About Bishop Sarah Davis
Bishop Sarah Frances Davis is the 126th elected and consecrated Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (A.M.E. Church). Her historic election on July 6, 2004, makes her only the third woman in the 218-year history of the denomination to ascend to its highest level of Episcopal service in African Methodism. Bishop Davis currently serves as the presiding prelate of the16th Episcopal District, comprised of churches and schools in South America (Guyana and Suriname); Windward Islands (Trinidad, Tobago, Barbados and Grenada); the Caribbean Islands (Jamaica, Haiti, Dominican Republic, and Virgin Islands); and Europe (London, the Netherlands and France).
Bishop Davis is affectionately known as the “Prayer Bishop” because of her consistent emphasis on the importance of prayer in the life of the Church. She has organized numerous prayer ministries and sponsored annual prayer conclaves while Presiding Prelate of the 18th Episcopal District (Southern Africa). Bishop Sarah was chairperson of the prayer committee for the 48th Quadrennial Session of the General Conference of the A. M. E. Church. As a result of her leadership, the first Connectional Day of Prayer in African Methodism was held April 13, 2008, and is now an annual observance in African Methodism.
Her first Episcopal assignment was to the 18th Episcopal District, comprised of the Southern African countries of Lesotho, Botswana, Swaziland, and Mozambique. She and her husband Claytie Davis, Jr., lived in Maseru, Lesotho from 2004 through 2008 while serving in Southern Africa. A staunch advocate of empowerment through education, Bishop Davis gave exemplary leadership to over 39 A.M.E. Church-sponsored schools in Southern Africa. She introduced the first ever summer science and math institute program in Lesotho to globalize and develop the knowledge of students and teachers and granted a record number of academic scholarships to young people, adults and clergy while in the 18th District. During her term, two clerics earned degrees in theology from universities in South Africa and Mozambique and four earned diplomas in Theology in Botswana. For the first time, English classes were provided for Portuguese-speaking lay and clergy persons in A.M.E. Churches in Beira, Mozambique which resulted in many receiving English as Second Language (ESL) certificates.
Also, during her tenure in the 18th District, Bishop Davis was a champion for orphaned and vulnerable children. Under her leadership the Selulasandla Vashti Village, an 18th District sponsored orphanage, grew in housing capacity from 4 to 21 orphans. In April 2008, Bishop Sarah dedicated the first A.M.E. Church-sponsored orphanage built in the mountains of Mokhotlong in the country of Lesotho: The T’sepong Cecelia Williams Bryant Home.
Bishop Sarah has experienced a number of “firsts” throughout her ministerial career. Prior to her Episcopal election, it had been almost a century since anyone from Texas had been elected to the office of Bishop in the A.M.E. Church. Bishop Sarah served for seven years as the first female pastor of the 115-year old Bethel A.M.E. Church in San Antonio, Texas having been appointed there by Bishop John R. Bryant in 1997. With this appointment, Bishop Sarah became the first woman in Texas to be appointed to a major A.M.E. Church. Also in 1997, Bishop Sarah became the first woman in the Connectional A.M.E. Church to be appointed chair of a Board of Examiners, serving as Chair of Board of Examiners for the Tenth Episcopal District (State of Texas). Ebony Magazine named Bishop Sarah as one of the 50 Most Intriguing Persons for 2004.
Bishop Sarah has served as a member of the Board of Trustees for the Houston Graduate School of Theology; served as Chair of the Global Development Council (GDC) of the A.M.E. Church (2009-2011); currently serves as a member of the Jamaica Council of Churches; and is a member of the World Methodist Council (WMC) through 2016. In August 2011, in Durban, South Africa, Bishop Davis was elected Vice President of the World Methodist Council which links the family of Methodist, Wesleyan and related Union Churches in more than 132 countries with nearly 43 million members belonging to these churches worldwide.
Bishop Sarah is well prepared and trained to perform in all areas of her life’s calling having earned a Doctor of Ministry degree from Southern Methodist University Perkins School of Theology, a Master of Divinity from the Houston Graduate School of Theology, a Master of Science from New York Pace University, and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of North Texas.
A much sought after preacher, teacher and workshop leader, Bishop Sarah has ministered throughout the United States, West Africa, Southern and South Africa, France, Turkey and the Bahamas. In 2007, at the invitation of King Mswati, III of Swaziland, she was one of three clergy persons to preach at the National Easter Service in Swaziland and she brought the message at the Ecumenical Service of the Centennial Boule of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, July 2008, in Washington, D.C. Bishop Davis is a lifetime member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.
Bishop Sarah is married to Claytie Davis, Jr., a retired manager of Southwestern Bell, who now serves as the Episcopal Supervisor for the 16th Episcopal District. The Davises have two sons and a daughter in love: Corey B. Davis, and Dr. Claytie Davis, III, and wife Yolanda. The greatest personal joy for Bishop Sarah and Supervisor Davis is spending quality time with their only grandchild, Alexandra Morgan Davis.
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