AL RAJA SCHOOL
Gary Brown taught junior high students at Al Raja School (School of Hope) in Bahrain as a Reformed Church missionary for nineteen years, beginning in 1970. From 1992-94 Gary served as senior supervisor and English Department head at the school. Following a sabbatical year of study pursuing a master's degree in educational administration at Teachers College, Columbia University, New York City, in its private school leadership program, Gary returned to Bahrain in 1995 to serve as principal of Al Raja School.
Nine hundred Bahraini and other Arab girls and boys are enrolled in grades kindergarten through nine at Al Raja School. Tuition money set aside over the years allowed the school to construct two large buildings, which were completed in 1994. The school now has forty classrooms, two science labs, large areas for computer and home sciences, and a multipurpose hall serving as gymnasium and auditorium.
Gary says, "Al Raja School has a rich eighty-year history of service to the people of Bahrain. But what worked well yesterday in education, as in other fields, may not serve us well tomorrow." He adds, "We are newer and bigger than we have ever been. I see my role as principal to ensure that we are also better. Being true to our calling in Christ and translating that into action on a daily basis is the big challenge."
Garyís service to others began in 1966, when he worked for three years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Somalia, East Africa. Gary says, "My Peace Corps experience led me to an awareness of the need for committed Christian witness, especially in the Muslim world." It was Garyís concern that Muslims come to know the Jesus of the Bible which initially led him to become a missionary in the Middle East.
Gary grew up in rural/suburban western New York, where his family ran a small fruit farm and wholesale/retail greenhouse business. He spent his childhood and youth as a member of St. Paulís Episcopal Church in Lewiston, New York, learning of the centrality of Jesus Christ in Christian life and growing in his relationship with the Lord. He is a graduate of the State University of New York at Buffalo, with a degree in pharmacy. Gary also has a master's degree from Columbia Teachers College in teaching English to speakers of other languages.
When he is not working, Gary enjoys reading, playing basketball, traveling, staying in contact with family and friends, participating in church activities, staying abreast of world events, biking, walking, bowling, and learning from self-guided study programs.
Birthday: November 4