Keynote Speaker: The Rev. Mateen Elass|
What are the odds that a son born to a Muslim father, raised for more than a decade in Saudi Arabia, schooled in western philosophy and psychology, and then trained in eastern mysticism, should become a resolute Christian and a minister of the gospel? Small odds indeed, when counted by human probability. But the Rev. Mateen Elass sees this prelude to his pastoral ministry as witness to the amazing power of God to find and call His children to service-regardless of the odds.
During his early teens Mateen began a search for God. For six years he focused on eastern mysticism and meditation seeking answers. Who is God? How can I know him? God guided Mateen toward an answer to those questions by bringing him into contact with genuine Christians. They repeatedly pointed him to Christ and challenged him, “Read the four gospels of the New Testament. Get to know Jesus.” He took up the challenge. After days of reading, study, and prayer, at the age of twenty Mateen became a follower of Christ. As is common in Middle Eastern families, he soon paid a high cost for his newfound faith: isolation from his father for more than a decade.
By the end of his college years, he sensed God’s call to Christian ministry. After completing a B.A. at Stanford University, he earned M.Div. and M.A. degrees in Biblical Studies and Theology from Fuller Seminary. Later he received a Ph.D. in New Testament Studies from Durham University in England.
He has served as senior pastor at First Presbyterian Church, Edmond, OK, since 2007. His heart is for those who walk where he once walked, those who search but have not yet found the love of Christ. His great hope is that God will use him to reveal the love of Jesus to both Christians and Muslims.
Mateen and his wife Cindy have three children: Brittany and Strider and Kendall, who are all in their 20s.
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