Good Shepherd Baptist Church
Led By: Afif Saba
The Good Shepherd Baptist Church is a Southern Baptist Affiliated Church located in Nazareth, Israel. Rev. Afif Saba is the pastor at Good Shepherd Baptist Church and this is their story:
Rev. Afif Saba was born in Nazareth, Israel in 1954 to Arab Christian parents, and their roots go back to Christ’s time. His family was led to Christ by Southern Baptist missionaries in the Evangelical Baptist Church in Nazareth. Afif attended worship, was baptized, and ordained into the ministry in the Evangelical Baptist church of Nazareth. In 2005, he met Rev. Louis Venable (Pastor of Northbridge Baptist Church) while Louis was on a mission and vision trip in Israel in Tiberius. Afif shared his vision with Louis that he believed that God wanted him to evangelize and plant Christian churches among the Muslims, as well as the “nominal” (i.e. “non-born again”) Arab Christians (Catholics, Episcopalians, Anglicans, etc.), who are living in Nazareth. In addition to his vision for his hometown, Afif felt a calling to share the gospel with the Bedouins living in the Negev (over 100 miles south of Nazareth). This led to Northbridge Baptist developing a partnership with Afif Saba in 2005 to begin planting house churches in Nazareth and visiting the Bedouins twice a month.
In 2011, after having led hundreds of unbelievers to Christ, he started 6 house churches in Nazareth and one in Arad (Negev). Northbridge Baptist then helped Afif Saba to begin renting an old medical clinic in Nazareth, which he physically turned into a new beautiful church, with the help of men and women from his house churches. After praying together, they were led by God to call their new worship site: The Good Shepherd Baptist Church. The first dedication worship service was held on August 28th, 2011, with over 150Arab Israeli’s in attendance (both Christians and Muslims!). Since that time, Pastor Afif Saba has been preaching the gospel and seeing both Muslims and “lost” Christian Arabs coming to Christ and being baptized into the membership of The Good Shepherd Baptist Church. Meanwhile, the church operating expenses and Afif’s salary has been paid through the donations of 6 Charleston Baptist churches: Pinecrest, Northbridge, Harbour Lake, Unity, Stono, and Crowfield. In April of 2015, a group of 5 people from Heritage Baptist Church in Colorado Springs met with pastor Afif and Mimi in their home in Nazareth. This group included Bob and Bettie Bowren, Gary Johnson, Jim Weber, and the Pastor of Heritage Baptist Church. They told us how they need financial support, as well as mission teams to come and help them to fulfill the vision of reaching people for Christ. Heritage Baptist Church subsequently gave a large donation to The Good Shepherd Baptist Church in 2016, and financed a team of people to go and help them in November of 2016.
Rev. Afif Saba is married to Mimi Saba, a bible teacher (primarily of Muslims!) in a Christian school, and they have 3 children. Aziz Saba a police officer, Doreen Saba a travel agent, and Anan Saba an electrician and computer science Technician. Afif and Mimi have 5 grandchildren, 2 boys, and 3 girls.