Even before he was born, it was evident that God had a vision for Michael Amerhom Youssef. His mother was in poor health at the time she became pregnant with Michael, and because her life would be jeopardized by the birth, the doctor recommended terminating the pregnancy. An abortion procedure was scheduled. But God intervened, and sent the family pastor to reassure them the night before the procedure was to take place that God was involved in this pregnancy, not to be afraid, and that this child would be “born to serve the Lord.” Michael’s parents accepted the pastor’s message as a message from God and obeyed. His mother gave birth, and lived to see him surrender his life to the Lord in 1964 at age sixteen.
Believing that God was calling him out of Egypt, Michael sought an exit visa at a time when no university student was permitted to hold a passport or leave the country. God intervened again, and miraculously provided approval of his application. He immigrated to Australia, where he studied at Moore Theological College in Sydney, was ordained as a minister, and met and married his wife, Elizabeth.
The Youssefs came to America in 1977 and in 1978, Michael received a master’s degree in theology at Fuller Theological Seminary in California. He later earned a doctorate in social anthropology from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.
Michael served for nearly ten years with the Haggai Institute, traveling around the world more than 32 times, teaching courses in evangelism and church leadership to church leaders. He rose to the position of Managing Director at the age of 31. The family settled in Atlanta, and in 1984, Michael became a United States citizen, fulfilling a dream he had held for many years.
He founded The Church of The Apostles in 1987 with fewer than 40 adults with the mission to “Equip the Saints and Seek the Lost.” The church has since grown to a congregation of over 3000. This church on a hill was the launching pad for Leading the Way‘s international ministry. Leading The Way with Dr. Michael Youssef passionately proclaims uncompromising Truth through radio and television programs, the Internet, and through books, periodicals, and other resources. Programs are translated and broadcast into 20 languages, covering more than 200 countries. This Atlanta-based organization partners internationally with in-country follow-up teams to encourage believers in their faith, helping God’s kingdom to grow around the world.
The path he has walked has given him a thorough cross-cultural understanding and a firm grasp of Scripture. He preaches, teaches and exhorts with a straightforward and uncompromising delivery, based on the authority of the inspired, infallible Word of God. His unique, firsthand understanding of the Holy Land, its history and culture, brings the Bible to life for listeners.