The Honorable Bishop RF Davis, Sr.
With only $2.50, a recently deceased wife, five small children and a mind for mission, young R.F. Davis moved back to South Carolina and launched an international movement that would become The Greater Highway Churches of Christ!
Raymond F. Davis lived in the Philadelphia area during the early 40's when World War II was taking place. Along with many others, he was drafted into the Armed Services and passed the
test for enlistment. While awaiting the call for departure, a great change was made in his life. A revival meeting was held in Sharon Hill, Pennsylvania conducted by Evangelist Dunston wherein
the preaching of the Gospel convicted his heart and he obeyed the Word of God and received the Baptism in Jesus Name and the Holy Ghost. Because of the tremendous reversal of events that occurred in his new life, he began to study and retain the Word of God and was blessed with
much wisdom concerning the scriptures.
In the ensuing months, he received a call into the ministry of God's Army and his steps were ordered to serve under the pastoral guidance of the late Elder Jonah Covington who was affiliated with the Highway Christian Church of Christ, whose Chairman was Bishop James T.
As Minister Davis yielded to the move of God to share the "good news of salvation" with others, he traveled to South Carolina in 1947 and taught from house to house both family, friends and as many as would hear. A number received the blessing of being baptized and awaited the
empowerment of the Holy Ghost. He never left the recipients alone because he traveled back and forth from Pennsylvania to South Carolina and his ministry continued to grow.
Upon opening his first church in Sharon Hill in 1948 he carried out the duties of his calling with the late Bishop Albert B. and Mother Edna D. Johnson assisting and supporting the ministry. Astime progressed, the cares of this life did not hinder him to cease working for the Master. His late wife became gravely ill and was committed to the hospital for years before her demise.
Minister Davis had many heartfelt decisions to make regarding his children that required having others assist in their care. Further plans had to be made for the house of God as well, so he relinquished the leadership over to the Elder Albert B. Johnson. When Elder Davis returned to the Southlands he met the need for providing a place of worship for the new converts and candidates for baptism in his ministry. An old house became available in Centenary and required remodeling to accommodate that which would be suitable for God's services. As he began to teach and preach God added unto the church such as should be saved.
Unto these blessings were added the purchase of an old theatre building on West Liberty Street in Marion, South Carolina with the help of the late Bishop James T. Morris of Washington, D.C. With hard work and much sacrifice, the building was converted into a church and the blessings
of the God began to multiply. After the opening, he was ordained to become Elder R.F. Davis.
He served in the Highway Christian Church of Christ as National Secretary as well as Overseer of the State of South Carolina. As God ordered his steps Elder Davis resigned his tenure and the birth of the Highway Church of Christ Association, Incorporated was chartered in 1955 with an affiliation of other pastors including Mother Elmyra Balance of Camden, New Jersey, Elder Alfred Bell of Fort Lauderdale, Florida and Elder Fred A. Page of Baltimore, Maryland. God blessed the body of believers to bring forth and establish many more churches over the oncoming years. To some, this was a new doctrine that had not been so profoundly taught in certain areas because all of these baptized believers preached and lived according to the "Apostle's Doctrine...in which holiness without no man shall see the Lord."
In 1958 the Board of Elders ordained Elder Davis as Bishop of the Highway Church of Christ Association, Incorporated. Other affiliated churches were added over the following years in New Jersey, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and other New England States.
Many have gone on to establish works of their own and some have been called on to the God of their creation.
God continued to order the steps of Bishop R.F. Davis to establish and adopt affiliations withother churches:
1954 built Latta, South Carolina
1957 built Rowland, North Carolina
1966 built Dillon, South Carolina (after the passing of Pastor Katie Sanders)
1966 Organized and affiliated four churches on the Carribean Island of Jamaica.
1966 built church in Penderboro Community of Marion County, South Carolina where Sister
Minnie Lee Fore was Pastor.
Mid 60's built Fairmont, North Carolina where the late Mother Lula Mae Brunson was pastor.
Mid 60's built Fayetteville, North Carolina
1970's purchased church in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
1982 rebuilt the Latta church after a gas leak destroyed the building in 1981.
1988 rebuilt the church in Fayetteville, North Carolina
1988 built a church in Holly Springs, North Carolina where Pastor Mary Jane Patterson presides.
2001 rebuilt the Dillon Church
2002 Sold the Allen Street Church in Latta and built a new sanctuary on West Main Street there also.
Other affiliate churches included:
Vander and Salemburg, North Carolina
Sharon Hill #2 and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Brooklyn and Shirley, New York
Lansdowne and Chester, Pennsylvania Mullins, Mt. Clair, and Florence, South Carolina.
One of the most memorable events in the life of this great leader was his deliverance from his involvement in an accidental fire in Boston, Massachusetts in which he was severely burned. As a result of his faith and confidence in God, Bishop Davis received a miraculous evacuation
from a tragic situation. That miracle was sent by God and his recovery was monumental! Then by divine direction of the Lord, The Highway Church of Christ was re-chartered as the Greater Highway Church of Christ, Incorporated.
This man, at the beginning of his early estate in service to the Lord, had a gift to reach the youth, as well as seasoned adults, along with a memory that presents biblical teachings in a manner that touched the very core of your being. He had maintained a standard among the faithful that stood
true even in his latter years. Even in his years of spiritual maturity, Bishop Davis and his staunch supporters have lived to see the new sanctuary in Marion culminate into the pinnacle of his ministerial career for the Lord. Truly God has been gracious unto His people.
Because the Greater Highway Church of Christ is established upon the unadulterated Word of God, it is taught with all verity, truth, and simplicity. Bishop Davis would always admonish the people of this organization to remain constant in this ever-changing world of sin and degradation
and to uphold the teachings of the Apostolic Doctrine in holiness.Our Founder, Bishop R.F. Davis continued to stand in defense of that doctrine with the assurance that God's Word is settled in heaven and God does not change until he was called home in October of 2017.