Serving with Humility, Imagination, and Love: Amgad Beblawi Joins Grace Presbytery as Associate General Presbyter
Amgad Beblawi has traveled and lived in locations around the world. He spent his early years in his native Egypt, where he was a member of a Presbyterian congregation in Synod of the Nile. Since moving to the United States after high school, Amgad has lived in California, Virginia, and Kentucky.
He received an M.A. in Theology (1997) and an M.A. in Biblical Studies (1998) from Fuller Theological Seminary. Amgad is an ordained ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church (USA). His most recent call was at the PC(USA)’s national offices in Louisville, KY, first as Associate for Racial Ethnic Ministries (2005-2010) and then as Coordinator for the PC(USA)’s mission activities in Europe, the Middle East, and Central Asia (2010-2016).
“This was an incredible opportunity for me to experience firsthand the connectional nature of the Body of Christ – that transcends national interests and ethnic identities” he said.
So, when he was ready to start a new chapter in his life, Amgad had a feeling it would not be in a completely new place. “I did not know where God would lead me, but I had an inclination that the focus of my ministry would shift from global mission to my church in the United States.”
Then Amgad came across the mission statement of Grace Presbytery: “Grace Presbytery claims God’s mission as our calling: to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ who saves, redeems, and reconciles the world to God through ministries of witness, justice, and mercy….”
“That mission statement resonated with me, deeply,” Amgad said. “I wanted to be part of that ministry.”
A few months later, Amgad went through the interview and discernment process with the Grace Presbytery search committee. That experience also resonated with him.
“My experience with the search committee and the whole process really was fun. It was a joy. Not only the interview itself, but also when my wife, Susan, and I met with the committee the night before the interview. Everyone was very warm and we could tell they were people we would want to be a part of.”
The search committee had a positive experience with Amgad as well. After their decision to nominate him for the position of Associate General Presbyter, they shared a message to introduce Amgad to Grace Presbytery. The committee referenced Amgad’s many gifts, including his deep-seated faith, his comfort with different cultural places and landscapes, his understanding of the institutional church at its various levels, his strengths as a strategic thinker, being goal-oriented, a team player, and flexible. “The AGP committee has found him to be all these things, and more,” they said.
Amgad began his new role in Grace Presbytery November 29. In a short two weeks he has participated in numerous meetings at Grace Presbytery and at member churches. He said he wants to learn about the stories of the churches in Grace Presbytery.
“I want to help support these congregations,” he said. “Each one is in a different place in their own life and in their own ministry. I would like to facilitate the connectional nature of our church within the Presbytery, to support one another and to enable each other to do the ministry that we are called to do. Some of the congregations are vibrant, have a vision for outreach, and have fabulous resources. Other congregations need help and support from the Presbytery as a whole, where congregations help congregations to thrive and to live into God’s Mission.”
His favorite part of being in Grace Presbytery so far is the people.
“The people I meet in committee meetings and the office staff are fabulous, as are the three congregations I have visited so far. It’s good to be with God’s people,” he said. “It’s a privilege to have a job like that. Knowing what we do equips congregations to do the work of ministry is very fulfilling.”
As Amgad adjusts to his new job, he and his family are adjusting to a new life in Texas. He and his wife, Susan, spent their first day in their new home December 10, and their son, Justin, will be home from college soon. Amgad and Susan met as seminary students in California and their son attends college in California as well.
As 2017 draws to a close, Amgad said he is ready for his new life ahead in Grace Presbytery.
“I believe God has prepared me for this call. Some of the preparation is my theological education and ministry experience, and some of it is spiritual gifts and life lessons. I understand my role is not to be someone who is full of ideas and knows what the Presbytery should to do. My role is to serve churches with humility, imagination, and love; to come alongside them when needed, and be part of discerning our role in God’s Mission in this part of Texas.”