North Carolina Baptist Leaders Remember Nations Ford Pastor Phillip Davis

Phillip M. Davis
Phillip M. Davis

A prominent Southern Baptist pastor in North Carolina died Aug. 29 in an accidental shooting in his home, according to news reports.

Phillip M. Davis, founder and senior pastor of Nations Ford Community Church in Charlotte, reportedly was cleaning his pistol at the time of the incident in Weddington, N.C. The pistol fired, hitting his chest, the Charlotte Observer reported. In the story, the Union County sheriff’s office said there were no signs of foul play.

Milton A. Hollifield Jr., Baptist State Convention of North Carolina executive director-treasurer, described Davis as “a friend and a man blessed with great vision and strong determination.”

“Not only was he a popular and respected pastor in North Carolina,” Hollifield noted, “but he and Cynthia [his wife] are loved and respected by many people across the Southern Baptist Convention.”

Nations Ford was in the midst of a founder’s celebration. Special services Aug. 26-28 were to be followed by two different speakers Sunday, Aug. 30. The church was celebrating 36 years of ministry under Davis’ leadership. Davis and his wife were celebrating 42 years together, and Davis would have turned 63 Sunday.

“Today is a very sad day for us here at Nations Ford Community Church,” church spokeswoman Jacinda Garabito told the Charlotte Observer. “It’s a shock to us. This morning was supposed to be a huge day of celebration for us.”

The church’s usual live Sunday broadcast was suspended. Members were invited to grieve and pray, and the messages that had been scheduled were cancelled.

A statement from the church said “Bishop Davis was a prolific, focused man of vision as well as an effective leader who served God selflessly and touched countless lives. His teachings were profound and transformative. His passion was to help people reach their fullest potential in Christ and to ‘Occupy Their Destiny.'”

Davis served the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina as first vice president in 1996-97. He planted several churches throughout the United States. He founded the Male Leadership Academy of Charlotte and Envision Life School of Leadership and Ministry.

He had a business degree from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio, and received his master of ministry and doctor of divinity degrees from the Carolina School of Theology. Davis wrote “The Vision Casting Congregation” and “Father Force.” His book, “The Untapped Power of a Man,” was scheduled for release soon.

He also was on the board for North Carolina Division of Social Services. Davis’s radio broadcast, “Envision Life,” has aired for many years on WordNet Radio.

“Through his wisdom from God and unique gift of leadership, he was most instrumental in leading … Nations Ford … to become a strong and influential church that greatly impacted numerous communities in Charlotte and beyond,” Hollifield said. “I always respected Brother Phil and admired how he led his parishioners to give God their best efforts and always in everything pursue excellence. We will miss his influence in the Christian movement and his magnetic personality, but the investment of his life in others, for God’s glory, will never be forgotten.”

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SOURCE: Baptist Press
Dianna L. Cagle


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