ARABIC EVANGELICAL BAPTIST CHURCH HISTORY
The Arabic Evangelical Baptist Church (the “Church”) was founded by the late Rev. Sammy Ammary, an ordained Baptist Minister who migrated from Jordan in the late sixties with his wife Repsemah with whom they had one child, Ruth. Few of us learned of the Church through our attendance at Park Street Church of Boston, known for its Christian outreach to the international community, and decided to join the Church’s services which were held in Arabic, our native language. These services were originally held in Roslindale but at some point later were re-located to the basement of the Emanuel Episcopal Church in West Roxbury where the Sunday attendance ranged from 4-16 in those days. In the mid to the late seventies, the late Rev. Hanna Ibrahim migrated from the Gaza Strip and succeeded Rev. Ammary. In 2002 when Rev. Ibrahim’s health began to decline, the Church sponsored Rev. Khaled Ghobrial, his wife Manal and his two sons, Karim and Amir to move to the United States to succeed Rev. Ibrahim. At all times, regardless of the founder, the Church dedicated itself in proclaiming its commitment as a lighthouse for Jesus Christ in the Boston area.
In 1997 the Church purchased an old lumber warehouse in West Roxbury, which had been destroyed by fire. Many members, on a volunteer basis, poured their sweat during countless hours on weekends, and some during the week days, motivated by the unwavering commitment to clear out the charred debris and prepare the site for Church’s new home. This undertaking required the preservation of some structure needed to maintain zoning rights of what eventually became the Church’s new complex, consisting of 30,000 SF of climate-controlled space at 222 Spring Street, West Roxbury, Massachusetts, which opened its new doors on June 30, 2006.
In 2006, the congregation authorized the submission of petition which sought independent tax-exemption status, separate and apart from that which had been available through the Southern Baptist Convention throughout, whereupon an exclusive 501(c)(3) status was granted by the U.S. Department of Treasury in 2009, which remains in full force and effect as of this date. In addition, the Church also holds unrestricted tax-exemption status granted by the City of Boston and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
In early 2010, eight additional Sunday school classrooms were added in the lower level, and the complex currently houses numerous community-based activities, including a daycare facility serving 50 local families and their children.
At present, the Sunday attendance currently ranges between 200 to 250, in addition to Prayer and Bible Study weekly meetings, monthly and annual Church conferences, and a vibrant Youth Ministry led by Youth Pastor Karim Ghobrial, which often sponsors mission trips and spiritual retreats. Also, among the Church ministries, is the Arabic Family Center, which has maintained an outreach Christian message delivered to millions of Arabic-speaking folk in the Middle East and throughout the globe for decades through onsite media ministry currently located within the West Roxbury complex. The Church also provides spiritual and financial support to refugees currently displaced and barely surviving in Iraq and other parts of the Middle East, as well as to orphanages and other humanitarian needs.
The Church has become a true lighthouse for so many, including those who were otherwise eternally lost. May God continue to bless you all, and may God continue to bless the United States of America and keep her the God-fearing nation to which the world looked up for centuries for Christian principles, guidance, prosperity, might, resources, freedom and human dignity.