Name: John Davidson
Occupation: President, CEO of John Davidson Ministries
Living By Faith
JD, I know you grew up in Pittsburgh. What was life like for you as a young adult?
My life as a young adult in Pittsburgh centered around two themes: survival and change. First, I had to survive. Many of my childhood friends were being murdered or sentenced to prison during this time. I grew up in McKeesport, PA, which is part of a group of communities known as the Mon Valley, where we were embedded with a ‘you put your hard hat on and go to work’ mentality. I carried this mentality throughout my journey. My thoughts and actions centered around the fact that I did not want to become a statistic, thus succumb to the stereotypes or stigmas that are so often associated with young black males. During this survival phase of my life, I sold drugs and did other things that I felt I had to do at the time in order to survive financially, physically, and mentally. I also knew that I wanted to change, but I did not know how this change of life would come about.
I attended Penn State University, which is where we met during our undergrad years. I enjoyed college a great deal. I was blessed by God with a high level of intelligence in the scholastic arena which was a life saver for me. However, it took me a while to fully grasp the magnitude of this blessing. I often felt as if I lived a double life during my college years. I operated in survival mode, and as a scholar, simultaneously. The grace of God kept me from going to prison and the grave on several occasions.
During a home visit to Pittsburgh from college for a weekend, I was shot several times in 2001. One of the bullets went into my hip bone and caused me to undergo a great deal of therapy in order to relearn how to walk. I chose to return to school to complete my recovery and therapy, because I knew that my life depended upon change and obtaining my degree. During this time, I began to take notice and study the lives of several young black males such as Dr. Doug Posey, Dr. Marcus Whitehurst, Sean Taylor, and John McClellan who inspired me through their tenacity and success in the scholastic arena. I applied the things I learned, made changes to my lifestyle and habits, and graduated from Penn State where I earned a B.A. in Political Science and Economics.
Did you immediately go into a life ministry after graduating college? Please briefly share your faith journey.
No, I did not go into a life of ministry immediately after graduating college. I actually grew up as a PK (preacher’s kid), and I did not want to go anywhere near ministry besides weekly attendance. However, I had this strong urge to live above the natural order of life, like the stories we read about in the Bible that involve Jesus and others. I knew that God was the key to experiencing miracles and achieving success in every arena of life, but I was searching to answer the question, ‘How?’ I was going through a rough time in my life and searching for clarity. One day, I was going for a run on the track, and I heard the audible voice of God. He told me to attend Emory University and study theology. I was pleased to hear from God, but I was disappointed in the fact that he told me to study theology because 1) I was preparing to gain an acceptance to law school. 2) I did not have a desire to be involved in ministry. 3) I thought people would bring up past, and my past would make me an ineffective spiritual leader.
I was wrong. My past actually qualified me.
I applied, and was accepted, to Candler School of Theology at Emory University. This brought me to Atlanta and to World Changers Church International. During this time, I began to actively get involved in a life of service and ministry. I earned a Master of Divinity, with a concentration in Leadership in Church and Community from Candler. As doors began to open for me in ministry, I became an instructor at World Changers Bible School where I served as Director of Programming. Ultimately, I was promoted to the role of Chief Operating Officer at Creflo Dollar Ministries and Lead Pastor of World Changers Church New York. I began to develop and mature in my spiritual calling and gifts during my tenure in this lead pastor role. As I studied the word of God, I began learning its patterns and sequences, uncovering new revelation, seeing things from God’s vantage point, and understanding how to create anything with your words. Once, I started doing an in-depth study during my Bible study time and took extreme interest in operating in the supernatural. Through experiencing supernatural manifestation, it sparked a desire to teach others about the supernatural power of God with simplicity and understanding. This led me to write my first book, The Supernatural Effect, which is available as a free ebook on our ministry website (www.johntdavidson.com). Recently, I launched John Davidson Ministries where I work with my former college roommate, Philip Kiszie, and my teams in New York and Atlanta. Our mission is to share Christ, the supernatural power of God, with the entire world.
What makes you a strong believer in your faith? How do you nurture yourself spiritually?
I believe these two questions go hand and hand. You become a strong believer in your faith by nurturing yourself spiritually. Everything that you see or experience is birthed in the spiritual realm. That’s why words are very important, because they act as spiritual containers in our physical world. The words you place into the atmosphere eventually manifest into things we can see and experience. For example, if you want to experience joy, you don’t experience joy first, and then say it. You say out of your mouth that you have joy, and then joy will manifest in your life. This exact experience as God’s way is outlined in the Bible, by God himself, in Genesis 1.
The Bible reads: And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness (Genesis 1:2-4). Here we see that there was darkness and no light. In fact, in order for light to appear, in order for the world to experience light, God had to say out of his mouth, “Let there be light.” He had to say this first. Then, he saw what he said. He didn’t see light first, then say he sees light. In like fashion, that’s how God intended for us to live.
Now, in order to nurture yourself spiritually:
- Believe (Mark 11:24) – Decide that you are going to make what God says the final authority of your life. In order to do this, you have to know what God’s will is concerning your life. So, find scriptural references relating to your situation. When you find out what God says in his Word, you should act on it (act on what you believe). For example, you believe that a chair will hold you first, therefore you take action and sit in the chair.
- Speak (2 Corinthians 4:13) – Speak what you believe. Speak God’s Word. When you proclaim what God’s Word says about you and your situation, you will begin to build your faith up and experience life changing results.
- Pray and Believe God Answers Your Prayers (1 John 5:14-15) – Pray using God’s Word. When you use God’s Word to pray, God’s Word has the power to build you up and strengthen your faith. I’ve found scripture-based prayers to be the most effective way of praying. I also found that praying in the spirit is powerful, and it builds my faith, especially when I don’t know exactly what I ought to pray for. (Romans 8: 26-27)
- Learn about God’s Word, His Will, and His Ways – Learn as much as you can about God and his Word. Gain an understanding of God’s Word. God’s Word gives you a firm foundation that cannot be shaken. When you know God’s Word, his will for your life, you will grow to reject anything that does not align with his will for your life. For example, it is God’s will that you experience divine health and peace. It is also God’s will that you live above ordinary, natural means, and experience a supernatural way of life. I explain more about living and experiencing this supernatural way of life in my book, The Supernatural Effect. You can also enjoy content that will help you build a firm foundation on God’s Word on the John Davidson Ministries website (www.johntdavidson.com). Following these practical steps is what makes me a strong believer in my faith.
Like me, there are so many people who struggle with their faith and relationship with God. What do you say or how do you encourage the people you counsel with these struggles?
Don’t quit. There are two things 3 things you should know. The grace of God is a free gift. God’s grace made everything available to you that you will ever need. The great thing about God’s grace is that you can’t earn it, so it’s not based upon merit. Don’t focus on making mistakes in your journey, because God’s grace remains before and after you make a mistake. Second, two of the most important things that God grace made available to us is Jesus the Christ. Jesus- the man who died for our sins; Christ- the anointing, the power, by which Jesus stripped Satan and every demon of their powers, and he rose from the grave. He is alive today! He was the first born again man. This was just one example of what one born again man can do. So, just imagine what you (man and woman) can do with the power working in you and through you. When you receive Jesus to live in you, he brings with him God’s grace and the anointing, that makes you a powerful-being.
You were created to live supernaturally on this earth. It is important that we learn how to use the power of God to operate in the supernatural. In my latest book, I provide a simplistic understanding of the processes and importance of setting the Word before your path, knowing that Jesus is the Source of the supernatural, and having the hope that leads to supernatural results. As you learn to operate in the supernatural you will actually get excited because you will be equipped with the tools you need to conquer any struggle that comes your way.
What has been the most challenging thing for you as a spiritual leader?
The most challenging thing is to keep going. Sometimes, the vision that God lays out for you seems larger than life. But, I have to release my faith and know that if God said to do it, then he will provide everything needed to fulfill the vision he gave. For example, John Davidson Ministries is preparing to go on our first mission trip to the Philippines this year. We are excited to share Christ, the supernatural power of God, with countless others in the Philippines and serve alongside Iris Unveiled Faces to assist with their schools located in a village in Manilla. The children here grew up as garbage scavengers in one of the most densely populated slums in the world, Tondo, in Manila, Philippines. During our time in Manilla, we will help serve families to help them empower their children to know their identity in Christ. We will also serve in their house church and communities to encourage in, and teach, about prayer, worship and the Word of God. Ultimately, our goal is to bring the hurting to the table of Jesus as we are honored to serve and minister in this community. To accomplish this mission, it takes donations from our partners and friends who will help us make a difference in the lives of underprivileged children and their families in these remote areas.
What else do you want others to know about you?
John Davidson Ministries is planning to host Supernatural Nights in various cities across the U.S. If you would like us to hold a Supernatural Night in your city, you can contact us through our website or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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