The Rev. Canon Andrew White, the “Vicar of Baghdad,” will make a week-long series of appearances throughout Georgia beginning October 14. [See itinerary and biography below].
White, president of The Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East, is vicar of St. George’s Anglican Church in Baghdad and serves as the Anglican/Episcopalian/Lutheran chaplain in the International Zone.
The clergyman has been in Iraq for more than 11 years and has been witness to the suffering and privation of Iraqis before, during and after the war. Despite their almost unimaginable hardships, White describes the members of his church as “the most joyful people” he has ever known.
Under his direction, St. George’s has become the largest church in Iraq. With more than 3,500 members, the church ministers to the needs of not only its Christian congregants but members of the surrounding community, who are mostly Muslims. St. George’s offers a fully-staffed medical and dental clinic, as well as a pharmacy. The church provides stipends and food and is dependent upon donations for funding, as is the Foundation.
The church, clinic and other buildings sustained serious damage in a series of bombings on Aug. 19 in which nearly 100 people were killed and an estimated 600 were injured. Nevertheless, the church’s doors were open the following day to provide for the people’s needs.
Through the Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East, Canon White works to bring religious factions together to find common ground and end the violence in Iraq. The FRRME was responsible for establishment of the High Council of Religious Leaders and the first joint Sunni/Shi’a fatwa (religious decree) condemning all violence.
White will share his remarkable story in a series of appearances at area churches, universities and civic groups. He will visit First Methodist Church in Valdosta at 7 p.m. today; Christ Church Frederica in St. Simons Island at 7 p.m. Thursday; Martha Boman Methodist in Macon at 8:30, 9:30 and 11 a.m. Sunday; Second Baptist Church in Warner Robins at 7 p.m. Sunday; Clayton State University Spivey Hall in Atlanta at Monday; Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in Marietta at 7 p.m. Monday; Warner Robins Rotary Club at noon Tuesday; First Baptist Church in Americus at 7 p.m. Tuesday; LaGrange College at 3 p.m. Oct. 21; and First Baptist Church in Columbus at 7 p.m. Oct. 21.
For more information, visit the Foundation’s Web site: www.frrme.org.