Stephen A. Davis is now the senior pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist church. This news comes quickly following the death of Bishop Eddie Long who died on January 15, 2017. Long died at the age of 63 after a long battle with cancer. The official announcement was made by Vanessa Long, the widow of Bishop Long, during the morning worship services on Sunday, January 29 just a few days after the funeral of Bishop Long.

About the new pastor

Davis is also senior pastor, president, and board chairman of New Birth in Birmingham, Alabama. His assignment begins immediately at New Birth Lithonia.

However, he will continue leading New Birth in Birmingham in addition to the extended campus of New Birth Tuscaloosa.

Davis' wife, Darlene, is pictured with him above. He made a statement that he and Darlene are blessed and thrilled to serve New Birth in Lithonia, with an estimated membership of more than 25,000. He promised to build on the foundation that Bishop Long established. He and Long had been connected since 2006.

Church moving on

It is interesting how quickly things happened at New Birth. For instance, Bishop Long delivered his final sermon at the church earlier this month. He died on January 15, and before the end of the month another pastor was named to start immediately. Usually, churches don't move that quickly in replacing a pastor.

During Vanessa Long's announcement on Sunday, she said the church lost a great leader when her husband died, but he would want the church to move on.

Bishop Long had a succession plan in place since November 2013. He documented that he wanted Stephen A. Davis to succeed him. Davis was approved by the board of directors to be the next pastor.

The Birmingham, Alabama native was considered to be Long's son in the ministry. Eddie Long's son, Edward, had been preaching and filling in during his father's illness, but he wasn't considered for the position. Some people believe he should have been the one to carry on his father's legacy.

Do you think a new pastor was announced too soon after the death of their longtime leader? Also, do you think there should have been a grieving period before another pastor took over the church?