About Biblical Israel Ministries & Tours
Shalom! It’s a privilege and honor to greet you today! I am Dr. John DeLancey. I serve as the Director of BIMT. I thank God for the opportunity to share with you a little about God’s direction of our ministry! I am also both excited yet also humbled how God will continue to use our ministry to encourage people in their faith-walk and help people grow in their understanding of God’s Word!
Offering biblically-solid Israel tours and teaching the Bible in the context of the land is about making disciples of Christ!
Our Ministry Journey & Transition
Biblical Israel Tours was created over 25 years ago (in January, 1992) out of my passion for leading people to a personalized experience of the land of the Bible, on a tour that goes much further and deeper than the many other “standard” Holyland tours. While pastoring two evangelical churches for a total of 26 years, I am humbled by the literally 1000s of people who have joined me on Israel tours the last 25 years (see our TESTIMONIES page).
So far God has given me the privilege of leading 61 Israel tours (many with optional add-on trips to Jordan and Egypt), and 8 Greece & Turkey tours (with a few optional add-on trips to Italy). The people who God has brought together for these study trips have been folks from all over the U.S., Canada, and from various other countries of the world. What excites me the most about leading trips to Israel, the “Holy Land,” is to know that a life-transforming experience awaits each person. Simply put, an Israel trip is the very best “discipleship program!!” Indeed, helping people understand the Bible in context has been a joy and passion in my pastoral ministry.
In comparison to most other tours, each of our trips offers an in-depth encounter of Israel as it relates directly to the Bible. This is why I write my own programs. I want people to offer to people as many “connecting the dots with the Bible” experiences as possible! While on tour, I love being your personal pastor and teacher!
In 2016, Biblical Israel Tours expanded to Biblical Israel Ministries & Tours (BIMT). Feeling led to resign from “local” church ministry, BIMT is now my full time ministry. I am committed to helping people grow in their journey of faith. In addition to the multiple Israel tours I lead each year, BIMT is now excited to also offer what we call “Bringing the Bible to Life – Physical Settings of the Bible” or BBL seminars to the local church! It’s our way to bring Israel directly to you! It is my passion to teach the Bible and help make it come alive! Simply put, it is life-transforming when people get excited about God’s Word (you can read more about our BBL seminars HERE).
Our ministry to you is to provide a solid biblical tour filled with unique teaching and spiritual experiences that aim to deepen your walk of faith with God. Our aim is to help you “connect the dots” between what you see firsthand and what you read in the Bible. We share an in-depth perspective of “Biblical Israel,” from the stories of the Old Testament to the life and ministry of Jesus.
BIMT is ultimately about this …. being used of God to mold and transform lives! (“Yet You, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay; You are the potter.” – Isaiah 64:8).
The Uniqueness of our Israel Tours
For sure there are a lot of good and solid evangelical Christian trips to Israel out there. Praise God! Yet we believe the trips we offer go beyond just “good!” So many of the people have expressed how each Biblical Israel Ministries & Tour is unique from other Israel tours offered by other ministries and agencies. The following are examples of what makes our trips stand out from all the others:
More authentic biblical sites
Many more authentic biblical sites are seen from the average “touristy” tour, especially biblical sites “off the beaten track.” We just don’t go see “traditional” site (e.g. church after church) like most tours.
All the Israel trips are led by Dr. DeLancey, and are much more in-depth from a biblical point of view. You will gain from his experienced teaching, knowledge of archaeology and historical geography of the Bible, and his “tour expertise.” You will also sense his pastor’s heart!
Our trips are Ray Vander Laan – style trips. They are teaching and discipleship tours (“That the World May Know“). Not only will you see extra sites that other groups simply don’t visit, but you will also enjoy on-site Biblical teaching, quiet reflective moments, worship times, and gatherings for those who just can’t get enough!
We put into each of our programs optional hikes and walks. This means they are available to those who can and/or want to do them, and not required by those who don’t care to. These optional excursions simply provide the wonderful opportunity to “walk the land!”
While on the trip, Dr. John updates the web site every night with about 20 sample pictures or so with a brief description of our day-day-day experiences. This is done for two purposes: 1). People back home can follow our encounters and enjoy knowing what we’re doing, and 2). Once each tour participant gets home, the page serves as a way to review the tour and help people organize their own pictures, etc… As a bonus, each picture can be downloaded, saved, and added to people’s collection of photos.
The goal of each of each Christian tour is to offer the most rich learning and spiritual experience as possible. An Israel trip will not only bring context to your understanding of the Scriptures, but also be an incredible inspiration to your walk of faith to a new exciting level!
The tours includes both the young and old. We have families with children, youth, college students who join me as well as folks in their 70s & 80s. People all over the world (not just from the U.S.) can join us as “land only” travelers. We welcome everyone!
Most importantly, we are highly evangelical and Christ-centered! We believe in the inspiration and authority of Scripture!
About Dr. John DeLancey, Director of BIMT
Background & Family:
Grew up in Perkasie, PA with three siblings (one a twin).
Married to Sue, with three children: Joel, Hannah, and Rachel (re-proposed to Sue, his wife, on top of Arbel in 2012 in celebration of 25th anniversary)
Has 2 Golden Retrievers (Maggie and Rocky) & 3 cats (Skittles, Tink, and Jax. They all love each other too!)
Enjoys trail running (“ultra-marathons”) & kayaking.
Pastoral & Church Ministry:
Served as lead pastor for 26 years in two evangelical churches – Stoneridge Covenant Church, Allison Park, PA (1999-2016) and Calvary Covenant Church, Evansville, MN (1990-1999).
Tour Leader of 61 Israel Tours. Many of these trips included both Jordan & Egypt.
Tour Leader of 8 Greece and Turkey tour as well.
Author of “Devotional Treasures from the Holyland“ (2011, now in its 3rd edition, 2016). This is a 320 page resource that offers a devotional thought gleaned from 73 sites in Israel, using the Scriptural, archaeological, and and historical-geographical background of each site as the context.
Excavated at 5 archaeological sites in Israel:
“Khirbet Nisya” (It was the first alternative site for the Old Testament city of Ai).
“City of David (Old Testament Jebus/Jerusalem).
Abel Beit Macaah, a newer excavation in northern Israel (June, 2014).
Tel Gezer, in the Shephelah (June, 2016).
Tel Gath, in the Shephelah (June, 2018).
A graduate of Cedarville College of Ohio with a Degree in Biblical Studies and Archaeology.
A one-year student at the Jerusalem University College (formerly called The Institute of Holy Land Studies) – 1981-82.
A graduate of Westminster Seminary in Philadelphia, Pa. with a Masters of Divinity Degree.
Post graduate studies at North Park Seminary of Chicago, IL (Ordained with the Evangelical Covenant Church)
Doctor of Ministry degree from Trinity Seminary in November 2003, with a focus on Israel-related ministry.
About BIMT’s “501c3” Non-Profit / Tax Exempt Status
Biblical Israel Ministries & Tours (BIMT) became an official IRS-recognized “501c3” non-profit / tax exempt Christian ministry in July, 2017. This means we are a totally support-based ministry. We are thrilled in how quickly God brought about our quick approval and how He provides for our ministry in amazing ways!
A wonderful Board of Directors is in place, with each member of the BIMT team being followers of Jesus. Board members are from all parts of the country. Everyone is equally enthusiastic about how God will uniquely use BIMT to excite people about the Bible and their faith in Christ!
It is our goal to operate the ministry of BIMT with the highest level of integrity.
The official “EIN” number for BIMT is 82-2341870.
About imagine Tours & Travel
Imagine Tours & Travel (iTT) is the Christian travel agency BIMT uses exclusively for all our trips. Please know that BIMT (our 501c3 non-profit ministry) operates totally independently from iTT. We are a support-based ministry, iTT is a leading business specializing in Israel travel. iTT is simply the agency through whom all the air and land arrangements for our tours are made. We use iTT because they are the very best in the business! They take care of all the travel details for us, making it “worry-free” for every detail. This includes airfare, hotels, and land services while in Israel (or other biblical countries).
What is so wonderful about them is that while they operate as a business, they serve 100s of pastors and churches who travel to Israel and other lands of the Bible as a ministry. imagine Tours & Travel is a Christian agency located in Lakeland, FL. They have specialized in the “Israel travel” business for over 35 years!
This LINK will take you to their web site. Their phone number is 863-709-9208.
A Hike up Mt. Arbel Video
On each and every trip, a hike up Mt. Arbel is always offered. It is a special experience. It includes an ascent of about 800 feet. The hike takes about 75 minutes from the trailhead at the bottom to the very top. The view of the Sea of Galilee from the top is absolutely spectacular. It offers a panoramic view of the NW corner of the Sea of Galilee. Please note: those who don’t hike still get to the top by bussing around from the other side and walking only about 5-7 minutes to the top on a gently-sloped path.
It is very probably that Jesus climbed and used Arbel as a place of respite from the crowds. While we can’t be sure, it could very well be that Arbel is where Jesus told His disciples to meet Him after His resurrection too (Matthew 28:16).