New Arabic-Speaking Association Launched


The 2013 General Council delegates welcomed the leaders of the newly established Arabic-Speaking Association of C&MA Churches. They represent a growing segment of the U.S. Alliance family that is effectively reaching the recent wave of newcomers from the Middle East. This association is led by a courageous group of pastors from several Middle Eastern countries united by a common language and a deep desire to welcome into God’s Kingdom other Arabic-speaking families.

Their first elected president is Rev. Raed Awabdeh, who along with his wife, Manar, pastors the C&MA Arabic Church of Sacramento (Calif.). They themselves emigrated from Syria and have launched an outreach in Sacramento called the Arabic-American Center. This community center welcomes and serves the many Arab families relocating to the region. It hosts an annual family retreat at the Alliance Redwoods Camp in northern California that impacts the lives of dozens of immigrant families with genuine expressions of God’s love.

The association’s vice president is Rev. Joseph Moussa, who leads a growing ministry to the Arab communities surrounding the city of Dover, Pennsylvania. His church holds an annual conference that is broadcast to the Middle East via satellite, providing the opportunity for thousands to hear the gospel proclaimed in Arabic.

This new ethnic association is already having an impact through the many contacts that its leaders have with independent Arabic-speaking churches in southern California. The South Pacific District is conferring with several Arabic-speaking churches interested in coming into The Alliance. Pastors of two of these churches were present at the 2014 General Council as guests of Rev. Awabdeh.

Member congregations are located in key cities across the country: Sacramento, California; Troy and Dearborn, Michigan; Chicago, Illinois; West Palm Beach, Florida; Dover, Pennsylvania; and Brooklyn, New York.

Let the greater Alliance family join together in welcoming this new association as we strive to remain faithful to our origins. The Alliance began 126 years ago when Rev. A. B. Simpson went all out to reach Italian families newly arrived in New York City. The gospel is God’s gift to all nations, tribes and ethnic groups, including those in the United States.

A Vision Realized

God is working in the Middle-eastern community. A woman shared a dream in which her late father visited her. For an Arab that is like an angel or a voice from heaven. “Daughter,” he told her, “we Arabs are seeking God, but Christians are in the hands of God.” Now she, her husband and her family are followers of Jesus.

About 20–30 years ago, we never heard of an Arab attending church. In the Middle East, if maybe one or two Arabs became Christians, we made a big celebration. Today, there are many believers in their churches who are Middle-eastern. In Sacramento, many Arabs have opened their hearts to the gospel, and they love what we have to offer.

—Raed Awabdeh

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