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BAPTISTS IN JORDAN: A COMMITMENT TO EDUCATION
BY NABIH ABBASSI

The Jordan Baptist Convention (JBC) is comprised of 22 churches with approximately 1,350
members, even though anywhere from 3,000 to 5,000 of Jordan’s 6.5 million people attend the
convention’s Baptist churches.
Baptist work in the country began with Southern Baptist Convention missionaries in 1951. The
JBC was established six years later.
In the early years of Southern Baptist work in Jordan, the International Mission Board founded
a hospital in the town of Ajloun. The hospital was sold to the government of Jordan in the 1980s, but
a Baptist camp is still there and is operated by the JBC. Currently, the conference center’s activities
run almost year-round.
The JBC also operates two schools — one in Amman and the other in Ajloun. The Amman school
has 1,250 students, with more than 500 of them in high school. Muslims make up 40 percent of the
K-12 student body, from kindergarten to grade 12, and 60 percent of the students are Christians. The
student body is five percent Baptist.
Among the graduates of the Amman school are members of the royal family such as Princess
Haya Bint Al Hussein, Abeer Muhssein, Princess Sumaya Bint Al Hassan, Princess Rahama Bint El
Hassan, Princess Badi’a Bint El Hassan, and the children of Princess Bessma Bint Talal, Farah and
Ghazi.
In 2004, the school signed a partnership with Samford University in the United States to train all
teachers on new teaching-learning strategies. In addition quality improvement training was offered to
administrators and department heads. This partnership had its positive impact on helping us achieve
our goals towards building a professional learning community.
During the past seven years, the school ranked among the 10 best schools in Jordan. In addition,
we won many national and international awards for academic, cultural, and sports achievements.
Presentation of the gospel through prayer and Bible reading and through the personal lives of the
teachers is a vital part of the educational programs at both schools.
A convention-operated Baptist bookstore also can be found in Amman, and even though it does
not make much money, it is a place where people “come to Christ.”
Institutions such as the schools and the bookstore provide a setting in which reaching out can
be carried out in a way that is not threatening, which we believe is vital to the future success of the
Baptist witness in our country.
We are pleased that Baptists in our country are growing in number and in spiritual maturity
— and they have a good image among the people of Jordan.
Nabih Abbassi is the former president of the Jordan Baptist Convention.
(CONTINUED FROM PREVIOUS PAGE)

Warren, and presented a gift on the behalf of the BWA to Prince Ghazi.
A sign was unveiled to be placed on the building upon its completion. The sign reads, “The
Commission of the Site of the Baptism of Jesus Christ welcomes here visiting pilgrims from the
member churches of the Baptist World Alliance.”
Also participating in the event were Imad Maayah, a Baptist and former Member of Parliament
in Jordan, Toma Magda and Tony Peck, president and general secretary of the European Baptist
Federation, and Nabeeh Abbassi, former president of the Jordan Baptist Convention and chief
organizer of the dedication and opening.
It is the prayer of many that the hope generated in Jordan during the month of March will
result in official recognition of Baptists that would enable them to minister in relative freedom.
Photos: Prince Ghazi Bin Mohammed of Jordan (below left), and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair (center), speak
during the dedication and opening of the Baptism Center.
Bader Mansour of Israel (left), and Nabil Costa of Lebanon address a gathering of BWA leaders and Middle East Baptists
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