Bishop Stephen Davis steps down at New Birth after 16 months

Bishop Stephen A. Davis, shown with his wife, Darlene, also leads New Birth Birmingham in Alabama, which he founded as Refiners House Church before it  joined the New Birth family in 2010.

Sixteen months after his arrival as New Birth Missionary Baptist Church's new leader, Bishop Stephen A. Davis has stepped down.

The Lithonia-based church said in a June 5 statement that its board of directors accepted Davis' resignation.

It said Davis is returning to Birmingham to concentrate on the former Refiners House Church, the ministry he founded that became a part of the New Birth family in 2010.

The statement said Davis is bittersweet about stepping down.

“I love my New Birth Family both in Birmingham and Stonecrest,” he said. “However, at this time my wife, my children and the New Birth Birmingham family need my full attention.”

Davis and his wife, Darlene, were formally introduced to the New Birth congregation on Jan. 29, 2017, four days after  the  Jan. 25 Celebration of Life service for the late Bishop Eddie Long.

The charismatic and controversial Long grew New Birth from a sleepy little church of 300 members on Snapfinger Road in Decatur to an international ministry with more than 25,000 during it heyday in the early 2000s.

At his January 2017 introduction, the church said Davis would also continue leading New Birth Birmingham and oversee the extended campus of New Birth Tuscaloosa.

On Tuesday, it said “the New Birth family expresses deep love and sincere gratitude to Davis 'for leading and guiding our congregation with heartfelt dedication and commitment, while advancing the Kingdom of God.'”  

Davis said his Birmingham church will remain a New Birth Church and will maintain a relationship with the New Birth Stonecrest Congregation.

The statement did not say when his departure takes effect and the church did not respond to questions about it.