“Leaving a legacy of hope for future generations”
It is impossible to capture one man’s life accomplishments, trials, and testimonies in a format as this. We pray you will read and identify with the wonderful and vibrant spirit of Pastor, Dr. Alfred Davis, Sr. – husband, father, pastor, brother, uncle, and lead-servant of Jesus Christ.
One of Pastor’s guiding scriptures is:
The Spirit of the LORD is upon me, because He has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and
recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
Luke 4:18, 19(KJV/NIV)
“The Spirit of the LORD is upon me, because He has anointed me…” born in Vaiden, Mississippi, Pastor Davis was saved at 12 years old and anointed to serve God and His people. It was at 16 years old where he heard the voice of the Lord calling him to an impactful purpose. In some of his later messages, he would share with the listeners how he told his pastor, Pastor Jerry Jones, that God called him to preach. Often, Pastor Jones would shew him away until one day young Alfred said to him the final word God gave him about his calling. Ultimately, Pastor Jones agreed and allowed 16-year-old Alfred to conduct revivals. God used him in miraculous ways during those revivals.
“To preach the gospel to the poor…” He was the 3rd son of Sherman Sr. and Susie Davis’ seven sons and recalls a time when he was tongue-tied and barefoot in the segregated community of Mississippi. (Perhaps his own experience of humble beginnings gave Pastor Davis a heart for people who were poor and underprivileged). Unbeknownst to him, his beginnings would be the foundation of his life-long purpose to take care of God’s people.
At 18, he enlisted in the United States Air Force which transferred him and his family to McChord Air Force Base in Tacoma, WA. This is where his purpose manifested.
Pastor Davis started Eastside Community Church of God in Christ (COGIC) in 1964 on the eastside of Tacoma, Washington, the more impoverished and underserved community in the city. While others leased and bought buildings to start their churches, Pastor Davis was the first COGIC pastor to buy land and build his church. Some called it “crazy”, but Pastor’s faith in God allowed him to build with $25 and 12 members: most on fixed incomes.
He not only preached the gospel to the poor, but he also operated a feeding program for 10 years, managed a scholarship program for students in east Tacoma for 15 years, instituted an affordable, private Christian academy and opened a daycare for low-income families.
“He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted…” He always had a heart for restoring the brokenhearted. Without judgment, he demonstrated that God is love and He is the one who will heal and restore you back to God, your families, society, and the church.
With prayer, faith and $1300, he created the Alpha House, a place to help heal teens addicted to drugs and alcohol. The Alpha House gave the message of God’s love for them and clinically treated them. This organization operated on land owned by Eastside Community Church.
“He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind…” Pastor has written and visited prisoners, letting them know they do not have to be spiritually bound; God can set them free in their minds and spirit. Many gave their lives to God while in prison because of his ministry.
As part of his legacy, he purchased over one hundred acres of land in the town of Yelm in 1974 to implement a preventive and intervention program for at-risk youth. As a youth, he escaped the devices of street gangs and wanted to ensure young people, especially young Black men, had other options in life. For example, they learned farming, carpentry, animal husbandry, agriculture, and an experience in nature that most of them never had. It continues to serve as a home for foster children today.
“…to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor (NIV).” Countless people can testify how God has used Pastor Davis to demonstrate the unfailing and unconditional love of God; that always has been the theme in his ministry.
If we were to list some core principles Dr. Alfred C. Davis, Sr. talked and walked, we would list FAITH IN GOD, FAMILY, FELLOWSHIP and LOVE
FAITH IN GOD
Every Sunday when rebuilding the church after its fire in 1998, Pastor Davis would have the members recite Mark 11:22 – 26. His life’s experiences and accomplishments were all built on faith in God. Faith is what allowed him to build the first church and rebuild the second church. Faith is what allowed him to bring gospel artists O’landa Draper, Ricky Dillard, Hezekiah Walker, and Donald Lawrence for an unprecedented benefit concert. Faith is what allowed him to build and maintain relationships with church and civic leaders. FAITH.
By the time Pastor Davis finished talking to someone who did not believe something was possible, they not only believed it was possible, but would give their resources to help see it achieved.
When the church burned in 1998, after going through some health challenges, money challenges, inadequate work from the first contractor, Pastor Davis would see the vision God told him, “Build it bigger”. He would sit in the congregation looking at the structure which was bigger than the first building and would shake his head wondering why it was bigger. At that time, he had about 40 people attending Sunday worship, but he obeyed God. No way would the current Sunday attendance fit into the size of the first building. Today, the members of Eastside are reaping the seeds of obedience he has sown.
Pastor Davis was the third eldest son of his parents, Sherman Sr. and Susie, and 6 brothers. His mother placed the mantels of prayer and love on Pastor Davis and his father taught them the meaning and value of the family unit staying together. He taught them to be proud being a Davis as there were grand expectations of them. This same lesson Pastor Davis taught his six children – Alfred Jr., Jerome, Darlene “Princess,” Angel, Alex, and Aldrick. He raised his children as his parents did – love God, love each other and stick together because you are a Davis. Although, they are a blended family, they never refer to each other as “half-brother or half-sister,” but that’s my “brother or sister.” They laugh when they remember their dad telling them, “You don’t need any friends, you have each other.”
In 1978, Pastor married, Mother Mary Davis, his “Black Gold”. An early introduction to her was when Mother Mary’s son, Bernard, was tragically killed in an auto accident. At that time, he was serving as the chaplain for the Tacoma Police Department. He offered prayer and comfort to her and her daughter, Darlene. Later, she would attend a revival conducted by his cousin, Dr. John I. Davis, there Pastor Davis was praying for people with his eyes closed. He laid hands on her and realized that his prayer was asking her to marry him! For the next 44 years they continued to build a legacy of hope for future generations.
His children often reminisce about how Pastor Davis would work tirelessly serving people. They tell funny stories of being on “display” to quote Martin Luther King’s, “I have a dream speech” or Abraham Lincoln’s, “Emancipation Proclamation” in the name of raising funds for the Eastside Christian Academy. They have built many long-lasting relationships, adopted aunts, uncles, and cousins with many people in the church, Eastside Christian Academy, and community through their father’s relationships. But, even with his busy schedule, he would take his family on 30-day road trips across the country in their motor home. To this day, the family makes time to celebrate everyone’s birthdays and holidays together because of the message of sticking together instilled in them.
One thing you can certainly say about Dr. Alfred C. Davis is he had an amazing ability to connect with people from all diverse racial and societal backgrounds. He knew how to fellowship with the most prominent to the most underprivilege persons and give each of them his undivided attention. He knew the right language to speak to business owners, politicians, community leaders and church leaders for them to come together for common good. How did he build his churches? How did he establish a day care center? How did he sit on boards such as the Tacoma Housing Authority? How did he help city mayors get elected? How did he preach from the pulpit of University Place Presbyterian Church and teach them how to clap on the 2 and 4? And do so much more? FELLOWSHIP
Pastor Davis did not know a stranger. His spirit was welcoming, his ear attentive and his smile contagious. He connected with people whom he did not seem to have anything in common at first. He was about fellowship. He would have people to his home for dinner and he would have dinners after church almost weekly for years. He was able to meet people where they were and through Holy Spirit loved them to where they needed to be. FELLOWSHIP
Pastor Davis was taught love through his mother who ensured it always filled their home. From his grandparents he observed the teachings of Christ and the art of Christian living (they always shared their food with those who were less fortunate). They taught him the lesson of sharing, teaching that God will bless your endeavors when you are concerned for those who are less fortunate.
Pastor Davis demonstrated and taught the scriptures in Matthew 22:37-39 – 37, Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[c] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
He told a story to the congregation as a lesson for the Eastside Church family. At times, he would hop on a Greyhound and let it take him anywhere in the country just to meditate and enjoy the beauty of the God’s land. He told how he visited a church, did not tell them he was pastor, sat in the back of the church, stayed through the whole service and no one greeted him. He did not feel any love from the church. He vowed and told Eastside that no one will ever walk into Eastside and not feel love. He demonstrated it and that mindset continues with the current members of Eastside.
Above all, you must have love for each other he taught and was an example of God’s love.
- “You need the Holy Ghost. What you do not know, the Holy Ghost does.”
- “Love God with your all of heart, mind, and strength. Love your neighbor has yourself”
- “Have faith in God”
- “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!”
- “You must know in whom you believe!”
- “All that I’ve been through, all that I’ve been through! It hasn’t shaken my belief that God is God!”
- “Fear keeps you from receiving what you need”
- “You have to catch a fish before you clean it”
- “Happiness is a state of mind”
- “What a friend we have in Jesus”
- “Doing it, does it!”
SOME OF HIS FAVORITE SCRIPTURES
- Psalm 1
- 3 John 2
- Psalm 91
- Isaiah 61
- Psalm 1:19 – 20
- Mark 11:22 – 26
He loved to dance for the Lord in praise, sing, and play his cymbals in church. Loved his wife’s cooking especially her chocolate cake, loved Snickers candy bar, emulated the prayer life of Bishop Mason, loved the church, loved community, believed in uplifting the plight of Black people, loved his children, loved bubble gum, westerns, guitar playing, handclapping, foot-stomping gospel music and loved to laugh. A student of the Word of God as well as other religions. He was welcoming and loved by countless people. And although, his body is not present, his legacy will continue to future generations.
Pastor Davis is survived by his wife Mary L. Davis, his children – Al (Veronika) Davis Jr., Darlene Spenser, Jerome (Monique), Angel Davis, Alex (Tralayne) Davis, and Aldrick Davis, Lisa Collins. Grandchildren; Depri, Kayla, Alfred III (Alicia), Darmon, Zyniah, Mary, Caleb, Chris, Brianna, Ariana, Charlotte, Jerome Jr., Emoni, James, Chan’el, Bucky, Keneetah, Ricky, Anthony, Kristal, Haydia. 10 great grandchildren; Kiara, Aldrick, Amari, Kaylani, Kobe, Zakiera, Nesya, Elijah, Caleb. His brothers Wylie (Glenda) Davis, Sol (LaShun) Diaze, and Jerry Davis. Godchildren; Mavis (Howard), Jackie and Annette. He has countless nieces, nephews, grand nieces, and nephews and special extended family. He is preceded in death by his parents – Sherman Sr. and Susie Davis, his brothers – Sherman Jr., Harold Sr., and Guy Lee, his son, Bernard.
East Side Community Church 4420 E Portland Ave, Tacoma, WA 98404 Thursday, August 11, 2022 11am-7pm
Life Center 1717 S Union Ave, Tacoma, WA 98405 Friday, August 12, 2022 | Final viewing 9:30am – 10:15am | Funeral 10:30am
His life reflected in the community: