Mistakes don’t define Jessie Davis

It has been great to hear how people have been searching for Jessie Marie Davis and praying for Jessie Marie Davis.

And not dwelling on the fact she had one child with the husband of someone else and is pregnant with a second child from that same man.

This is not an endorsement of out-of-wedlock births or adultery.

There seems to be so much good about Davis, according to her friends.

There is a part of her life that is a mess, however. Like some very good women, she appears to have caught herself in an impossible relationship with a man who has fathered children with three women.

Right now, none of that matters. Finding Davis matters. Finding the baby (if the girl has been born) matters. Finding out what happened matters. That’s where the attention of most people has been, and it’s where it should stay.

I’ve heard this from a few people: How can Davis — supposedly a Christian — have real faith and have two children with Bobby Cutts Jr. when he’s married to someone else?

I don’t know Davis. I don’t know her faith. I do know her church, The House of the Lord in Akron. I know that Bishop Joey Johnson preaches about purity with power, and I know that it’s not a place where poor decisions are endorsed or where sin is ignored.

“Our stance is there is no such thing as an illegitimate child,” said Johnson. “Some relationships are illegitimate, but not the child. The child is from God.”

He mentioned how when babies are dedicated in the church, the church wants the single mother to feel comfortable upfront with the child. They will pray over both. They will try to contact the father and see if he will attend.

“Often at the dedication, the single mother will feel the spirit leading her to repent for the relationship, but then pray for the child and commit herself to being the best mother possible,” he said.

When a church is at its best, it is patient. It is kind. It shows the kind of love that Paul wrote about in 1 Corinthians 13, where one of his lines is “… if I have faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.”

Johnson is working in a world in which 37 percent of all U.S. births — and nearly 70 percent in the African-American community — are out of wedlock, according to federal health statistics.

He is preaching a series on Wednesday nights called: What Kind of Love Is This? It’s about how we have trouble understanding what God’s love is about, and how it can affect us.

A church should be a spiritual hospital. Jesus was once asked: “Why do you eat with sinners?” He replied in Luke 5:31: “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.”

Johnson said Davis’ mother has been attending the church “regularly for quite a while.” He added that Davis was “starting to come much more regularly,” and that she had a “real spiritual experience” when Bishop T.D. James spoke at The House of the Lord in April.

Jakes’ message was called Repositioning Yourself.

Johnson said his associate, the Rev. Dennis Butts, knows the Davis family and had been working with them. He thought Davis was in the process of doing spiritual repositioning.

When it comes to single mothers, Johnson said: “We want to welcome them with arms wide open.” As time passes, the church does point out that her decisions have led to some major problems and lots of heartbreak.

“A person’s heart can be right, but some of their actions can be wrong,” said Johnson. “Look at David and Bathsheba. David was not a kid when he committed adultery with her. And it wasn’t a one-night thing. But he repented, and the Bible tells us that he was a man after God’s own heart.”

There’s a great gospel song, We Fall Down. The chorus is: “For a saint is just a sinner who fell down and got up.”

During this crisis, it seems a lot of people have been remembering that as they pray for Davis and everyone in her family.

Terry Pluto can be reached at terrypluto2003@yahoo.com. Sign up for Terry’s free, weekly e-mail newsletter “Direct from Pluto” at www.ohio.com.


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