John Sagherian is an Armenian Lebanese, who was born in Cyprus but grew up in Lebanon. His father was a pastor in the Armenian Evangelical Churches in Beirut. John gave his life to Christ at an early age. In 1971 John received his B.Sc. in Mathematics from the American University of Beirut. As a student, he was mentored by the founder of Lebanon Youth For Christ, Leonard Rodgers, and upon graduation John worked for Lebanon YFC full-time. In 1974 he became the National Director of Lebanon YFC, a post he held for 36 years, until July 1, 2010.
John loves the Lord and young people and wants to introduce them to each other. As the YFC National Director in Lebanon, he led a youth choir, spoke in high school assemblies, directed clubs and summer camps, and led a staff, which in his last 10 years numbered between 10 and 20, mostly volunteers. He trained and mentored youth leaders, including Maher el-Hajj, who followed in John’s footsteps and succeeded him as the National Director of Lebanon Youth for Christ.
Since 2010 John has been Regional Director for YFC/MENA (Middle East and North Africa). He oversees work in Lebanon as well as Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, the UAE, Bahrain and Sudan.
John’s responsibilities include meeting with national directors and boards to encourage them and to help them set goals for their ministry, including ways to reach their goals. He helps raise funds when needed. He also assesses other countries in the region for possible pioneering of new ministries. In the past few years he has led youth leadership training, both in countries where there is YFC ministry and in countries where there is not … yet.
Having been born and raised in the Middle East, John speaks Armenian, Arabic, and English and is familiar with the cultures and languages in the region he directs.
John also serves on the Board of Directors of Haigazian University in Beirut. His other interests include reading, watching movies, playing basketball, listening to music and spending time with friends, especially family.
In 1978 John married Nancy, a missionary from Des Moines, Iowa, who was working in the YFC International headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. They were best of friends and partners in the ministry until Nancy’s death in September 2011.
John and Nancy have two children, both married: Thia, who received her PhD and is working as a post-doctoral researcher out of The Netherlands and Jay, who is a firefighter/paramedic and lives in Rochester, MN, USA.