By Victor Ochieng
It’s a new dawn for Lithonia, Georgia-based New Birth Missionary Baptist Church. After the death of the church’s long-serving Bishop Eddie Long, Bishop Stephen A. Davis was named the new spiritual leader of the church.
Before being honored by the new role, Davis served as pastor at the Refiner’s House church in Birmingham, Alabama, a church that later changed to a New Birth Church expansion.
New Birth Church introduced Davis in his new capacity on Sunday, January 29. His wife, Darlene Davis, will thus assume the position of the church’s First Lady as they wear their new leadership robes.
The website of his former native church in Birmingham says, “A native of Birmingham, Alabama, Bishop Stephen A. Davis graduated from Pinson Valley High School. He also completed Seminary and Church Growth Courses through the International Pentecostal Holiness Association located in Montgomery, Alabama. He obtained his master’s and Ph.D. in theology from the accredited and international New Birth Bible Institute … On Nov. 13, 2015, Apostle Long consecrated and ordained Pastor Davis as the fifth Bishop in the Global Apostolic Council which helps govern the Lord’s Church.”
Davis and his wife have been husband and wife for close to three decades and have been blessed with three daughters and two grandchildren. Besides their biological children, the couple has also been foster and surrogate parents to a number of children. Speaking recently, the Bishop said, “My wife Darlene and I are blessed beyond measure and thoroughly thrilled to serve New Birth Lithonia, building on the foundation that Bishop Long established for this amazing ministry.”
As Davis assumes his new role, he’ll be picking up a mountainous task of rebuilding the church’s image, which was badly dented after Bishop Long was accused by four men of coercing them into a s*xual relationship with him. Things got worse after Long went into an out-of-court agreement with the men, agreeing to pay them an undisclosed amount of money.
Long may have thought that by settling the issue out of court it would die down. Instead, it just led to more questions on why, if he was innocent, he had to part with money in the name of a settlement. In fact, it resulted in a feeling that Long may have actually been guilty of the accusations leveled against him.
Let’s just wish Bishop Davis God’s blessings as he takes over leadership at the church.