By Sharon Mager
REISTERSTOWN, Md. — Northwest Baptist Church (MWBC) in Reisterstown, Maryland, called native Baltimorean Chris Davis as their senior pastor. They had a special installation service on July 7.
Davis formerly served as discipleship pastor of Resurrection Church in Bakersfield, California. Born and raised in West Baltimore, he attended a Church of God with his grandparents. He joined the United States Marine Corps when he was 19 and left for California where he met his wife, Morgan, also a Marine. The couple married in 2000 and had a son, Isaac. In 2003, life changed. Chris was incarcerated, and that’s where he met Jesus.
“Jesus rescued me – physically, and spiritually and literally. I was released from incarceration in November 2003.” The family then moved to Maryland.
That year in prison was my beginning,” he said. “We got to Maryland and plugged into a church and the Lord moved me right along in serving in leadership, and in ministry,” Chris said. At Grace Fellowship Church in Towson, Davis worked with the recovery ministry, men’s ministry, Bible study, and discipleship. He grew in the Lord, and Chris attributes that growth to the love and strong mentorship of a few men.
The couple felt called to move back to California in 2009 where Chris served as an interim pastor of “In the Passion for Christ Movement.” That church merged with Fairview Heights Baptist Church in Inglewood, and Chris served as assistant pastor. While ministering at Fairview Heights, he also planted a church.
He later served as pastor of discipleship at Hingepoint Church. “I was the first African American staff member, and the first African American to preach in the pulpit of that church,” he said. Hingepoint merged with Calvary Bible Church, another all-white church, to become Resurrection Church in 2018.
Those experiences opened Chris’ eyes to God’s direction. “I felt Him calling me to ‘white spaces,’ to cross-cultural and monoethnic environments.
“What we experienced made it clear to me that God has called me to be a bridge-builder between different people across different ethnicities. I’ve had my foot in all of these worlds, and I still do. I can make connections where there is a divide.” Building bridges is especially important and relevant in our country at this time, he said.
Chris felt God was calling him to step out for Christ to serve as a senior pastor, and He was confirming the call together to the couple. The timing was right — their children were all in transition – their oldest child, Isaac, now 17, was graduating from high school; Kenneth, 14, was preparing to go into high school; and their youngest child, Hannah, 12, was about to enter middle school. When Chris began searching, Northwest Baptist Church was advertising for a senior pastor. It was a good match — the congregational vote was 96% in favor of calling Chris, and he and Morgan felt God had answered their prayers.
The couple is happy to move back to Maryland and they’re excited about their new ministry at Northwest Church. Chris has begun pastoring, and Morgan, Kenneth, and Hannah will move from California in August. Isaac will be leaving to go to Fresno Pacific University in California.