Ken Davis has been the director of Project Jerusalem, a church planting endeavor out of Clarks Summit, PA, for 20 years. Ken also has been my pastoral mentor and personal friend for over a decade. It began I joined the Project Jerusalem team in the fall of 2007. I Ken will soon retire from being the director and teaching seminary at Clarks Summit University. This post is a tribute to him, who he is, and the work that he has done.
In the late summer of 2007 my wife and I were considering moving back to northeastern Pennsylvania. A friend of mine suggested that I put in an application to become the pastor of Cornerstone Bible Church, in a small mountain town called Forest City. This was the first time I met Ken Davis, as Project Jerusalem had planted Cornerstone in Forest City. He was there to guide the leaders of Cornerstone in choosing their next pastor.
Little did I know the wealth of resources Ken could offer a young pastor at the age of 24. Ken helped train me through the years, provided guidance, and talked about the wins and struggles he had in pastoring and starting churches throughout the years in several states. The one word I would choose to describe our relationship would be “investment.” For some reason, he was willing to spend quality time with a fiery 24-year-old who may or may not be able to cut it in the struggling world of church planting.
Our relationship has grown over the years, and while he is still my mentor, the word “friend” is probably a better one now. The more I have grown the more he has been able to treat me as a cohort, which has allowed me to develop a relationship with him more as a friend.
The peak of this relationship, at least over the last decade, came in November 2018 when Ken brought me with him to the “Church Planting Leadership Fellowship” in Nashville, TN. At this point, while I’m still behind a few years of studying and experience in pastoring and church planting, I feel that I was able to discuss with him as an equal. At the conference in Nashville, my friend and I enjoyed eating together, studying together, and grabbing some suave hats together.
Much of this has nothing to do with me, and a lot to do with Ken. Ken believes strongly in training people and helping them grow in ministering to others, much of why I have pushed Cornerstone in the same area. He has raised scholarship funds for me to make it through two masters degrees and attend several conferences. Every year our Project Jerusalem retreat has provided educational help to continue to grow in the area of pastoring and ministering.
I share about my relationship with Ken because I think it describes who he is. He is a mentor, friend, invests in people, and desires to pass the torch by seeing them trained. Here’s the “black and white” of who Ken is.
Ken Davis, born in Indianapolis, IN, was raised in a pastor’s home in Colorado and Michigan. Later his family also served in Guyana, South Africa.He graduated from Bob Jones University with a bachelor’s degree in Bible and a master’s in theology. Always a lifelong learner, he continued his education by receiving a Doctorate in Ministry in Missiology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Chicago in his 60’s.
He married Sharon Milner of San Diego in 1969. Sharon has been faithfully by his side as a friend and life partner in family, community and ministry throughout the years. He is celebrating his 50th anniversary with Sharon in 2019.
He has been a missionary and church planter for almost half a century. He has started several churches on his own, but also has helped in assisting others as the director of Project Jerusalem, planting over a dozen churches in Northeast Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey.
Ken has four grown children, Tim, Phil, Joanna, and Susan, and several grandchildren. Ken has spent much of his vacation and free time going back to visit his children and their families.
Ken will be greatly missed as the director of Project Jerusalem. But what he has left behind is a testament to who he is. He has raised up many Christian leaders within the group who now are raising leaders within their churches and the regions. I anticipate keeping in touch, but I will also miss my friend.
If there is a verse to mark Ken’s life, it is the phrase from Matthew 25:23 which says, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
Thanks for taking time to read this Maddening Theology post. If you enjoyed this content you can find Pastor Tim’s sermons at www.cornerstoneforestcity.org. You can also join us at 520 Marion St. Browndale, PA 18421 on Sundays at 10:45 AM. To make following the blog easier you can also register. You can also join us on Facebook at Cornerstone Forest City. Also, don’t forget to download our APP on iTunes or Googleplay.