CHICAGO (Jan. 17, 2024) — The Rev. Khader El-Yateem has been appointed executive director of the Service and Justice home area of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). El-Yateem will begin his service March 18.
“I am excited about Pastor El-Yateem bringing his relationship-building skills to the churchwide organization,” said the Rev. Michael Burk, ELCA presiding bishop pro tempore. “Khader’s love of Jesus is contagious and his commitment to sharing God’s love for the world will enhance the good work already being done by the people he has been selected to lead.”
El-Yateem has served as assistant to the bishop and director for evangelical mission with the ELCA Florida-Bahamas Synod since 2018. Prior to joining the synod staff, he served as pastor of Salam Arabic Lutheran Church in Brooklyn, N.Y., a congregation he started as a mission developer in 1995. El-Yateem also worked in patient relations at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn from 2010 to 2017 and was chief financial officer at Bethlehem Bible College in Bethlehem from 1990 to 1992.
“I am deeply moved by this new appointment to be the executive director of the Service and Justice home area,” El-Yateem said. “My deep faith commitment is to help advance the mission of our church in making disciples and loving and serving our neighbor. We, as the ELCA, are uniquely positioned and called to make a difference in this broken world, both locally and globally. The Service and Justice team and I will embark on this journey together, trusting in the incredible gifts of the Holy Spirit that will guide our work and ministry. I seek your prayers as I take on this huge responsibility.”
Born and raised in Bethlehem, El-Yateem received his Bachelor of Theology from Bethlehem Bible College in 1989 and his Bachelor of Theology and World Religions from the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo in 1991. He received his Master of Divinity degree from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (now United Seminary) in 1996. United is one of seven ELCA seminaries.
The former executive director for Service and Justice, the Rev. Rafael Malpica Padilla, retired in April 2023. Tammy Jackson has served as the interim executive director since his retirement.
About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America:
The ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with 3 million members in more than 8,700 worshiping communities across the 50 states and in the Caribbean region. Known as the church of “God’s work. Our hands.,” the ELCA emphasizes the saving grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, unity among Christians and service in the world. The ELCA’s roots are in the writings of the German church reformer Martin Luther.