people at the ABC annual assembly

The annual Assembly of the Association of Baptist Churches in Israel (ABCI) was held in the village of Eilaboun on June 26, 2010 with delegates coming from all around the country.

The Assembly was opened by a time of praise lead by Sis. Zina Naum from Shafamer Baptist Church, followed by sharing from the word of God from Rev. Khaled Dally who pastors the hosting Baptist Church in Eilaboun. In his word, Rev. Dally emphasized the need to work together and encouraged churches to be engaged in the work of the ABCI.

Rev. Charles Jones, a special visitor from the American Baptist Churches – USA was a guest at the event. He shared special greetings with the assembly.

Then, the stage was given to Bro. Monther Naum, ABCI’s chairman, who gave a report about the work of the council in the last 12 months. He mentioned that the work last year was focused around discussions regarding the new constition, preperations for the 100 year celebrations next year, Challenges facing churches and pastors, usage of Nazareth Baptist House, The Nazareth Evangelical Theological Seminary and its relationship with the wider ABCI body, stregthening the Twinning relationship with the churches in the England, cooperation with the Baptist Convention in Israel, follow-up on the situation of the cemetery in Nazareth, and building strategic relationships with Baptist Churches, Associations and Unions abroad.

The reports of the different coordinators were given after that. The report of Sis. Rose Obaid who finished her term after 6 years in the women’s ministry was moving. Sis. Rose came to the Assembly few days after the death of her father, and she thanked the Lord for His faithfulness in blessing the ministry of the women of the ABCI in the last years. She also gave special thanks to ABCI for supporting her ministry. She informed the assembly that she will be leading a new women’s ministry with “Light for all Nations” and is available for any help she can give. Sister Daad Odeh who was elected later as the new women coordinator presented Sis. Rose with beautiful flowers and a special present.

After a break, the Assembly approved the 2009 financial statements that was presented by Mr. Ehab Elaimy, the ABCI’s certified Accountant. The 2010 financial budget was presented by Bro. Samer Artoul, the ABCI’s treasurer and was approved after some discussion.

In a historical move, the ABCI decided to abandon its constitution that was presented when the ABCI was first founded in 1965. A new constitution was adapted, leading the way ahead for the future.

The ABCI assembly decided to accept a new church into its membership. The Mount Carmel Baptist Church in Haifa was accepted as a full member in the ABCI.

Elections were held and the following were elected:

Rev. Khaled Dally, pastor of the Baptist Church in Kufur Yaseef and the Baptist Church in Eilaboun, was elected as Vice-Chair.

Sis. Eman Hanna was re-elected as the coordinator of the work of Sunday Schools.

Sis. Daad Odeh from Kufur Yaseef Baptist Church was elected as the new coordinator of the Women’s ministry.

Bro. Bader Mansour was elected for the new post of Foreign Relations Coordinator. He is currently also serving as the secretary of the ABCI.