Yesterday, Wednesday 16 September, saw the congregation of the Evangelical Church in Egypt give a moving farewell to Reverend Menis Abdel-Nour, former pastor of Qasr al-Dobara Evangelical church in Downtown Cairo, who passed away two days earlier at the age of 85.
Participating in the funeral service were Rev. Andrea Zaki, head of the Evangelical Church in Egypt; Rev. George Shaker, vice head of the Evangelical Church in Egypt; Rev. Kamal Youssef, head of the Nile Synod; Rev. Dr Sameh Maurice, current pastor of Qasr al-Dobara church; and a host of pastors of the Evangelical Church in Egypt and the Arab World. Present to pay their last respects were heads and representatives of the various Churches in Egypt, the Egypt council of Churches, and al-Azhar.
Thousands packed the spacious church in Downtown Cairo as the funeral service was conducted to hymns, sermons, and tributes.
Rev. Menis (1930 – 2015) had himself once said: “Prayers are said for the dead in order to offer comfort to family and friends, and to remind the mourners of the transience of worldly riches.” He led a life of faith and thankfulness, and passed away after a long struggle with illness.
Rev. Menis was elected pastor of the Qasr al-Dobara church in October 1975 to succeed the church’s founder and first pastor, Rev. Ibrahim Saïd. On 21 March 2008 he retired, but the church chosen him as honorary lifetime patron.
The late Reverend was born in the Upper Egypt town of Assiut on 22 October 1930. He married Nadia Arsanius in 1950 and together they had two children, Farid and Violet. He has six grandchildren, Iman and Amir Maher Fouad; David, Nadia, Nawal and Daniel Farid Menis.
Rev. Menis studied Theology at the Evangelical Theological College in Cairo and went on to earn diplomas, Masters and an honorary doctorate degree in Theology from universities in Egypt and the US. His voice and spiritual message reached many in the world through radio talks and programmes, and through prolific writings; he wrote and translated over 100 books, and a number of his books were translated into English.
He served as pastor in Cairo and in the eastern town of Zagazig ever since he graduated from theological school. He founded the Eagles Wings magazine together with Rev. Samuel Habib and Rev. Amir Gayed in 1959, taught comparative religion at the Evangelical Theological College in Cairo, and served with the Coptic Evangelical Organisation for Social Services.
In 1994, Rev, Menis was awarded the appreciation prize from Haggai Institute for distinguished service. This institute only trains qualified leaders from the emerging nations. In 1997, he was awarded the prize of Faith from Lutheran Church in Finland, and in 1999, he received the prize of defending human rights from Washington. He visited many countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Arab World to serve, preach and lecture.
Watani mourns Rev. Menis with whom the paper enjoyed a warm relation, and who regularly wrote on its pages during the 1980s. May his soul rest in peace.
17 September 2015