New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Georgia, shot down online rumors Monday that Bishop Stephen A. Davis, the church’s senior pastor and successor to the late Bishop Eddie Long, had resigned after just a year on the job.
“Bishop Stephen Allen Davis has not resigned and is currently the bishop and senior pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in both Birmingham, Alabama and Stonecrest, Georgia. He along with his family are committed to continuing the legacy of Bishop Eddie L. Long in further advancing the Kingdom,” Davis’ executive administrator, Michelle Porter, said in a statement to The Christian Post Monday.
Citing information from unnamed sources Sunday, the Obnoxious Media blog claimed that Davis had resigned and the church was in foreclosure.
“Obnoxious Media learned about a week ago that the last Sunday in February will be Bishop Stephen A. Davis’ last Sunday as Pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church where the late Bishop Eddie Lee Long pastored. It seems that it has not been a very good situation for Davis. Taking over the work of the controversial Pastor, who died under a cloud of suspicion has proven to be far too difficult for a man that had a good church of his own in Birmingham,” the blog stated.
“Now rumor has it that Edward Long, the oldest son of the [late] bishop is possibly going to sue Davis over some serious financial issues. As a result, Bishop Stephen A. Davis has given his letter of resignation to the New Birth trustees,” the blog added.
Porter said she had no idea where any of that information came from and insisted that the church is not in foreclosure.
“None of that is true,” she said. “We don’t have any information on that.”
In January 2017, New Birth Missionary Baptist Church announced Bishop Davis as the church’s new pastor.
Long, who died Jan. 15, 2017, documented a succession plan in November 2013, naming Davis, whom he called a spiritual son, to succeed him.
A week after the church had announced him as its new pastor, Davis declared that the church would flourish and move on from Long’s death.
“They thought we weren’t going to get over the transition of our father but our sweet days are here!” he said. “They thought we were always going to be down; they thought we would never get up again. Rise up New Birth!”
In The Untold Story: The Story of Adversity, Pain & Resilience, a book Long published just over six months before his death, he said New Birth had more than 25,000 members at the height of his career. After he faced down multiple allegations of sexual abuse from a number of young men, however, the church suffered and membership dropped to about 8,000 to 10,000 members in 2016. It is unclear how many members the church currently has.
Long is survived by his wife, Vanessa, and four children, Eric, Edward, Jared and Taylor, as well as three grandchildren.
SOURCE: The Christian Post – Leonardo Blair