Pastor Daniel Davis, who served the Seventh-day Adventist Church on
multiple levels for some 60 years, died on April 3, 2013, at his home in
Georgia. He was 88. He began his career in the Allegheny East Conference
(AEC) in 1951 as a pastor-evangelist for some 13 churches. In 1963 he
joined the conference office where he led several ministries for some 10
years. He went on to serve six years as director of Youth Ministries
and Health and Temperance for the Columbia Union Conference. From 1982
to 1993 he served the world church as Youth Ministries director in the
former Africa-Indian Ocean Division. When he retired in 1994, he
continued serving AEC for another seven years as a volunteer trust
officer, director of senior citizen housing and eventually as president
of the Fifty-Plus Association.
Though he was ill for the past few years, Davis’ wife, Elizabeth, said
he was still very alert and committed to his faith. She said that
visitors to their home one day asked him to share why he married
Elizabeth, and he said, “She led me to the church. She led me to God.”
Elizabeth shared that although he was a Christian when they met, Davis
knew nothing about the Adventist Church. He learned about the church
after he left the military and began attending Friday night services at
her house. “He just fell in love with this church and fell in love with
God,” she said. “He was coming to church for a whole year and paying
tithe before he was baptized. My husband discovered Daniel 2 and that
convinced him of the truth of the Adventist Church.”
Davis was a medical student at the University of Pittsburgh when he
visited Oakwood College (Ala.). After doing so he transferred schools to
continue his medical training, but soon switched to the ministry.
“We’ve thoroughly enjoyed the ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist
Church,” Elizabeth said.
According to his wife, when Davis became a Youth Ministries director in
the Africa-India Division, he was only the second black American to do
so. Davis, whose name graces AEC’s Camp Danny Davis youth camp, was also
credited for innovations in outreach, Prison Ministries, community
services and Pathfinders.
Ted N.C. Wilson, who served as a departmental director and then
secretary for the Africa-India Division and is now president of the
worldwide Seventh-day Adventist Church, remembers Davis fondly.
“During the nine years that we lived in Abidjan, a longtime friendship
developed with Elder and Mrs. Davis. His tremendous commitment to the
Lord and to young people was evident in his life and his work. The
church is grateful to him and Betty for their dedicated service to the
Seventh-day Adventist Church,” Wilson recalls. “We extend heartfelt
condolences to his family and close friends as they take comfort in the
Holy Spirit, and look forward to the soon return of our Lord and
Charles Cason, a former AEC area Pathfinder coordinator who worked with
Davis for decades, starting in the 1960s remembers Davis as “good
people” and someone who was very supportive of other people’s ideas.
Cason also recalls working with Davis during the Civil Rights Movement
in D.C. and Baltimore. “We helped feed people and distributed clothing
down at the Lincoln monument,” Cason recalled.
Davis leaves behind Elizabeth, his wife of 65 years; his daughter,
Elizabeth Davis-Bell; his son, Danny and his wife, Kathy; six
grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
-"Former Columbia Union, Allegheny East Youth Ministries Director Dies," Columbia Union Visitor Staff, April 10, 2013 (http://www.columbiaunion.org/article/1257/news/2013-news-archives/april-10-2013-former-columbia-union-allegheny-east-youth-ministries-director-dies#.VSAsluGT4q0)