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Former Columbia Union, Allegheny East Youth Ministries Director Dies

Story by Visitor Staff
Published 4/10/2013

Pastor Daniel Davis, who served the Seventh-day Adventist Church on multiple levels for some 60 years, died on April 3 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 Savior.”
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.
A memorial service will be held at the Pine Forge (Pa.) church on April 28 at 1 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be made to:

The National Pine Forge Academy Alumni Association
P. O. Box 241
Pine Forge, PA 19548
Sympathy cards may be sent to:
Mrs. Elizabeth Davis & Family
2781 Long Way Decatur, GA 30032

Tributes can be shared on the Allegheny East Conference Youth Ministries Facebook page.

COMMENTS POLICY: The Columbia Union Conference Visitor encourages quality conversation and welcomes your thoughtful comments. All comments are subject to approval but will not be edited. Please limit your comments to 500 words or less. Only one comment per person will be published.

Wezlynn Davis
2013-04-25 10:29 AM

Every time I saw Pastor Davis he had a smile on his face.  His stern but quite voice captured your attention every time he spoke.  You didn't have to see him yet you knew it was him.  Being a Pathfinder years ago, I remember all of the honor patches and pins bestowed on him.  He was a decorated man and NO doubt a decorated man on that great day with the coming of our Lord.  There will not be enough room for the stars on his crown so Jesus will have to give him a much bigger one.
My words to the family.  Don't fret he's just sleeping and waiting.  So now rejoice in your hearts feeling:  you can't wait to see him again.

With comfort and love,

Wezlynn Davis
The First Seventh Day Adventis Church, Washington DC