Bishop Stephen A. Davis, who resigned as senior pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Stonecrest, returned to DeKalb County Tuesday night to lead a rousing Bible study.
Flyers were circulated in the days leading up to what was billed as “ReFresh Tuesdays Bible Study.” It was held at on Snapfinger Woods Drive in Decatur in a space used by another church. A flyer described it as a prayer service for New Birth Family Church.
Davis said after the Bible study, which drew more than 100 people, that they were seeing where this effort would lead.
He was clearly happy to be back among people whom he earlier greeted as “family” and said they were “still New Birth.”
Two ushers wore light blue shirts with New Birth Family Church printed on the back. Offering envelopes had the name of the church with Davis’ name in one corner as senior pastor.
Davis is senior pastor of New Birth Birmingham and New Birth Tuscaloosa. He succeeded the late Bishop Eddie L. Long at the Stonecrest church last year.
Long died Jan. 15, 2017 at age 63 of an aggressive form of cancer.
It’s unclear when New Birth Family Church was formed. Several times during the night he praised Long and “his love for the church.”
He cited Ephesians 5. His message focused on God’s devotion to the church and the parallels of the love Christ has for the church as a husband loves his wife. The name of a church doesn’t matter, nor the number of members.
Davis made few vague references to recent events. While there may not be a lot of understanding about what transpired, he said, what is important, though, is knowing that “God is still on the throne and he’s still alive and well...So, there’s no need to go into all of that.”
Davis, who arrived with his wife, Darlene, was warmly greeted with hugs, handshakes and pats on the back by those gathered, many whom attended or still attend New Birth in Stonecrest, which is located just a few miles away.
Tapped by Long, a prominent megachurch pastor, and the New Birth board of directors as part of the succession plan adopted in 2013, Davis came to the church on the “crest of a highly successful tenure as senior pastor, president and chairman of the board, formerly known as Refiner’s House,” according to a statement at the time.
Davis has had direct ties with Long since 2006. Refiner’s House in Birmingham became a New Birth Church campus in 2011, as part of the New Birth Church expansion.
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