Alexander Biblical Learning Centre has roots… that tie us to our present Times!
Christ Church is the oldest Protestant Church in the Middle East. It was completed in Jerusalem in 1849 and soon after became known as the “Jewish Protestant Church.” When writing about the establishment of the church, well-known historian Stephen Neil called it “one of the strangest episodes of modern church history.”
Christ Church is indeed unique. It was built for numerous reasons, but the foremost was that the founders of CMJ had a great love and concern for the Jewish people and wanted to share with them the Good News of Messiah Jesus. They also anticipated the Jewish return to the Land of Israel in fulfillment of what was understood to be Bible prophecy (long before the advent of Zionism) and wanted to be in a position to help that process. From the beginning, the message of CMJ has been to remind Christians of the tremendous spiritual debt owed to the Jewish people. The Jewish symbols and Hebrew texts found in the church are reminders that our faith is built upon the foundation of God’s promises to the Hebrew patriarchs and prophets and that His covenant purposes for Israel have not been canceled (Rom. 11).
In January 1842, a German-born Jew named Michael Solomon Alexander entered the old city of Jerusalem and began his work as the first Anglican Bishop in the Holy Land. As a young man he had taught Hebrew in England, and there he was later ordained a rabbi. Soon after, Alexander became a follower of Jesus in 1825 after meeting several Anglican clergymen who introduced him to the Gospel. When Bishop Alexander arrived in Jerusalem, he had no cathedral and almost no congregation. He set to work sharing the Gospel with his Jewish co-religionists and began building Christ Church. Although little is known about his personality, Bishop Alexander is remembered for his compassion. At that time, Jerusalem was a dirty, decaying town in a forgotten corner of the Ottoman Empire and in response to the poverty and unsanitary conditions, Bishop Alexander established the first modern hospital in the Holy Land. The small impoverished Jewish community received ill treatment from both Muslims and Christians alike. He was quick to help the poor, especially those Jews who had lost their livelihood after becoming followers of Jesus of Nazareth. At his enthronement, the Archbishop of Canterbury charged Bishop Alexander to open a college for the education of Jewish and Gentile believers. But after only three years in office, Bishop Alexander died unexpectedly in 1845 and did not live to see the completion of Christ Church building. Alexander College when it was started in 1847 didn’t have a long history. However, now with the rich history of CMJ and Christ Church, Alexander College -ABLC has the opportunity to be what was long desired to the hand in which reaches out to all people and the Churches leaders to know Him more and His-story deeply with the ability to serve in His Kingdom in His way.
Our decision to rebirth Alexander (ABLC) has been evolving over the at least the 20 years. Using new technologies today we are able to reach more with the rootedness of our faith than ever before. Our platform is Israel itself in a 7 to 15-day format in specific teaching sites, bring into those locations technologies to film and bring to life for ten’s of thousands the context of our faith into their lives. In 2018 alone we will have three “Teaching Tours,” all of which will be filmed on location and which will be used in our archived library for those who cannot come to Israel physically but can virtually.
The reality is that the Church in certain parts of the world is expanding at a spectacular pace, so there isn’t any way possible for everyone to come to Israel. And currently, there is a crucial need for new pastors to be trained for the rapidly growing Church in Asia, Africa, and America’s with the understanding of our Faith that isn’t filtered by our cultures. There are not enough places in Bible Colleges around the world to host and train these new shepherds. Thus, there is an acute need to develop Alexander College to service that training gap in the Body of Christ with an active form of education that meets you where you are at, and if you can come to Israel join in on the live teaching tours.
Our base is at Christ Church vibrant and life-giving evangelical Anglican congregation that worships in our historic church in the Old City of Jerusalem. The congregation, comprised of expatriates who have come to serve in Israel or the West Bank along with local believers (both Jews and Arabs), welcomes visitors and tourists to its worship services. We are an English-speaking congregation that appreciates our Jewish roots in a liturgical and historical context. Towards this end we celebrate both Jewish and Christian holidays, incorporate some Hebrew into our liturgy and preach in a way to emphasize a Hebraic understanding of the Gospels. At the same time, we remain unashamed of our Christian heritage and recognize that the spiritual treasures handed down to us by previous generations of Christians are part of our lives and worship.
Our commitment to reconciliation is expressed in the makeup of our staff: Messianic Jews, Arab Christians, and expatriates who live work and worship together in community. Christ Church and ABLC fully endorse GAFCON’s Jerusalem Declaration and is in close fellowship with the Church of Uganda and the Anglican Church of North America. Also, we have close links with many churches in the US, Canada, Hong Kong, Brazil, the UK and South Africa.