Leaders Tour to the Holy Land

The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) of Texas, chose Amiel to plan and execute its first leader’s tour to the Holy Land, an 8-day tour for 120 of the most senior and influencing pastors in the state of Texas. The goal was to give them an unforgettable experience, and open the doors for their congregations to come on a similar visit.


With profound expertise in Christian travel, Amiel organized an 8-day tour which embarked in the city of Netanya on route to the Galilee and from there to Jerusalem. Throughout the trip, the group followed in the steps on Jesus, sailing in the Sea of Galilee, visiting the Yardenit Baptismal Site for a special spiritual ceremony, joining in mass prayers at The Mount Beatitudes on the Sea of the Galilee, and Gethsemane, at the foot of the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, and visiting Christian faith landmarks.

Our main challenge in organizing this tour was the seniority of the members, each a shepherd of his community, and rarely joined together as a group. To this end, we designed many opportunities for different individuals to lead, creating a pleasant ambiance for the entire group.

The trip was truly memorable for all involved, and has led to additional SBC leaders’ tours which are now in the making. In addition, we were honored to be asked by dozens of the pastors to plan a tour for their congregation in the summer of 2024.


Within our group of 120 senior pastors, there was a very wide age-range, and with it, a rainbow of physical abilities. Another complexity came from the seniority of each member of the group, all in effect VIPs. Naturally, with a group so unique, logistics are more complicated as well. We traveled in three full buses, of the highest standard, and coordinated their routes so that every subgroup can enjoy the sites uninterrupted. With that, there were teachings which required all gathering at one place. We carefully planned logistics to deliver a smooth and hassle-free experience. Booking accommodations was also a challenge, as the tour fell on the same dates as the 2022 Maccabiah Games which took place in Jerusalem, and made finding rooms for groups more difficult. Without being affected by the circumstances, we were able to get the best rooms the city has to offer, and deliver a wonderful hospitality experience to our important guests.

Some of the sites included in Christian Travel:

Caesarea: where Peter proclaimed the Good News to the Roman Centurion (Acts 10), baptized Cornelius the Centurion (the first known baptism of converts to Christianity), and one of Paul’s stops between his second and third missionary journeys and where he was imprisoned before being sent to Rome

Tiberias: sail on the Sea of the Galilee in a wooden ‘Jesus boat’ replica (Matthew 14)

Golan Heights, Caesarea Philippi where Peter confessed, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:13- 16), and Tel Dan

Mt. of Beatitudes Jesus’ base for his early ministry (Matthew 5-7), Capernaum, Magdala, Tabgha (the traditional site of the feeding of the 5000), and the Church of the Primacy of St. Peter

The Jordan River and Baptism service in Yardenit

Beit Shean, one of the best preserved Decapolis Roman cities, where King Saul and his sons’ bodies were hung from the city walls after being defeated by the Philistines (1 Samuel 31:10-12)

Jerusalem: Mt. of Olives, Old Palm Sunday Road to the ancient olive grove at the Garden of Gethsemane, the Church of the Agony (Church of All Nations) where tradition says Jesus prayed before his arrest; Zion Gate, the Western (Wailing) Wall, St. Stephen’s Gate, Via Dolorosa – including St. Anne’s Crusader Church, Pools of Bethesda, the Pavement (where Jesus stood while being tried by Pilate), Ecce Homo Arch, and the ancient Cardo; the Church of the Holy Sepulcher; the City of David, Hezekiah’s Tunnel, Pool of Siloam, the Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu, Golgotha and the Garden Tomb

Bethlehem: Rachel’s tomb, the Church of the Nativity, Shepherds’ Field

The Dead Sea: Qumran Caves the settlement of the Essenes, Masada- King Herod’s astonishing fortress, Ein Gedi where David hid from King Saul, and Qasr El-Yahud, the newly excavated site where tradition holds that Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, and Jericho

The Old City of Jaffa: St. Peter Church, home of Simon the Tanner, Clock Square, artist colony, and the Old port