Free Methodism has more than 1 million members in more than 80 world areas — including the area where Jesus Christ walked the earth approximately 2,000 years ago.
Four students of Bethlehem Bible College’s Nazareth branch recently became conference ministerial candidates in the Middle East Mission District of the Free Methodist Church.
“I asked the four students questions from the Book of Discipline to become ministerial candidates. All answered in the affirmative,” said Pastor Henry, who gave the students 20 hours of training in the history, polity and doctrine of the Free Methodist Church. “After a special prayer of commitment for them, we closed our 20 hours of class with a simple, but moving, Communion service around the table.”
The students learned about the Free Methodist Church through Free Methodist Pastor Nabil, an Israeli Arab in Nazareth who teaches for Bethlehem Bible College. Nabil oversees five congregations in Israel.
“An item of huge significance is that one of the candidates is a woman — the first woman in any of our Middle East work to step up to a leadership position,” said Henry, who works with Free Methodist World Missions and Impact Middle East.
The Free Methodist Church is among the few evangelical denominations that give women equal status with men in the church. (Go to fmchr.ch/wministry for the church’s “Statement on Women in Ministry.”)
“God is here, friends, and you are going to see great things coming out of Israel once again,” Henry said. “We now have one ordained pastor, four ministerial candidates and one fraternal worker. These are exciting days.”
The next time you read about Bethlehem or Nazareth in the Bible, please take a moment to pray for the ministry taking place in this area that was the earthly home of our Savior.
Go to fmchr.ch/fmwmmena to learn more about the Free Methodist Church in the Middle East and North Africa.