EJC Bids Bon-Voyage to Pastor Ray Davis
Written by: Phillip E. L. Castell, Director - Communication, Public Affairs & Religious Liberty | Friday, July 24, 2020
For most, it was a sad occasion but for others it represented the moment when the church said good-bye to one of its young leaders and wished him all the best as he prepared to share Christ and His Kingdom in another part of the world.
In the evening of July 21, 2020, members of the East Jamaica Conference gathered in the VH Percy Center to bid farewell to Pastor Ray Davis who served as Youth Ministries Director from December 2015 to July 17, 2020. The outgoing youth ministries director is set to leave for Canada shortly where he and his children will join his wife, who migrated to Canada late last year.
Pastor Eric Nathan, president, EJC, described Ray Davis as a valuable member of his team who played an important role in the success of the current administration. He also credited him with being the person who challenged him to bring something new to the table prior to his election to the position of president over six years ago.
“It was Pastor Ray who confronted me and asked, “Should you ever be asked to serve as president, what do you have to take to the table?”. From then I began to ask myself some questions and it is out of Pastor Ray’s recommendation that we have the SOFFF (Spirituality, Ownership, Family, Faithfulness and Fellowship) as pillars in our Conference,” Nathan disclosed.
The EJC president described Pastor Davis as one who had a sharp mind and commended him for his ability to see things differently even though sometimes it caused conflict.
“I know that you are someone who think outside of the box and we want to commend you even though we did not always see eye to eye but I have come to realize that our young people have the potential to take the work to a higher level and so I have learnt a lot from him, to see things from a different perspective,” the president said.
The top administrator gave Pastor Davis his blessing and wished him success in his ministry as he moved on to Canada.
In a gesture to show continuity and good sportsmanship, the outgoing Youth Ministries Director passed the baton to Pastor Brian Shaw, the new Youth Ministries Director of the Conference who was appointed by the East Jamaica Conference Executive Committee just minutes before.
Pastor Leabert Williams, Ministerial Secretary of the Conference, described Pastor Davis as a pastor who did outstandingly well as a district pastor and one who did a great job during his tenure as Youth Ministries Director.
“You came in early and I saw your potential and your desire to succeed in ministry,” Williams said when it was his time to offer words of gratitude to the outgoing youth leader.
“You came in as one of the youngest member of the team but you put yourself together and became one of the strongest member of the team. We will always love and remember you and will continue to pray for you and your family.”
Pastor Carl Cunningham, Sabbath School and Personal Ministries Director and assistant to the president for evangelism and training, spoke with mixed feelings when he made his address to his fellow colleague and friend. “I am so happy that they have found someone else to take up the position but there is no other Pastor Ray. I must let you know that I have admired you, I have learnt to respect you and I am really proud of you.”
Words of commendation were poured out upon the outgoing Youth leader and they came from pastors and Conference workers alike.
Pastor Owen Thomas, pastor of the Trench Town District of churches, described Davis as a “brilliant young man and a scholar” who was down to earth and remained himself when he was elected as Youth Director. “I find him to be a committed and Godly young man and one with brilliant ideas,” Thomas said, noting that they both completed their Master’s Degree in the same year and had even been study partners.
Pastor Lorenzo Brown, Community Services Director described Pastor Davis as a decent young man who was a good leader. “Pastor Davis is
my neighbor, both at home and at work and I have never heard anything bad said about this man. I have never seen him or heard him raise his voice and as I watched him lead his army of youth, I said to myself, this man must be sent from God.”
Elder Michael Porteouse, Treasurer of the Conference, spoke glowingly of Pastor Davis and said he always admired his analytic ability. “He was a strategic thinker and we got along well.”
Pastor Davis was presented with a gift from the administration by Elder Claudette Genas, Women, Family, and Adolescents & Children’s Ministries Director who described Davis as a visionary. “For me Ray Davis is energetic, a visionary and a no-nonsense person who you can’t miss when he is around, not because of the noise he makes but because of his suggestions. We will certainly miss him.".
In his farewell speech to his colleagues and fellow pastors, the former youth director thanked everyone for their support in his ministry and wished spiritual and financial growth for the administration for the period ahead. He also thanked the directors and pastors who worked closely with him over the past 5 years and lauded the team for their hard work over the years.
“I can say that the team is a hard working team and the calendar of events will tell you that it is a working team. I just ask that you continue to work with each other and to strive. I want to wish for the administration growth, numerical in terms evangelism and financial growth and I am praying that God will bless the team here at East Jamaica Conference with that kind of blessing.”