Global Ministries is saddened to learn of the death of Bernard Davis
Bernard “Bernie” Davis was born in Indiana on September 22, 1925, and his family moved to Whittier, California. Bernie met Julia, his wife, in 8th grade at First Christian Church. They attended Chapman College together, where Bernie majored in Psychology. Bernie served as youth director at Pico Arlington Christian Church and managed a bookstore on the Vermont campus of Chapman College.
Following graduation in 1947, Bernie attended seminary in Lexington, Kentucky, and proposed to Julia in a letter. After marriage and graduating from seminary, Bernie and Julia were commissioned by the United Christian Missionary Service (UCMS), the predecessor ministry of the Division of Overseas Ministries/Global Ministries in 1951. They went to Brussels to learn French, and arrived in the Congo in 1952, where they also learned Lingala, a local language. Their daughter, Christina and son, Peter were both born there.
Bernie and Julia served in the communities of Wema, Bosobele, and Bolenge. Bernie supervised construction projects, taught at an elementary school in Wema, served as principal of the Congo Christian Institute in Bolenge, and assisted in training and counseling of ministers. During his term of service, Bernie also taught design and drawing, and he oversaw extracurricular activities for students as well. After 15 years of ministry in the Congo, they came back to Orange, California in 1967. There, Bernie served as an adjunct minister at several Disciples congregations and on the Pacific Southwest Region Board’s Executive Committee.
In 2006, Bernie and Julia Davis were honored as Church Leaders of the Year at Chapman University for dedicating their lives to Christian Service. Church of the Foothills, a United Church of Christ and Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) dedicated their Fellowship Hall as “Davis Hall” in memory and in honor of Bernie and Julia Davis.
A memorial service for Bernard Davis will be held on Saturday, September 17, 2022 at Church of the Foothills, UCC/DOC, 19211 Dodge Avenue, Santa Ana, CA 92705.