In February GNJ’s The Relay newspaper reported on the Rev. Emad Gerges and the Bayonne, N.J., United Methodist church he founded and recently renamed as The Flame Church. Since then, he has traveled to India to spread The Flame’s ministry of evangelism by helping to lead people in prayer.
In his mission to expand the global reach of the church, Gerges spent a week “sharing the message of Jesus with people who may be interested in accepting Him into their lives.” He and seven others went to Hyderabad, also known as the City of Pearls, and Rajahmundry, where they met with Pastor Raju Babu and other leaders.
While in India, Gerges spoke at six events—one crusade with about 1,700 in attendance, one gathering of a hundred clergy and lay leaders, and four church services with about 150 worshippers each. “The atmosphere was amazing,” he said, “because people were thirsty for the presence of the Lord.”
The crowd in India was extremely diverse, he recalled. The major religions practiced there are Hinduism, followed by Islam and Christianity. However, many Indian people do not identify with any religion. Among the hundreds who heard him speak, about 55 Hindus converted to Christianity and accepted Jesus in their lives, he reported. Many vowed to start a new life with Jesus, as they enjoyed both the preaching and the communal togetherness.
Gerges was especially in awe of those who were very poor but found a rewarding “connection with God.” He and other clergy prayed for sick people, leading him to witness “true healing for many who were present.” After years of reading and hearing about such miracles, he saw for himself that “with God all things are possible.” It bolstered his belief in the power of prayer.
“People are hungry for the word of God,” Gerges found. “We learned that we can talk to anyone about Jesus but also listen to people because they need to feel that they are loved.” He intends to apply this kind of outreach at the Flame Church and beyond.
The Egyptian-born, New Jersey pastor said he experienced a beautiful intersection between the people, the place and the prayers that will stay with him forever and impact his work at home. Next on his horizon is a five-day trip to Kuwait in May to lead a revival and inspire others to join the Christian faith. Gerges is more inspired than ever to spread The Flame of evangelism, as he endeavors to expand Christianity’s global community.
Photos: The Rev. Emad Gerges, pastor of The Flame Church (UMC), in Bayonne, N.J., preaches at a revival in India.