On Friday, January 11, 2008 nine editors from the Southern Baptist Convention met with several Baptist leaders in Israel. The editors, here as guests of the Ministry of Tourism, visited First Century Nazareth Village and then had lunch with several leaders from Baptist Churches here in Israel. Each editor received a folder with material about Baptists and their related ministries in the country.
They represented Christian newspapers and magazines from across the United States of America, and several were even prompted to write about their visit with fellow Baptists. Among the local leaders present that day was Botrus Mansour, General Director of Nazareth Baptist School; Rev. Dr. Bryson Arthur, Director of the Nazareth Center for Christian Studies; Dr. Hanna Katanacho, Director of Academic Affairs at Galilee Bible College; Rev. Azar Ajaj, Academic Dean of the Nazareth Center for Christian Studies; and Bader Mansour, Secretary of the Association of Baptist Churches in Israel-who organized the visit.
The editors present on the trip were Gary Ledbetter, Southern Baptist Texan; Bob Terry, The Alabama Baptist; Michael Martin, The Baptist Record, Mississippi; Don Kirkland, The Baptist Courier; James Smith, Florida Baptist Witness; Kelly Boggs, The Louisiana Baptist Message; David Williams, Minnesota Wisconsin Baptist; Norman Jameson, The Biblical Recorder; and James White, The Religious Herald.
James Smith has already written one compelling article about his experience among the ‘living stones’ in Israel. His article can be found here: http://www.floridabaptistwitness.com/8339.article
Likewise, Norman Jameson wrote a reflective and challenging piece about what he deems a ‘tourist’s flyover of the country’ and the difficulties of untangling the underlying complexities inherent in the tourist’s perspective. His article can be found here: http://www.comeandsee.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=860
Bob Terry, in his article on Arab believers, highlights some of the key background components and gives an in-depth look at the situation. His article can be found here: http://www.comeandsee.com/images/naz/alabama/alabama.pdf