The Church of St. John the Baptist (a.k.a. St. John’s Church) is one of the oldest buildings in Maadi, in southern Cairo. Since its consecration in April 1931, this church has served the community of Maadi as a place for worship and solace. Although the church is part of the Anglican/Episcopal Diocese of Egypt & North Africa, and serves as the official Anglican/Episcopal international church in Maadi, it serves people from all backgrounds.
In 1920, the Anglican Church of St. John in the Wilderness, a temporary structure, was erected by the Anglican Church Army on Road 14 in Maadi. Then, in 1930, the present sanctuary was dedicated as the Anglican/Episcopal Church of St. John the Baptist. The first fundraising event that preceded the groundbreaking ceremony of 1930 was held at the Diamantis Café on the Nile under the high patronage of Lady Percy Loraine, wife of the British High Commissioner.
The long-term British residents had decided to replace the rickety makeshift church of St. John in the Wilderness with a permanent structure at the corner of Port Said and Road 17—today’s Church of St. John the Baptist. This fundraising event was the first in a series of fundraising activities that culminated with the 1933 procurement from Edinburgh, Scotland of the church organ.
During World War II, the church served hundreds of troops from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa that congregated in Maadi. Up until 1956, the primary attendance at the church was from the British community in Egypt. However, in the aftermath of the Suez War, the British were temporarily expelled from the country. As Cairo became increasingly a center of international diplomacy, the void was quickly filled by an increasing number of Americans.
Also, large oil companies, like Amoco and Conoco, began to have a major impact on social and church activities in Maadi.
Today, while Anglican/Episcopal in affiliation, St. John’s Church serves a diverse English-speaking congregation from many different backgrounds—such as Presbyterians, Methodists, Lutherans, Catholics, etc. And many nationalities are represented. Most of those in attendance are professionals (from the diplomatic, business, education and NGO communities) and their families. Lay involvement in the service is encouraged and there is a thriving Church School for all children and youth, as well as various activities and programs throughout the week for youth and adults. In addition to the English-speaking services, the church also has an Arabic service led by an Egyptian Episcopal priest.
As a church congregation, we desire to encounter the living God as we meet for worship weekly and serve the community.
The small church building of St. John’s Church and our property is today also made available for use to a number of other Christian congregations from many nations and church backgrounds that do not have a building of their own. These include the Maadi Community Church, and the Korean, Sudanese, West African, French Reformed, Scandinavian and Egyptian congregations.