Young and Called.

Pictured is Elijah Davis.

Meet Elijah Gipson-Davis, a 20 year old preacher and aspiring pastor from Riverdale, Ga. Since Elijah was a child he has had goals of becoming a pastor of a Christian Baptist church. Several of Elijah’s uncles and mentors have influenced him to choose what he believes to be his calling.

Recalling his first time preaching at age 16. Elijah vivid remembers leaving school early on January 9th, 2017. He was called out of class early, with a clear mind and spirit to preach in front of nearly two hundred of his church members and a few school administrators. Davis’ first sermon was about God’s kindness from 2 Samuel chapter 9. After the service Elijah’s family took him out to celebrate, and he had to quickly return home to complete his homework assignments for that evening.

The challenge that Elijah faces while being a preacher and aspiring pastor is that he is simply young. While he knows that there is such a religious expectation that people put on their religious leaders, he is still at the end of the day a regular 20 year old. He still attends parties, listens to today’s hip hop and r&b, and takes part in some of social media’s trendy challenges.

Introducing himself as a preacher isn’t one of Elijah’s favorite things. He has experienced people his age asking him why he acts or dresses a certain way, and ironically he gets those same questions for people who are older than him; assuming that the groups of older people only sees him as another complaining young adult who always has their phone in their face.

Elijah believes that people often mistake the voice of “church folk” over the voice of God — creating an idea that the voice of the church is God, and that is not true. Some institutions of religious practicing target the young congregation in their sermons, make harshly strict dress-code rules; ultimately forget about that demographic when creating safe space temples. What Elijah calls “church hurt” are instances of prejudice against members that are seen as ungodly or out of the norms of a traditional church congregation would look like. The “church hurt” instances are what keeps you people away from church and could make the congregation even look ungodly.

Davis is becoming a pastor to change the stigma that you can have a life outside of the church. The main goal that Elijah is after is to create a community of faith, so that nobody feels oppressed in the house of God. A place and practice where all are welcome is something that everybody deserves in their individual pursuits in Christ.

While continuing his journey to become a success pastor, Elijah is more than aware that God is the centering force in all of his doings. Everyday Davis is reassured that he can still be young and a preacher. Elijah is dedicated to service, family oriented, and also as goals of becoming a dean or professor at a Historically Black College/ University.

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Jordan Mills

Jordan Mills

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