Upon their return to the United States in 2009, Dr. Raouf Ghattas and his wife, Carol, learned of the growth of the Muslim community in Murfreesboro. After over 20 years on the international mission field working among Muslims, the Ghattases began teaching local churches how to reach this special group of people that had come to their area. When news came that a new mosque would be built in the city, the Lord confirmed to the couple that He had brought them back to the States to begin a church for Arabic speakers.
The Arabic Baptist Church held their first service on Sunday, April 3, 2011. First Baptist Church provided their first meeting space at 220 E. Vine Street. From the very beginning, the church's vision was to be a mixed congregation of Arabs and Americans in order to reach out with the love of Christ to the Arabic-speaking community. The church would serve as a training ground for Americans interested in reaching Muslims for Christ. Services were held in Arabic with immediate translation into English.
The church has attracted believers from all around the area as well as a few Muslims who have visited and been warmly welcomed. The core group has continued to grow steadily, and in October 2012, Grace Baptist Church offered the use of their facility for services. Being located immediately next to the mosque presented an opportunity to be even more available to Muslims who are seeking Christ.
In February 2015, as the church experienced growth, the congregation moved to a temporary location at the Concord Baptist Association, 2633 Merchants Walk, as they began the process of securing their own facility. On March 22, 2015, Rev. Mike Dugan was called to serve as co-pastor of the church, especially to help minister to the growing English-language membership.
On May 6, 2015, the Arabic Baptist Church relocated to their permanent location at 6515 Scenic Drive, in Murfreesboro. With the blessing of a facility, the Lord is opening the opportunity for ministry, as the church began an Arabic-language service on Sunday mornings with imediate English-language translation.
We lost our beloved founder, Dr. Raouf Ghattas on November 25, 2015. The church membership voted for Brother Maged Boles to serve as Interim Pastor on Sunday, December 6, 2015. Brother Maged Boles accepted the call to serve as pastor on February 28, 2016, and served through December 2018. Pastor Wagdy Zakher accepted the call as full-time pastor beginning May 2019 and served until April 2021.
Everyone is welcome to the Arabic Baptist Church. We covet your prayers for this growing fellowship in an ever-changing world.