51 years of “good and loyal service”
By SHERRY DIGMON
A special service was held Sunday morning, October 23 at Atmore’s First Assembly of God as members and visitors honored Pastors Don and Sara Davis for “51 years of faithful service and dedicated ministry.”
The couple began their ministry in Sylacauga, Alabama from 1974 to 1987. They then returned to Atmore and have served in the first Atmore assembly since then.
Sunday’s service began with Lori Diller announcing a gift the church is giving the Davises.
“They’re there for us,” Lori said. “They celebrate our highest highs and they are here during our lowest lows. What do you get? What do you give? What do you get someone who deserves the world? You offer them a trip to Israel!
The pastors’ three children each spoke about their parents and their ministry. Of all those at the sanctuary, they know Don and Sara best. They honored their parents with humor, love and the utmost respect.
Only daughter and “favorite child” Sara Beth Davis McCartney said no matter what else is going on in their lives, they never have to wonder if their parents are there for them. Whether it was an after-school program or a sporting event, “I never had to wonder how I was going to get home,” Sara Beth said. “I never had to wonder if anyone was in the stands cheering me on…They always made their mission field their home with gracious and gentle parenting…The same two people that you see here are just as they are at home.”
Josh Davis, the middle child, recounted some of Don and Sara’s accomplishments at the first assembly – Don’s missionary and pre-mission trips, Sara’s founding of Camp AFA for children 22 years ago.
“They’ve always focused on the kids,” Josh said. “They couldn’t have children for ten years. Then they had three children and dedicated them to God. They dedicated your children to God.
About their anointing, Josh said, “Satan hates their anointing. God has always intervened.
David Wilkerson said, ‘God does not anoint lazy preachers or lazy Christians.’
Jared Davis, the eldest child, left Atmore at the age of 20.
“As I left, I experienced different churches, different pastors and pastoring couples,” he said. “In goodness, the Lord let me come to the end of my ministry. I came back and I learned.
Over the past five to seven years, I’ve learned what it means to be loyal to a people and a place.
If there is no honor in a church, God will not be there.
Don and Sara’s family were invited to come to the church, as were members Kelvin Diller and Cynthia Wilson, who prayed for the couple.