This is Roli Dela Cruz.

This is Roli Dela Cruz

This Roli Dela Cruz. He was born in Tondo, Manila but raised in a suburb called Taytay, Rizal east of the capital in the Philippines. He grew up in a Christian household with two younger brothers and one younger sister. His brothers still reside in the Philippines and his sister is working in London, UK.

Roli completed his Bachelor of Christian Ministries at Bethel Bible College in Valenzuela, Metro Manila and then completed his Master of Divinity as well as a Master of Theology in Baguio City. During this time, he would also teach biblical Greek and new testament courses at Asia Pacific Theological Seminary. Soon after, Roli would move briefly to the UK and obtain his PhD from the University of Birmingham in England, before moving back to the Philippines after defending his thesis. He is currently the Associate Professor of New Testament and also an ordained minister of the Assemblies of God.

"I met my wife Amy and it was a match made in heaven. During the time we were matched, I was teaching a summer course in the Philippines and was told by my Dean to go back to England instead of just being mailed my degree. I had some communication with Amy talking for six or seven months and we agreed that we wanted to meet. Amy was working as an operations director of a Christian school in Philadelphia. In 2005, I graduated in December from the University of Birmingham and we met in London."

Roli and Amy would continue with their long-distance relationship after their time in London before getting married in Philadelphia. Roli remembers growing up in the upper level of the poverty line despite his parents both working. When he was not in school, he spent time with his siblings, parents, and was involved in the church. On Sundays, he would participate and watch sports with friends after service.

"I did not always envision myself as a pastor. I grew up seeing pastors struggling financially because I thought there was no money in preaching the gospel. Originally, in Manila, I wanted to study mechanical engineering and knew I was running away from God's calling. While I was sleeping in my first year of college, God made me still where I wasn’t able to move my body and told me that I have to be a preacher, which was great. After that, I would look at the board during my engineering classes and not know what's going on."

When Roli first came to the United States, he worked as an overnight dry goods stocker at Walmart briefly before teaching New Testament and Greek at the University of Valley Forge in Pennsylvania. He believes that understanding the original Greek New Testament manuscripts is important when interpreting the biblical text and helps better inform the faith. Vanguard is so thankful for Roli's heart to serve the Lord in teaching the word of God to undergraduate and graduate students.