It is often said in religious circles that confession is good for the soul. But for the long-time pastor of a Bridgeport, Conn. church, confession proved deadly.
Bishop Bobby Davis was the pastor of the Miracle of Faith World Outreach Church. On March 9, Davis allegedly spoke to members of his congregation about cheating on his wife, Christine Davis, the church’s first lady, according to Blackchristiannews.com.
According to some reports, his wife asked him to talk to the congregation about the alleged indiscretion that he had confessed to her earlier that day.
“After the service on Sunday, the bishop’s family asked us to remain in the church and the bishop confessed to us something that happened a long time ago,” church elder Judy Stovall told Christianpost.com. “He wanted to come clean with all of us. He wanted to ask our forgiveness.”
As Bishop Davis spoke, members of the church are reported to have been very vocal, some even raising their voices. Church members have reported to media outlets that they were shouting affirmations as a sign of support, not criticizing the pastor as he spoke.
After his confession, Davis collapsed. He had apparently suffered a massive heart attack. He was taken to Bridgeport Hospital, where he was pronounced dead a short time later.
Christianpost.com reported that Bishop Davis, who had been married to his wife for 50 years and who had started the church in 1967, was a certified marriage and family therapist.
The Christian website also quoted an anonymous source who knew the bishop who said it was actually the church’s first lady who told the members about the alleged affair. Davis later entered the sanctuary and was surprised that the news had been revealed. The source said it was Bishop Davis’ family, not the congregants, who reacted angrily.
Church officials could not be reached by the AFRO.
The church’s website contained no reference to the bishop’s death. The site said Bishop Davis was saved at 22, has a doctorate in ministry and a master’s in theological studies and is certified through the American Society of Christian Therapists. He was a regular guest on Trinity Broadcasting and also was featured at Promise Keepers, Christian seminars for men. He was ordained a bishop of the Eastern Connecticut Diocese, Higher Ground Always Abounding Ministries in June 2010 at The Potter’s House in Dallas, the church pastored by the world-renowned Bishop T.J. Jakes.
His wife, known as Chris, is an ordained elder who has assisted him for 45 years.
“She is a woman of prayer and the Word who believes that her first obligation of ministry is not to the local church or to the world, but to her husband and family,” the church website said.
The Davises had six children and eight grandchildren as of February 2013.
According to Facebook posts, a viewing is scheduled for March 20 and the funeral services will be held the next day at Mount Airy Baptist Church in Bridgeport.
On Facebook, one mourner called the bishop “a forerunner” who laid a “spiritual foundation” that still guides her many years later.
“You weren’t perfect, none of us are,” posted Sylvia Jones. “But you were a man of God. We will uphold your legacy. My condolences to everyone who loved him.”