Dr. Martin Accad, a Lebanese Christian leader and seminary professor, will address denominational executives and church and lay leaders at International Ministries' (IM) World Mission Conference, to be held July 29 through Aug. 4 in Green Lake, Wisconsin, leaders of the mission agency announced.
Accad, the academic dean of the Arab Baptist Theological Seminiary (ABTS) in Lebanon's capital city of Beirut, will address the conference on Friday, Aug. 4, and will also engage in an extensive question-and-answer period, said Rev. Reid Trulson.
"I am deeply grateful Dr. Accad will be able to join us at World Mission Conference," said Trulson, IM's area director for Europe and the Middle East. "We need to hear the voice of respected Christian leaders from the Middle East, such as Dr. Accad, who can give us insight we may not generally find in the secular U.S. media."
Accad, who was in the U.S. to do lectures at Fuller Theological Seminary in California, has been unable to return to Lebanon since a military conflict emerged mid-July.
On July 12, the Hezbollah militia attacked an Israeli military post, killing several soldiers and taking two others hostage. Subsequently, the Israeli military launched a reprisal campaign with air bombing and some ground troops. The conflict has resulted in fatalities estimated to be more than 400, and mainly Lebanese civilians, and the displacement of an estimated 750,000 people or 20 percent of Lebanon's population. ABTS is housing hundreds of displaced persons, as is its partner, the Beirut Baptist School.
Accad has been speaking out in various outlets, including several articles in Christianity Today.
The announcement Accad will address World Mission Conference follows a letter from Dr. A Roy Medley, general secretary of American Baptist Churches USA, written to President George W. Bush, urging him to work for an immediate cease-fire in the current conflict.
Trulson noted that since 1980, American Baptists have been on record advocating a mediating role for our government in the search for a just and lasting peace in the region.
IM is a Baptist mission agency, established in 1814, which serves the more than 5,800 churches of the American Baptist Churches USA.
Globally, IM relates to more than 500 educational institutions and 125 hospitals and medical facilities. Missionaries work in partnership with some 15,000 trained national workers, who serve about 22,000 congregations and nearly 3,000,000 baptized members.