Issa Elias Bannurah

I was born in the Shepherd’s Field in 1930. This is the place where angels visited the shepherds to announce the birth of Christ. I have lived in the Bethlehem area all my life.

Growing up I attended the Greek Orthodox Church. When I was 22 years old I went to a meeting at a different kind of church in Jordan. The Lord spoke to me there. In response, I accepted Him as my Savior. That is the day I became a born again Christian.

When I returned from Jordan I began attending the Baraka Bible Presbyterian Church. On Sunday mornings our services were held at the Helen Keller House, a home for the blind. During these early years of my born-again faith, I regularly witnessed to friends and family about the Lord.

In 1954 I took the job of maintenance manager at the Baraka Sanatorium Hospital. While there I had many opportunities to present the Gospel to patients. Most were Bedouin Muslims and young Palestinians from a refugee camp near the hospital. Throughout the years many came to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

In 1981 I attended the Far Eastern Bible College in Singapore where I enjoyed warm fellowship with fellow students. During this time of studying God’s Word, the Lord blessed me with renewed strength to overcome difficulties we were facing in Palestine and to continue serving Him all my life.

In 2000 I met the senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Bethlehem, Dr. Naim Khoury. I told him that my heart was to serve the Lord in ministry. Pastor Khoury invited me to serve at First Baptist, my new church home where I remain until this day.

God has used me here in various ways: Sunday School, teaching, preaching, and pastoral oversight of elderly members of our congregation.

I thank God for the privilege of serving Him until the day that Jesus returns or calls me Home to be with Him. Pray for me and the people of this land, would you? Thank you, my friend. God bless you.