Pastor, East Jerusalem Baptist Church; Professor, Bethlehem Bible College
A. Position: Dean of Students and full-time instructor at Bethlehem Bible College in Bethlehem, charter member of BBC Board of Directors, Commissioned Mission Partner with the General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church and Pastor at East Jerusalem Baptist Church.
B. Education: MA in Missiology (1989) from Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore KY; MA in Education (1976) from N. Georgia University in Dahlonega GA; BS in Secondary Education (1973) from Lee University in Cleveland, TN; BA in Biblical Education (1970) from Lee University in Cleveland, TN
C. Number of years with BBC faculty: 24 years
Courses taught: Homiletics, Library Skills, Christian Ed II
D. Ministry: Senior pastor of the East Jerusalem Baptist Church since 1994, missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church since 1989, board member of Evangelical Local Council of Churches in the Holy Land, director of the Shepherd Society, BBC's charitable ministry.
E. Other: Rev. Alex Awad is the author of Palestinian Memories; the Story of a Palestinian Mother and Her People (Bethlehem Bible College 2008) and Through the Eyes of the Victims (Bethlehem Bible College, 2001), a discussion of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from the perspective of Palestinians. Rev. Awad is also the author of numerous articles on the conflict and on Christians in the Holy Land.
DOB: 1 April 1946
Place of birth: Jerusalem
Personal status: Married, three children
Development Liaison Officer at Bethlehem Bible College
Brenda Kay Waddell Awad is a United Methodist missionary serving in Palestine with her husband, Rev. Alex Awad. They are involved with a small international church in East Jerusalem and in supporting the ministry of Bethlehem Bible College (BBC). Brenda has performed various functions in her role as the pastor’s wife, which involve Sunday School programming, women’s meetings and event planning. At the Bible College she serves as the development liaison officer, developing proposals for the College’s worldwide support base. She fills in as an English teacher when there is a need. In addition, she works with other UM mission personnel in the region to facilitate UM group visits.
The East Jerusalem church fellowship they serve shares a special bond with Israeli believers in Christ, through a sister relationship with a Messianic Jewish congregation in Rehovot. The two congregations celebrate Passover and Easter together and join together whenever possible to promote their oneness in Christ.
A native of Fleming-Neon, KY, Brenda says, “My parents taught me and my ten older siblings the value of hard work, honesty, and faith in God. My parents’ influence, plus interaction with school missionary programs and church groups led me to accept Christ and the basic tenets of Christian faith at an early age. I committed my life to God to serve wherever the Holy Spirit would lead.”
Acting on this rich Christian heritage and desiring to prepare for Christian service, Brenda attended Lee University in Cleveland, TN, where she received a B.S. degree in elementary education. While at Lee University, she was active in missions and felt the call to serve as a missionary, not knowing where God would lead. One scripture verse that seemed to follow her was Acts 1:8, “And you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Upon completion of College, Brenda taught 1st grade in Calhoun, GA. She then married Alex, a native of Jerusalem, whom she met in her last year of College. They both taught in the public school system in North Georgia for several years. While teaching in Georgia, Brenda received a Masters’ degree in education from North Georgia College in Dahlonega.
In 1979, the Awads responded to the call to go to Bethlehem and assist with the newly formed Bethlehem Bible College where they spent the next six years as independent missionaries. From 1985-87 they served at Hope Secondary School, a charitable boarding school for young people from ages 12-18 in Beit Jala (near Bethlehem). Most of the students were victims of previous wars and occupations in their land. During the course of this ministry the Awad family was forced to leave Israel because they were refused renewal of their tourists’ visas.
In 1989 the Awads were commissioned as GBGM missionaries, but spent the next five years struggling to obtain visas to re-enter the country. During that time they served as mission interpreters in various locations on behalf of the GBGM: as Mission Interpreters In Residence (MIIRs) in Ohio from 1989-90; peace and justice educators in upstate New York from 1990-91; and MIIRs in the South Central Jurisdiction from 1991-94. In 1994 they returned to Jerusalem where they continue to serve the body of Christ.
Brenda and her husband, Alex, now live in the Jerusalem area. They have three children. Their son, Basem (30) is currently teaching English at Thammasat University in Bangkok, Thailand. Their daughter, Christy (33), husband, David, and grandson Skylor, now live in Weatherford, TX. Randy (25)lives in Pai, Thailand.
Missionary code: United Methodist Advance-010826-4