Born into Druze political, military, and religious aristocracy, orphaned at 7 years of age after the assassination of his father Prosecutor Generale and Judge Mahmoud Fudlallah Hamadé and the unfortunate death of his younger sister, Aida Hamadé in Lebanon, as well as the murder of his mother and half-sister in the U.S., Louis Bahjat Mahmoud Hamada spent his childhood and young adulthood singing and acting in Beirut and Cairo.
He soon discovered and befriended a young lady named Nouhad Haddad who later became known as Fairuz – the MidEast’s most beloved and accomplished musician – after he introduced her to the Rahbani brothers.
He emigrated in 1954 to join his older brother Ismat Hamadeh (d. 2015) and sister Dr. Sania Hamady (d. 1990) in the U.S. and temporarily returned to Beirut in 1964 to marry the former Hanan Ibrahim Souki (div. 2000).
Louis Hamada was many things throughout his life from a singer and actor in the Middle East, to a bellboy at Mackinac Island’s Grand Hotel, a driving instructor in Chicago, an opera singer in Miami, a oud performer in Chicago’s International Club, a boxing instructor and construction worker in Kirksville, Missouri, a high school band director in Virginia (where he won “First Chair of America”), New York, and California, to a soccer coach and college professor in Tennessee.
As an Arabic and a Western Classical musician, his vocal styles were heavily influenced by Mario Lanza, Abdel Halim Hafez, and Abdel Wahab.
Louis Hamada came to Christ in 1958 after a devastating car accident that took the lives of four of his friends in Kirksville, Missouri. Louis Kaye, a Jewish Brooklyn-based attorney introduced him to Southern Baptist missionaries in New Jersey who led him to Christ.
In 1982, he made the shift away from music to theology and became a world-renowned theologian and missiologist focusing on the evangelizing of Muslims.
Dr. Hamada was an alum of the University of Miami (BA), Florida State University (MA, PhD) where he also founded the Fencing Club and was inducted into the professional music fraternity Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Dallas Theological Seminary (MABS), and Oxford University (DLitt). He was also an alumnus of the Pierre Monteux School of Solfage and Conducting. He authored four best selling books “God Loves The Arabs, Too”, “Understanding the Arab World” (requested by the White House, Secretary of State, CIA, and several members of GWHB’s cabinet), “Arabs and Jews in Biblical Perspective”, and “Is The Holy Land Holy?”.
Throughout his later life, Dr. Hamada discipled many pastors and missionaries through his verse-by-verse study of scripture, as well as other Christians who wanted a deeper knowledge of the Bible and a closer walk with the Lord. His works were radically transformative in organizational approaches to Muslim evangelism in many Western Christian mission organizations including Campus Crusade for Christ, Operation Mobilization, Frontiers, Open Doors, YWAM, SIM, etc…. He taught at many churches and seminaries in the US, Singapore, and Europe to include Columbia Biblical Seminary, Biola University, and Dallas Theological Seminary.
His classic dry wit, warm and loving heart, contagious perseverance, infectious conviction, appreciation of beauty in music, art, and film, his solid dedication to Jesus Christ, and his self-denying unshakable integrity and discipline endeared him to all who were close to him. He will be greatly missed.
Dr. Louis Hamada is survived by his son Dr. Omar Louis Hamada, his daughter Sandra Hamada Combs (Andrew), and his six grandchildren: Nathan Andrew Combs, Gabriella Maye Hamada, Naji Alexander Combs, Annelise Nicole Hamada, Nicholas Omar Hamada, and Josiah Alexander Hamada.
The family requests donations be given in his honor to Brother Andrews’ ministry Open Doors which takes the Gospel of Jesus Christ to those peoples who live in areas restricted to the Gospel.
Visitation will be from 1-3 PM November 9, Saturday afternoon, at Woodland Baptist Church in Jackson, TN. The funeral will begin at 3 PM with burial to follow at Ridgecrest Cemetery.