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The senior pastor at one of the Middle East's most influential churches died in a tragic accident on Tuesday, September 5. David Petrescue, 53, the senior pastor of Maadi Community Church (MCC) in Cairo, Egypt, was alone after 3:30 p.m. when he fell from a great height from his apartment building and died instantly. Government officials and family members have determined the fall to have been accidental.

His unexpected death has dealt a tremendous blow to Maadi Community Church, which he helped grow from around 150 people in 1992 to a congregation of 1,500 today. Current church members represent more than 70 denominations and 50 nations, including many hundreds of Americans, some of whom are connected to the U.S. Embassy or occupying leadership positions in American companies in Egypt.

Pastor Petrescue discovered a visionary strategy in Judges 15:4–5, enabling his congregation to become Egypt's largest expatriate church. In that passage, Samson set the tails of foxes on fire, making them run like mad, destroying the fields of the Philistines. Expatriate Christians come to Egypt and go. But from this church, they receive a burning to spread the Word of God to the many nations they may go next.

Maadi Community Church is involved in church planting, leadership training, and ministries to Sudanese refugees. In 2000, the Evangelical International Church was founded and became the legal structure for the church.

In the same year, the Sudanese Community Church was founded, along with a vibrant cell group ministry that today involves more than 60 percent of church members and many from outside the church.

Rapid church growth created difficulties, though. MCC is located on the premises of the Anglican Church of St. John the Baptist, ...

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