Ruby-Nell M. Estrella
Bishop Ruby-Nell M. Estrella
Manila Episcopal Area
Bishop Estrella was born at Mary Johnston Hospital in Tondo, Manila, where her mother, Leonarda Manucom Estrella worked for almost 40 years. Her father, Elmer Eugenio Estrella, served as executive director of the Philippine Band of Mercy until his retirement, and as lay pastor of Calamba UMC.
Education and Ordination
Bishop Estrella graduated with a bachelor's degree in accountancy, cum laude, at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines in 1985, passing the licensure examinations for certified public accountants in 1986. She briefly worked as junior auditor for a group of companies in Makati before discovering that her true vocation is in the church.
Her journey in the ministry began when she volunteered as church secretary of Tangos United Methodist Church, the church where she was baptized and nurtured and finally heeded the call to the ordained ministry in 1987. In 1993, she was ordained Deacon and in 1994, obtained her Master of Divinity with high honors from the Union Theological Seminary in Cavite. She was admitted as Full Member and ordained Elder of the Philippines Annual Conference in 1995.
Bishop Estrella holds the distinction of being the first and, so far, the only woman district superintendent of the Philippines Annual Conference. She has served as DS under four bishops spanning a period of more than ten years. It was under her term that the first United Methodist Church in the Middle East was organized, The First United Methodist Church Dubai. She was also the first woman administrative pastor of the Central United Methodist Church in Manila, after 115 years of existence. Before being elected as Bishop, she served as the treasurer of the Philippines Central Conference, the first clergy to be elected in that position.
Bishop Estrella has served in all levels of leadership in The United Methodist Church – from pastoring a small church in a remote village in Leyte to overseeing the multi-faceted ministry of the country’s “Cathedral of Methodism” to holding key positions in the annual and central conference levels. She was also appointed to represent the Philippines Central Conference in the Connectional Table from 2005-2012 and the Study Committee on the Worldwide Nature of the Church.