johnston, who graduated Valedictorian from Candon National High School, and now holds a degree in Bachelor of Science in Accounting Technology from the University of the Cordilleras; and the latest addition to the family, Emory Faith.
The Rev. Dr. Pedro “Pete” M. Torio Jr., Bishop of the Baguio Episcopal Area.
Pastoral Statements From
The Baguio Episcopal Area
- Pastoral Statement on the Case Of Mary Jane Veloso
- Stop The Killings! Our Peasants Do Not Need Your Bullets, They Need Bread! (Bishop Pete Torio’s Pastoral Statement on the April 1, 2016 Kidapawan Incident
- A Future For Our Children
- To Know Christ And Make Him Known (Reflections On Human Sexuality)
We are grateful for the work of the Commission on a Way Forward. Our brothers and sisters from the Commission worked for many days in many meetings to develop three recommendations to 2019 Called Session of the General Conference. These “Three Plans” are attempts to finally resolve the impasse on human sexuality that has caused so much conflict and controversy for almost 50 years. We sincerely believe that the Report of the Commission on a Way Forward provides a framework for conversation and collaboration that respects the freedom and faith of all.
We, therefore, encourage all members of The United Methodist Church in the Baguio Episcopal Area to read and study the Report of The Commission on a Way Forward.
The Baguio Episcopal Area District (BEA) Superintendents asked me to comment on the landmark decision of the US Supreme Court legalizing same sex marriage. The National UMYF President informed me that the impact of this development has reached our young people nationwide. Our young people from all walks of life and all shades of gender preference discuss, debate, and decide while they engage each other in social media.