MEM: Jacob Pursley | Missions in Turkey

 Jacob and his wife Lisa, their son Dow, and daughter Annalee, have been ministering in the Middle East since 2002 out of Istanbul, Turkey.  Jacob is an elder of Beytel church, a church-plant he started in Istanbul, and its sister church on Mount Ararat.  He is an evangelist, apologist and founder of a ministry school in Istanbul, which trains missionaries called to the Muslim world. He competed graduate programs from Columbia International University and Reformed Theological Seminary. Learn more about the Pursley’s call to mission by watching: The Pursley Family

Lisa has an Ed.D. in Special Education and works with children with special educational needs in Istanbul.  For information on education, curriculum, and disabilities from a Christian world-view, Dr. Lisa Pursley now has a twitter account @mosaiclisa and blog site: Mosaic Life with Dr. Lisa

Jacob and Lisa were motivated to go Turkey after learning that Turkey was the largest unreached country in the world.  Out of eighty million people there are an estimated five thousand evangelical Christians in Turkey.

The Pursleys have been based in Istanbul, Turkey since 2002. The ministry reaches far into the east of Turkey and Northeastern Syria.  They have a vision to send national missionaries/church-planters from Turkey into unreached areas of Eastern Turkey, Iran, Syria, Pakistan and other closed countries.  Turkey, in particular the city of Istanbul, is a “gateway” country for this evangelistic activity.  The use of three projects has aided their goals: 

  • Zacchaeus Project: The Zacchaeus Project has four components currently; to proclaim the Gospel, to deliver warm clothing, school supplies, and to offer free medical examinations and medicines to the poor which go to Kurdish and Zaza villages in Eastern Turkey and Northeastern Syria.  The Zacchaeus Projects also helps poor national Christians in Turkey and refugees escaping from Iraq, Iran and Syria.                                                                                                                      
  • Beytel Project:  Beytel is home to their first church plant where Kurdish and Turkish worship take place.  It is the home of NUT Eğitim Merkezi “Educational/Study Center”, which provides a safe and comfortable atmosphere for national believers to meet in Istanbul for fellowship, and to discuss theology and strategies for reaching Muslims in Turkey.  Interns are trained at NUT Eğitim Merkezi (The NUT School is named after the three martyrs: Necati, Uğur and Tilman, who died April 18th, 2007) and various discuss theology and strategies for reaching Muslims in Turkey.  Interns are trained at NUT Eğitim Merkezi (The NUT School is named after the three martyrs: Necati, Uğur and Tilman, who died April 18th, 2007) and various churches.  It is also the location of an ESL program taught by volunteers.  Beytel church also has a sister-church on Mount Ararat in Eastern Turkey. This is a Kurdish speaking church.  We provide training, oversight, and spiritual encouragement to this newly budding fellowship located on the resting place of Noah’s Ark! We are currently raising funds for a project to build a guest-house/prayer-house on Mt. Ararat.  For more information about this project and how to fund it please contact:


  • Christian Resource Projects:  Christian resources are scarce in the Turkish, Kurdish, Zazaki languages and the Pursleys have been dedicated to providing Bibles, books, and materials relevant to the needs of the Christian community and evangelistic materials to the unreached Muslims. Distribution is also a part of their Christian Resource Projects. We personally distribute our materials and also send each church these materials for them to use and distribute.  Some of these resources are now available on Amazon. Jacob’s pen names are Yakup Korkmaz and Sebastian James.


Missionary stories from Turkey and a challenge to Ambassadorship from Jacob: Jacob at the Mosque  


Ambassadors for the King in Turkey (cross-cultural evangelism guidebook) is a resource written by Jacob for missionaries that wish to effectively minister in Turkey.

The Messiah and Women is an evangelistic resource written by Jacob for Muslim women so that they may know Jesus’s love for them.  

The Expected Awakening in Turkey is another resource written by Jacob which draws attention to the Armenian genocide and the expected biblical response from Turkish churches.  


Listen to this lecture by Jacob comparing and contrasting Theology in Islam and Christianity: Is the Islamic God the same as the Christian God?


To receive newsletters from the Pursleys contact:


@PrayForTurkey. Jacob has set up this account specifically for people to know how to strategically pray for the work in Turkey. 

@gatewayedu :  Jacob updates on the ministry from this account.


On-line Giving:


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