Retired Major (USAF) Frederick W. Sablan, age 75, passed away December 2, 2015. Frederick Sabalan was born in 1940 in Guam, the son of the late Dr. Joaquin and Beatrice Sablan.
Dr. Joaquin Sablan, D.D., L.H.D attended Oakland City University and returned to Guam in 1935 as the first ordained Chamorro Protestant minister. Reverend Sablan.
Annie Sablan Aldeguer, sister of Joaquin Sablan in a newspaper interview said her brother, Joaquin Sablan, who was only 29 in 1941, continued preaching though the Japanese military officials attempted to intimidate him. “Yes, the Japanese beat my brother, slapped him, telling him that they were going to erase America from Guam, and that he was teaching people Protestantism, ‘the American religion’,” Mrs. Aldeguer said.
She said that the late Pastor Sablan traveled around Guam by bicycle, by walking, and by carabao cart to Inarajan, to Talofofo, to Agat, and also even Yigo to minister to Guam’s Protestant families.
The Japanese confiscated the Baptist church, using the building’s first floor to store food and the second floor as a Shinto place of worship; the occupation authorities also kept the church organ for their own use. The Catholic cathedral in Agana was likewise converted for the Japanese as a center for propaganda and as a site for Japanese entertainment.
“They told him that he should not preach, but my father told him not to be afraid to preach the Word of God, that if he couldn’t preach in a church, he should preach in the jungle, preach the truth of God anywhere.” And that Sablan did.
Frederick, born in 1940, was just a boy during this very difficult time in the history of Guam and the Sablan family journey of faith. In this photo you can see Frederick standing next to his father Joaquin.
The Sablan family are part of a rich and valuable history of General Baptist ministry on the island of Guam. They are in every way General Baptist heros of faith.
Frederick is survived by 3 other siblings (children of Joaquin and Beatrice), two sisters Irene (standing in front in photo) and Polly and one brother Franklin (in arms of Beatrice in photo). One brother, Paul, preceded Frederick in death.
Visitation will be at the First Baptist Church in Fairborn, Ohio on December 10, 2015 and the service will follow at 10:30 AM. First Baptist Church is located at 1167 Highview Dr., Fairborn, OH 45324. The family asks you to consider a donation to the Lottie Moon Christmas offering of the First Baptist Church or the Fairborn FISH Food Pantry also located at the First Baptist Church of Fairborn.
To learn more about this family and the story of Guam please read these linked articles: