About Biblical Israel Ministries & Tours!
Our Personal Ministry Journey
- We offer unique, in-depth, highly biblical tours to Israel (& other lands of the Bible)
- We offer unique & life-transforming biblical teaching that focuses upon learning the Bible in the context of the land of Israel.
Shalom! I’m Dr. DeLancey, Director of Biblical Israel Ministries & Tours (BIMT). Let me tell you a little about our journey in ministry.
Biblical Israel Tours was created 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 farther 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 100s of people who have joined me on Israel tours the last 25 years (see Testimonies).
So far I have had the privilege of leading 56 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 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 the 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 in my pastoral ministry. In comparison to most other tours, each or our trips offers an in-depth encounter of Israel as it relates to the Bible. I strive to offer the most personal care and assistance to you, from answering questions as you consider what trip to Israel is best for you, helping you prepare for your Holyland tour prior to departure, and to being your personal pastor and Bible teacher while on tour.
In 2016, Biblical Israel Tours has expanded to Biblical Israel Ministries & Tours (BIMT). Feeling led to resign from “local” church ministry, BIMT is now my full time ministry, committed to helping people grow in their journey of faith. With time now fully dedicated to the expansion of BIMT, in addition to the Israel tours I lead, I now have set aside the time take Israel to the church setting, namely, through our “Physical Settings of the Bible” seminars! These teaching modules and lectures highlight how historical geography, archaeology, and understanding the ancient near eastern culture can help “bring alive” the Scriptures! It is my passion to teach the Bible and help make it come alive for so many people! It’s life-transforming when people get excited about God’s Word!
“Thanks so much for leading the trip. The best part of the trip for me was that I came away spiritually refreshed. I will never forget this trip.” (Kirk, MD)
Recently while leading a trip to Israel, I made this brief greeting from Jerusalem (other videos created by Dr. John can be viewed HERE):
About the uniqueness of each of our Israel Tours (& to other lands of the Bible)
For sure there are a lot of 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 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:
- 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” churches (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. Our trips are Ray Vander Laan – style 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 optional walks, hikes, and gatherings for those who just can’t get enough!
- 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 inspiration to your walk of faith to a new exciting level!
- The tours includes both the young and old. I 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 me as “land only” travelers. We welcome everyone! . Our ministry to you is to provide a solid biblical tour full or both teaching and spiritual experiences aimed to deepen your walk of faith with God. The “personal pastoral touch” Dr. DeLancey offer helps you “connect the dots” between what you see and what you read in the Bible. Unlike many tour agencies offer trips without the essential pastoral leadership, I look forward to sharing an in-depth perspective of Israel.
“Pastor John, you helped bring the Bible to life. You ‘connected the dots’ of biblical history for us. We will never be the same, nor will we ever read or hear God’s Word in the same way.” (John & Vivian, FL)
- I update 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.
If you want to explore all the upcoming Christian Israel trips
About our exciting & transforming teaching ministry
Part of the ministry growth and expansion of BIMT is to offer teaching seminars called “Physical Settings of the Bible.” These are teaching seminars geared towards bringing the context of the Bible to churches, Christian high schools, colleges, and even seminaries. Here are some exciting aspects of the teaching ministry:
- We provide multimedia “Physical Settings” seminars for both the church and classroom setting. Teaching involves the understanding of historical geography, biblical archaeology, and the culture of the Bible, bringing the Bible alive in new and exciting ways! Formats for teaching include church seminars, conferences, guest lecturing & preaching, and teaching modules for schools, colleges, and seminaries.
- Each seminar or classroom experience for your church or school will provide many “a-ha!” moments. The whole encounter with the Bible in its context will make the Bible “come alive!” Each multimedia seminar will help you connect the dots between the stories and narratives of the Bible. You will begin to read God’s Word in “living color,” not just in “black and white!” Your excitement and enthusiasm for studying God’s Word will be rekindled.
- New: For the purpose of enhancing the ministry, a new “App” for smart phones, iPads, and Tablets has been created. Go HERE to go download the new app or simply type in BIMT in the search bar of the App Store. The app features blogs, videos, podcast teaching, “site summaries,” and more!
If you would like to schedule a “Physical Settings” seminar
About our “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. Being a support-based ministry, this was a necessary step for BIMT to take. We are thrilled in how quickly God brought about our approval (it only took 6 weeks once our application was submitted).
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!
The official “EIN” number for BIMT is 82-2341870. It is our goal to operate the ministry of BIMT with the highest level of integrity.
About Dr. DeLancey
- 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)
- Excavated at 4 archaeological sites in Israel:
- “Khirbet Nisya” (An possible site for the Old Testament city of Ai).
- “Ir David” (Hebrew for The City of David, or Old Testament Jebus/Jerusalem).
- Abel Beit Macaah, a new excavation of an OT site located up north near the Lebanon border (June, 2014).
- Tel Gezer (June, 2016).
- Served as an archaeology tour guide in and around Jerusalem.
- A graduate of Westminster Seminary in Philadelphia, Pa. with a Masters of Divinity Degree.
- Post graduate studies at North Park Seminary of Chicago, IL
- Doctor of Ministry degree from Trinity Seminary in November 2003, with a focus on Israel-related 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 55 Israel Tours. 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. Each person (couple) receives a complementary copy.
- Author of many other resources, including a 130 page Guide Book entitled, Historical, Biblical, and Archaeological Backgrounds, a Guide Book used on his Holy Land Tours. A 98 page “Interactive Book” is also used, helping people to “process and appreciate” what they see on each day of the tour! Both of these resources can be downloaded for free from the Resource page of the web site.
About imagine Tours & Travel
imagine Tours & Travel (iTT) is the Christian travel agency we exclusively use for all our trips. Please know that iTT operates totally independently from the non-profit ministry of BIMT. They are 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! What is so wonderful about them is that they view their business not just as a business, but as a ministry. imagine Tours & Travel is located in Lakeland, FL.
The following is their Christian approach to their travel agency:
“Imagine Tours & Travel was founded on the idea and belief that this would be a different kind of company. We are a travel organization with international partnerships that provide you with all the necessary components to assure you an exciting, educational, enjoyable, life changing, and unforgettable journey.
Imagine Tours and Travel will make your air and/or sea reservations, book your hotels, and arrange for your sightseeing aboard motor coaches with the best available English-speaking licensed guides. imagine contracts all of the above services with the most reliable correspondents who are constantly re-evaluated so that the quality of service we offer always meets our highest standards.
The ultimate purpose of imagine Tours and Travel is to honor God in all that we do. Our goals are to be a blessing to all those we work with and to be a supporting cast to those interested in Christian Travel. In everything, we want the spotlight to remain and reflect on God, not us. It is our great pleasure to offer our services to you with the understanding that first and foremost, this is His Company, and we’re the supporting cast for His greater service.
We know that you have a choice in who you decide to travel with. We believe that a trip to the lands of the Bible will be a life-changing journey, whether you are travelling to the Holy Land to walk where Jesus walked or to the Mediterranean to follow the journey of Paul. Whatever journey or destination that you are following, we trust that it will impact your faith walk as you embark on it with members of your Christian community. We pray that the Holy Spirit will touch your heart in a way that only He can. Our hope for you is that you will allow yourself to relax and enjoy, knowing that all of the details are covered, and just welcome in God’s presence.”
We look forward to serving you!
Rick & Amy Ricart
Imagine Tours & Travel, LLC