The Christian ministry of Ella Street Davis (1925-2004) began in 1948 upon her relocation to Albany, Georgia from Tifton, Georgia. After moving to Albany, Ella Street Davis began preaching from house to house, telling anyone and everyone of the Good News of Jesus Christ. As a result of her ministry, many persons accepted Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord and were filled with the Holy Ghost.
After requesting the assistance of the late Bishop Nick Hightower, Sr., Ella Street Davis began holding prayer services in a small building on the corner of Monroe and Odom Streets in Albany. In spite of numerous moves to different facilities, this ministry grew until in 1949, Bishop Hightower baptized seventy-five persons who had received Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord as a result of Ella Street Davis’ ministry. Out of this ministry a church was born, House of God Saints in Christ, now located at 1129 Whitney Avenue, Albany, Georgia.
Subsequent to her early ministry in Albany, Kate Profit of Leesburg, Georgia contacted Ella Street Davis, requesting her ministry assistance in Leesburg. Ella Street Davis favorably responded to this. As a result of her ministry in Leesburg, and after informing the late Bishop Johnny Lee Litman, Sr. (then Elder Johnny Lee Litman), pastor of House of God Saints in Christ in Albany and Bishop Nick Hightower of the work in Leesburg, a church was organized. This church is now known as House of God Saints in Christ of Leesburg, Georgia.1 Two other churches were also formed as a direct result of Ella Street Davis’ ministry. These churches were located in Bainbridge, Georgia and Oakfield, Georgia.2
After joining Church of God in Christ, Ella Street Davis distinguished herself through her service as a part of the Northern Georgia Jurisdiction of the Churches of God in Christ. During her tenure in the Church of God in Christ, Ella Street Davis served as District Missionary of the Albany District of Northern Georgia Jurisdiction. Her faithful service on the Albany District included holding revivals during which many persons received Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. She was also called upon to pray for the sick.
Ella Street Davis also faithfully served in ministry along side her husband, who was the pastor of two churches in the Church of God in Christ, one in Dawson, Georgia and one in Cairo, Georgia. Ella Street Davis’ ministry resulted in the establishment of one of those two churches, Center Street Church of God in Christ of Dawson, Georgia. Her faithful service at the other church, Faith Temple Church of God in Christ of Cairo, Georgia, contributed to its growth and development.
In June 1973, at the leading of the Holy Spirit, Ella Street Davis again turned her attention to Albany. Because of a heartfelt burden for persons in the Albany area who did not know Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, she began a noon-day prayer service in the Dennis Home Projects of Albany, Georgia.
As a result of this ministry of prayer, many persons received Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, many were healed of diseases and many were delivered. To accommodate this growing ministry, in August 1973, Ella Street Davis purchased a building located at 1206 North Jackson Street to house this ministry of prayer. The result of this was the establishment of Pentecostal Temple Church of God in Christ.
In November 1983, Pentecostal Temple formally became Pentecost Tabernacle, a church independent of the Churches of God in Christ. On December 18, 1983, the members of Pentecost Tabernacle convened an Ecumenical Council of Ordained Christian ministers to ordain Ella Street Davis as a Minister of Christ, an Elder in His Church and to install her as pastor of Pentecost Tabernacle. Ella Street Davis then became the first female pastor in Albany, Georgia. In May 1984, Pentecost Tabernacle was incorporated as Pentecost Tabernacle of Christ.
During her tenure as Pastor of Pentecost Tabernacle of Christ, Ella Street Davis’ ministry expanded to include two radio broadcasts and a jail ministry. Her community involvement included service to Turner Job Corps Center of Albany, Georgia. Because of her two radio broadcasts, Pastor Davis became widely known in Southwest Georgia, Northern Florida and East Alabama for her inspirational preaching and teaching. Having not seen her in person, upon meeting her, many individuals recognized her by the distinctiveness of her voice as they had heard over the radio.
Her inspirational radio ministry was one of constant encouragement to the hearers, a heartfelt expression of concern for the youth of the day and admonition to live a Spirit-filled holy life. As a result of her ministry in the Dougherty County Jail, many incarcerated persons accepted Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, and upon release, became productive citizens. The healing ministry of Ella Street Davis also became widely known. Many persons (members and non-members of Pentecost Tabernacle) were healed of cancer, tumors and one child’s hearing was restored. Requests for her prayers by non-members of Pentecost Tabernacle of Christ were numerous. In 1989, as a result of a time of fasting and prayer, Pastor Ella Street Davis initiated a City-wide Revival that was held in April 1989 at the Albany James H. Gray Sr. Civic Center in Albany.
Under Pastor Ella Street Davis’ administration, the mortgage on the building purchased in 1973 was burned in May 1984.3 In January 1992, Pastor Davis presented plans to the Board of Stewards of Pentecost Tabernacle of Christ for expansion of the church edifice to include a new sanctuary. After approval of the Board, construction began in August 1992 and was completed in May 1993. The mortgage on the expansion was burned August 2002.4