Historic Church Gets Its First Black, Woman Pastor
It’s been years since Yvette Davis left her job as a successful New York corporate librarian for a consulting firm to answer her calling to ministry.
“I was tired of spending my life helping other people get rich,” she told the York Daily Record. After a short leave of absence in the corporate firm, she made the decision to leave and become a minister. And now, the 46-year-old Davis will take on the lead pastor role at Asbury United Methodist Church in York, Pennsylvania. Her appointment marks the first time the church, which has been around since 1781, will have an African American or a woman pastor lead its congregation.
Although her appointment begins in July, Rev. Paul Stambach, the church’s former interim pastor, introduced her to the congregation last Sunday. He notes that the decision to make Davis the church’s head came as a shock to the congregation.
“But that’s okay. It was a good surprise,” said Stambach. “For 230 years, we’ve had nothing but ordained men — white men.”
In a church where the people are used to little diversity in its leadership, the role is sure to bring a bit of a challenge to Davis. “Gaining respect from some of the elders because she’s a woman will be a challenge,” one member noted.
Another member noted that while the elders may be a slight problem, Davis will have no trouble raising support from the younger members of the church who believe she will do more to lead them in reaching out to do good work in the city.