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JERUSALEM, Feb. 2, 2017 – Fourteen American Baptist leaders will visit Israel from Feb. 13-20 with the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (The Fellowship), to learn firsthand about the Jewish state while strengthening Christian support for Israel and Christian-Jewish alliances.

The six-day trip will bring 14 Baptist leaders to Israel’s Christian and Jewish holy sites such as the Wailing Wall and Old City of Jerusalem, Masada and the Sea of Galilee, and biblical sites such as Caesarea, Muhraka (Horn of Carmel) and Megido. The group will also visit Israel’s Holocaust memorial, Yad Vashem.

“Thanks to The Fellowship, this trip will help us build bridges with the Jewish people while helping us to serve our congregations and in turn to serve God,” said Rev. Samuel Tolbert, a trip leader and president of the National Baptist Convention of America (NBCA).

The Baptist leaders are the most recent major Christian group to visit Israel with The Fellowship. In the summer of 2015, The Fellowship hosted 21 top ministers of the Detroit-based Pentecostal group the Church of God In Christ, while in in January 2016, it brought 22 top clergy of the Washington, D.C.-based Progressive National Baptist Convention (PNBC), the movement of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., to Israel. In May of last year, 26 leaders of the second-largest African-American Baptist group in the U.S., the NBCA, came to Israel with The Fellowship, and last September The Fellowship brought 22 leaders from the Bahamas-based Global United Fellowship (GUF) to Israel.

“We are honored to welcome these outstanding Baptist leaders in Israel,” said Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, founder and president of The Fellowship. “This important mission will not only strengthen the powerful connection between Christians and Jews, but will remind Israel and the Jewish people of the unconditional love and support we receive from our Christian friends.”

The Fellowship was formed in 1983 to promote better understanding and cooperation between Christians and Jews, and build broad support for Israel. Today The Fellowship is the largest channel of Christian support for Israel and Jewish needs around the world.

Those participating in this month’s trip will include Tolbert, Rev. Derick Brennan, of Philadelphia; Rev. Dr. Jason Coker of Jackson, Mich.; Rev. Earlene Coleman of McKeesport, Pa.; Rev. Gary Dollar of Glen Carbon, Ill.; Dr. Brian Ford of Columbia, Mo.; Dr. Jim Hill of Kirkwood, Mo.; Rev. Forestal Lawton, of Kansas City, Mo.; Rev. Steven T. Mack, of Camden, N.J.; Dr. Harry Rowland of Decatur, Ga.; Rev. Doyle Sager of Jefferson City, Mo.; Rev. Napoleon Smith of Albuquerque, N.M.; Rev. Samuel Tolbert and Rev. Julian K. Woods of Lake Charles, La.; and Rev. James E. Victor, of Arlington, Va.

About The Fellowship: 

The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (The Fellowship) was founded in 1983 to promote better understanding and cooperation between Christians and Jews, and build broad support for Israel. Today it is one of the leading forces in helping Israel and Jews in need worldwide – and is the largest channel of Christian support for Israel. Led by its founder and president, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, The Fellowship now raises more than $140 million per year, mostly from Christians, to assist Israel and the Jewish people. Since its founding, The Fellowship has raised more than $1.3 billion for this work. Over the past 15 years, The Fellowship has brought more than 500,000 Jews to Israel through contributions of over $200 million. The organization has offices in Jerusalem, Chicago, Miami, Toronto, Seoul, and Sao Paulo. For more information, visit

For further details, contact: Ryan Greiss, Puder PR, New York: (212) 558-9400; [email protected]

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