Leadership is practiced not so much in words, as it is in attitudes and actions. So, when ABWE conducted a presidential search last year, the organization sought someone whose entire life reflected leadership, humility, service and missions.
Paul Davis was serving as senior pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in Holland MI, and sat on the ABWE Board. His wife, Martha, was working as a high school principal for a Christian school. They were content in their ministries when God called them to ABWE in November 2017.
“As part of the ABWE Board, I was praying for the right leader to come,” Paul said, laughing. “I hadn’t considered the idea that it was going to be us.”
But after considering the assignment, God began to put the pieces into place, and the Davises felt confirmation on the Lord leading them into a new era of ministry impact—resourcing and equipping those serving the Great Commission work around the world.
Long before this assignment, Paul had begun cultivating a ministry philosophy that was focused on leading and discipling new believers, and empowering people to use their gifts for the Kingdom.
No one probably saw this philosophy play out more than the Davises four children.
“My parents lived out their faith in our home and in their ministries,” says Rachael Davis, who now works in the Senate in Washington, D.C. “They are known for putting people first and serving others.”
“When my dad was a pastor, he’d take the calls at 2 a.m., and get up and go to the prison,” or in one case, the accident scene of a fatal crash that took the life of Rachael’s high school friend.
“They love people and give everything to serve them, even at a cost to themselves,” she said with tears in her eyes.
As Paul and Martha hosted missionaries in their home over the years, their children learned their greatest desire was to teach others to follow God.
“Every night, we would pray that our children would understand why we are here and have a heart of obedience,” says Martha. “If they had that, no matter where their paths lead, they can serve God in fulfilling His purpose.”
Now, the Davises want to focus on helping missionaries use their gifts and fulfill their purpose.
Paul is known as a strong communicator and an innovative spiritual overseer, with experience in team building, fundraising, leadership development and ministry growth. He and his wife, Martha, have been married for 28 years, and have both served in numerous roles in Christian ministry and education.
Recently, Paul’s appointment was made official at an installation ceremony held at the ABWE International Headquarters in Harrisburg, PA.
“I am just one person and ABWE is about Jesus Christ and His church,” Paul told several hundred people in attendance. “Jesus Christ is the reason for ABWE. It is about His mission. He is the purpose and strength behind ABWE. If we flourish, it won’t be because of a president’s creed or an 8-point plan for leadership. It will be because of His good favor.”
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