During the late 1970s, the Lord began stirring the hearts of believers across the world concerning the nation of Israel and its prophetic role in modern times. On 30 September 1980, the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem was dedicated at a moving ceremony attended by 1,000 Christians from 32 nations who were gathered in the Holy City for the first public Christian celebration of the biblical Feast of Tabernacles. They called it the “International Christian Embassy Jerusalem” since it would represent Christians from around the world and speak words of comfort and support to Israel. Ever since, the Embassy has provided a “servant’s heart” ministry to the people of the Land.
From its inception, the ICEJ has had two dominant goals:
- To serve as a conduit of comfort and blessing through which believers in the nations could show their love and support to Israel, and;
- To be a prophetic voice to this generation concerning God’s unwavering plan to fulfill His covenant promises to Israel
In its early years, the ICEJ’s strongest support came from evangelical Christians in Western nations who identified closely with the Embassy’s mandate to ‘comfort’ the Jewish people in response to the long, sad history of Christian antisemitism. In more recent decades, however, there are now tens of millions of new Christians who have a remarkable love and zeal for Israel and are seeking to connect with our Hebraic roots and the Jewish state and its people through the ICEJ.
Australian Branch History
“Hear the word of the LORD, O nations, And declare it in the isles afar off, and say, ‘He who scattered Israel will gather him, And keep him as a shepherd does his flock.” Jeremiah 31:10
It was not long after the founding of The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem during the Feast of Tabernacles in 1980 that the vision found its way to ‘the isles and coastlands far away’ and an Australian Branch was established by Noel Bell.
In the early 1980’s the baton passed to Pastor Gerald Rowlands and his wife Elizabeth in Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. Under their leadership the work grew with a monthly Australian newsletter, conferences, seminars and yearly tours to Israel. In 1992 the work continued under the leadership of Bruce and Kay Garbutt, supported by Jesma and John O’Hara. After several years Merrilyn Rixon supported Bruce in his role. In 2015 Dan Steege and his wife Julia were appointed by the Jerusalem office to re-establish the Branch. Dan set up a new board, governance structure and built strong foundations for future impact.
In 2021, Jerusalem endorsed the appointment of Sarah Way to become the new Australian Director. With her husband and two children the Branch is continuing to grow in numbers and effectiveness with God’s leading and empowering.
Ever since the founding of the ICEJ in 1980, Israeli Prime Ministers, Knesset Members and dignatories of all kinds have joined Christian leaders from around the world in endorsing our work. What follows is a short summary of what leaders are saying about the ICEJ.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu:
“I came here to thank you for your support in our great endeavor. It has been consistent. It has been unreserved…it has been very, very effective. The State of Israel is stronger because of your support.”
Kay Arthur, Precept Ministries:
“I am awed as I hear and see first hand the strategic omniscience of God in raising up and sustaining the ICEJ in Jerusalem. They have been a true friend to Israel as we await the sure fulfillment of Isaiah 2:2-4.”
Nir Barkat, Mayor of Jerusalem:
“It warms our heart here in Jerusalem to see the support and love you all have for our city…to see you come here as pilgrims supporting Jerusalem, by being here and by praying for us…Your solidarity here today is very meaningful for us.”
Jane Hansen Hoyt, Aglow International:
“This organization, comprising believers in over 125 nations, has been a vehicle for reaching out to Jewish people to express love and concern in tangible ways as well as helping to educate millions of Christians about Israel’s unique biblical calling.”
Pat Robertson, CBN/Regent University:
“God is using the ICEJ as a trumpet call to the nations regarding our biblical mandate to pray for the peace of Jerusalem and to stand with Israel and the Jewish people. Truly, God has raised up the International Christian Embassy for such a time as this.”
Former Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert:
”It is great comfort to have the Embassy in our midst. Its work to mobilise Christians everywhere in support of Israel and its assistance to the Jewish people is a special blessing.”
Ben Kinchlow, Americans for Israel:
“The ICEJ exemplifies the truth that the greatest among you would be your servant. The nation of Israel and the Christian community are both well served by its leadership.”
Former Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon:
”Your presence (here in Israel) is a strong message for the whole world. Your solidarity and friendship is important for us – very important.”
The Late Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin:
“We in Israel appreciate your presence here in Jerusalem very much, especially during these crucial times… whenever we see people that care, that are involved, and who show this by deeds, and by words – we appreciate this.”
The Late Mayor of Jerusalem, Teddy Kollek:
“We thank you all for being here, for coming here faithfully every year. Your faith gives us strength. We know that you are many but we know that you are representing many, many more.”
The Late Prime Minister, Menachem Begin:
“Your decision, to found the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem – at a time, when we were left alone by others because of our faith – was a bold act and a symbol of your closeness to us. Your gestures and your acting gave us the feeling that we are not alone.”
Our leadership team at the ICEJ hails from around the globe and from all walks of life.
Dr. Juergen Buehler, Serves as President of the ICEJ, overseeing the global ministry from Jerusalem and traveling extensively around the world to preach on God’s purposes for Israel, the Church and the nations in our day. A trained physicist (doctorate in chemistry from Israel’s esteemed Weizmann Institute), Buehler is also ordained with the German Pentecostal Federation (BFP).
Vice President of Operations
Barry R Denison has his BA in Biblical Literature and his MBA from ORU. He is an ordained Minister of the Gospel since 1983. He and his wife Debbie and family served in church planting and leadership training in Brazil for 12 years. They then lived as a family in Israel for 7 years, 1995 to 2002, serving the Lord and raising their 3 children. Barry has worked as an Economist and International Business Consultant and served as the Executive Pastor of his home church in Loveland, Colorado. He has served with ICEJ since 2014 and he and his wife Debbie live in Jerusalem with their daughter Kelly, son in Law Travis and their 2 grandsons Joel and Levi.
Vice President of Aid and Aliyah
Nicole has been engaged in humanitarian aid projects in Israel for over 20 years and currently serves as ICEJ’s Vice President for Aid & Aliyah. From a Mennonite background in Oregon, she moved to Israel in 1992. An important facet of her work involves building relationships between the Jewish, Arab, and Christian communities. She holds a B.A. in Behavioral Science and an M.A. in International Community Development from Northwest University.
Vice President of International Affairs
Mojmir Kallus is a mathematician, diplomatic translator, and ICEJ Vice President for International Affairs. Mojmir was Founder and National Director of ICEJ-Czech Republic. He came to faith during the Soviet Communist era and became a church planter and Bible teacher, promoting pro-Israel policies.
Vice President & Senior International Spokesman
David Parsons is an author, attorney, journalist, minister and Middle East specialist who serves as Vice President & Senior Spokesman for the ICEJ. On staff in Jerusalem for the past 22 years, Parsons has been interviewed by hundreds of media outlets and travels the world to speak about Israel and our prophetic times.
Vice President of Finance
David Van Der Walt was born in South Africa and moved to Israel in 1996 where he met his wife from Finland and joined the ICEJ in 2002. In 2010, he became the Vice -President of Finance (CFO). David studied in the Jerusalem Management school in Jerusalem. After 14 years of living in Israel, he and his wife moved to Finland where they currently reside with their 4 children. David also serves on the ICEJ Canada Board as the Treasurer and in the past as Chairman. David is passionate about Kingdom Business and good Stewardship.
ICEJ Australia National Director
Sarah is a qualified Human Resource Management Professional with 16 years experience specialising in the employment law field in national and international companies. She has served in leadership and board roles in Churches and was appointed ICEJ Australia Board Director and Secretary for 4 years prior to her current appointment as National Director. She studied in Jerusalem at Yad Vashem – International Leadership Holocaust Education. Sarah was born in Melbourne and spent 10 years in wild and remote Aboriginal community in North East Arnhem Land. Together with her husband they have been married for 17 years with two beautiful children residing in regional Victoria.