Speakers

Michael Hajj

Michael is the founder and executive director of Arabic Bible Outreach Ministry (www.arabicbible.com). He received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Northeastern University (Boson, MA) and M.S. in Computer Engineering from University of Massachusetts (Lowell, MA).

He was born in Beirut Lebanon, where he was raised as a devout Catholic until the age of seventeen. The Lord in His infinite wisdom, extended His grace to him during one of the bloodiest battles of the Lebanese civil war. At that time, he was near imminent death engaged in armed fighting against the very people he now ministers to—Muslims.

He has been actively serving the Lord among the Arabic speaking people for more than twenty-five years as a layman and a tent maker. For the past thirteen years, he has directed Arabic Bible Outreach Ministry—a mission organization with a passion to extend the Word of God to the Arab and Islamic world. Its vision is to see vibrant and reproducing churches in the Arab world and among large Muslim communities in North America. Michael and his wife Mona, have three sons and two daughters.

Picture unavailable due to his work in closed-access countries.

Tony Ghareeb

Tony currently serves as the Pastor of New Life Arabic Baptist Church in Fairfax Station, VA. He grew up in Lebanon as a part of the Greek Orthodox Church. Tony recognized at an early age that the Greek Orthodox Church was a religion based on works and guarantee of salvation. Following the lead of his cousin he began to read the Bible. Not long after that he placed his faith in Jesus Christ alone for his salvation.

At the age of twenty-two he immigrated to the United States. He got married and the Lord blessed him with two boys and two girls. He began teaching a small Bible study in Arabic in 1992 and quickly sensed the Lord’s leading for him to attend seminary for formal preparation.

In 1998 the Lord used Tony to plant Arabic Baptist Church in Washington D.C. to reach out to Arabs, specifically Muslim Arabs. In 2013 He was lead to form another Arabic congregation in Fairfax Falls, VA, where he currently resides.

New Life Arabic church is actively engaged in reaching out to the Muslim population in the area through direct mail, evangelistic meetings, the distribution of Gospel tracts, and by showing the Jesus film in front of mosques, shopping centers and during festivals.

Mohammad Yamout

Mohammad, a former Sunni Muslim, was born in 1966 in Beirut, during the civil war. He was called to faith in Christ through the Sunday school ministry of the Evangelical Bible Church in our neighborhood, in Beirut, Lebanon. His parents kicked him out of the house when he was baptized at the age of 13. Mohammad states, “From the moment of my baptism I lived under the guardianship of my Heavenly Father. Two times, I was threatened with death by Muslim Fundamentalists, and one time I had to hide for six months in a Christian village in North Lebanon.”

He moved to the U.S. 1986 to attend University earning a BS in Accounting.  Upon returning to Lebanon Mohammad quickly became successful in the business world. He remembers, “At the age of 25, I had half a million dollars in my bank account, I owned my house, my business. I got married. All was going great. I was climbing the ladder of success… And for 20 years I was running away; but whom the Lord loves, He chastens, and indeed He did. In no time, my Father stripped me naked. I lost everything and was jailed for bankruptcy (that is the law in Lebanon).”

Following imprisonment for bankruptcy, Mohammad went into business again opening four retail stores. Again, He became successful, but God had other plans. In 2008, he surrendered to the Lord’s will and liquidated all of his businesses at a loss. He then began street evangelism, as well as ministering in an orphanage near Beirut. By 2009, God led his family to plant a church in the city of Tyre, South-Lebanon, close to the border with Israel.

Currently, Mohammed’s ministry involves pastoring the church in Tyre, ministering to the many Syrian refugees. Each summer the church in Tyre organizes multiple camps for the refugee children. Countless refugees have heard the Gospel through God’s work in Tyre, Lebanon.

Jonathan Swift

Jonathan was born and raised in Dearborn, MI. He met his wife, Christie at a student ministry at Michigan State University and were married in 1993. In 1997 after seminary (MDiv. Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary) the Swifts spent a year in Jordan studying Arabic, then returned in 1998 to Dearborn to serve with their home church.

In 2003 Jonathan answered a call to pastor Evergreen Baptist Church, in Tacoma, WA. Later the Swifts (along with their five children: Joshua, Jacob, Jemmilie, Judson, and J.Christopher) took an assignment in Lebanon teaching Bible at the Beirut Baptist School in 2007. Eventually they moved to Southern Lebanon heading up leadership development and theological training with a church plant in Tyre. Jonathan also undertook a Master of Sacred Theology in Islamic Philosophy at the Near East School of Theology in Beirut at the time (STM, 2013).

Now he is leading the team establishing Christ Community Church in Dearborn. He returns annually to Lebanon to lead pastoral training with partner churches and is currently pursuing a Doctor of Ministry at Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia. The Swifts enjoy family camping, hiking, sailing, skiing, theater, frequent visits to Greenfield Village and the DIA, Dearborn Baseball league, Tigers games, and serving the Dearborn community.

Ben Edwards

Ben is the Executive Pastor of Inter-City Baptist Church, where he has serve since 2008. Ben is also the Director of Urban Ministry for ICBC, leading the evangelistic and discipleship efforts of the campus ministry team at Wayne State University and coordinating outreach into the Detroit Midtown area. Ben received his M.A. from Northland International University and his M.Div. from Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary. He is currently a Ph.D. student in World Religions at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary of Louisville, Kentucky. He and his wife, Jo, have two sons, Ethan and Rhys.

Pre-Conference Instructor

Robert served as a church planter and Bible teacher in Africa for over 10 years. He also ministered in two Asian countries for 4 years. He currently trains and coaches overseas workers. Robert has a Doctor of Ministry in Intercultural Studies.

We’re unable to provide more details like his picture and full name due to his work in closed access countries. Come and hear him for yourself!