Egypt may not seem like the most obvious place to find a pastor for a California congregation, but it turned out to be the best place for a South Pasadena Presbyterian church.

Mideast Evangelical Church (MEC) consists primarily of persons of Egyptian heritage. The congregation therefore needed a pastor who was Arabic-speaking. But the pool of eligible pastors in the United States is small, so the task proved difficult.

MEC turned to World Mission’s coordinator for the Middle East and Central Asia for help with the search. World Mission was able to help. In June 2011 Maher Makar, a theologically trained commissioned ruling elder from Egypt, was invited to serve as the congregation’s spiritual leader.

Since then MEC’s worshipping community has more than doubled, and the congregation is now reaching out to other immigrant groups through its Caring Friends program, which serves refugees from Iran and Iraq.

MEC is one example of how the Presbytery of San Gabriel is taking action to become more multicultural. Get the full story in the 2013 Mission Yearbook. Order yours now.

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