Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo - August 2016 Update

Cairo, Egypt

Greetings in Christ’s name from an exceptionally hot Cairo! The seminary has become quieter with most of the students away on their summer internships, so it is a good time to look back and reflect on the busy end-of-session period.

Amid all the excitement and preparation for graduation in May, the ETSC community received a double blow as it learned of the deaths of Jack Lorimer and, two weeks later, Ken Bailey. Both were missionary giants, who in their different ways made an immense impact on the life of the Egyptian Church and indeed internationally. Both were great friends and advocates of the seminary, and we mourn their passing.

Jack Lorimer and Atef Gendy

Jack Lorimer and Atef Gendy

Jack Lorimer died at the age of 92. He was born in Egypt, the son of Presbyterian missionaries. In 1952, after studying in the U.S., he and his wife Mary Lou returned to Egypt as missionaries working in village development. They came to ETSC in 1972 to teach church history, public speech and Christian ethics. He went on to become vice-president then president of the seminary. It was during this time that he wrote his monumental five volume history of the Christian church, written in Arabic, which has had a lasting influence on many theological students. Jack and Mary Lou retired to the States in 1990. Atef Gendy, president of ETSC, said that Jack gave the best years of his life to ETSC. He was always ready to fill in for any need or gap in both academics and administration.

Atef Gendy and Ken Bailey

Atef Gendy and Ken Bailey

Ken Bailey died at the age of 85. His parents were missionaries in Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia, and he grew up immersed in Arabic language and culture, giving him an insight he would use to tremendous effect in his studies. After completing seminary in the U.S., he returned to Egypt with his wife Ethel in 1955, serving in village evangelism and then working at the ETSC. In 1965 Ken and his family moved to Beirut, and he would later teach in Cyprus and Jerusalem. He specialized in New Testament and focused on the Middle Eastern context of the gospels. His many books and articles influenced scholars and students throughout the world, challenging them to read the gospels from a different mindset – a Middle Eastern mindset. He was invited to lecture at theological colleges and conferences around the globe. In 1995 he retired back to the States, to New Wilmington, with Ethel, but he maintained his close links with ETSC. In 2005 he realized his great vision of establishing at ETSC a Center for Middle Eastern Christianity whose library is named in his honor. Dr. Gendy traveled to Pittsburgh to be with the Bailey family during the memorial service. His tribute was entitled, “The Story of the Storyteller and the Parable of the Parable’s Interpreter.” The ETSC community gives our thanks to God for the lives of these faithful men, whose passion for God’s Kingdom and for the Church in the Middle East inspired so many.

As the ETSC community mourned the passing of these two giants of the faith, it also looked to the future and to those who, by God’s grace, will be used in the extension of God’s Kingdom. The 2016 graduation was held at Heliopolis Church on Friday, May 27th.  The church was packed to capacity as 68 students, resplendent in their gowns and hoods, were presented with their degrees. The ceremony was attended by representatives of the government, parliament, various church bodies, councils and other faith communities, along with families and friends. It was a colorful affair, very slick and professional, but most of all a joyful occasion. Rev. Reda Thabet, the chairperson of the board, welcomed the attendees at the beginning of the ceremony. One of the MDiv students, Tharwat Musa, was given the honor of speaking on behalf of his fellow graduates on the theme of “Theological Education and the Devout Life.” This was the theme taken up and expounded on by one of our distinguished alumni, Rev. Amir Tharwat. Dr. Atef Gendy concluded the evening by thanking the honored guests and the congregations that had donated books and financial gifts to the students, as well as paying tribute to those who had passed away. He also reminded the graduates of the need for holy and faithful lives, lived in God’s service. 

Grace and peace,

Atef Gendy, ETSC President and professor of New Testament

Read more about the ministry of the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo by clicking HERE.

Amount needed in 2016

The Outreach Foundation seeks to raise at least $10,000 per month for scholarships and operations, $20,000 for the Center for Middle East Christianity, and $80,000 for capital improvements of a newly purchased flat that will expand program capabilities. To make a donation, click HERE.

The Outreach Foundation now offers the option of receiving missionary/project updates, newsletters, and receipts by e-mail. If you would like to sign up to start receiving these communications electronically, please send your name and e-mail address, along with that request, to info@theoutreachfoundation.org or call us at (615) 778-8881.