By Reginald Hayes
SCBO, in cooperation with the Baptist State Convention of Michigan (BSCM) and Pastor Amer Safadi, Arabic Church of Cincinnati, recently sponsored the first Arabic Planters Conference in Ohio at Lakota Hills Baptist Church in Cincinnati. The theme of the conference, held during the last week of November, 2022, was: “Calling to Equip Arabic Leaders to plant healthy multiplication churches everywhere for everyone.”
According to Census data, the Arab American population is one of the fastest growing in the United States. Ohio ranks eighth in the nation with an estimated 115,190 Arab Americans. Approximately 61,000 Arab Americans live in Cuyahoga, Franklin, and Hamilton counties.
Participants in the conference included potential church planters from Ohio, Arizona, California, Florida, Michigan, and North Carolina, and they represented the countries of Jordan, Egypt, Iraq, Palestine, Sudan, and Pakistan. Nine of the attendees will be planting churches in Ohio in 2023 with new church plants slated to begin in Columbus, Dayton, and Cleveland in the next three years.
Conference speakers included Dr. Jeremy Westbrook, SCBO executive director, Dr. Tony Lynn, BSCM state director of missions, Reginald Hayes, SCBO, Pastor Travis Smalley, Lakota Hills Baptist, and Pastor Amgad Beshai, Evangel Baptist Church, Troy, Michigan.
“I’m so grateful God has allowed us to have the first ever Arabic Church Planting Conference here in Ohio,” said Conference Coordinator Dr. Safadi. “And I’m so excited to not be the only SCBO Arabic Church.”
SCBO cooperated with BSCM and Pastor Amer Safadi, Arabic Church in Cincinnati, to sponsor the first Arabic Planters Conference in Ohio.