THIS IS THE LIFE OF ART DAVISON; AS WRITTEN BY HIS WIFE DORIS OF 48 YEARS.
JULY 1, 2010
Art was saved at 15 years of age in the Harmony Baptist Church soon after moving to Fort Worth from San Antonio Texas and was called to preach in January, 1957 at the same church. This was a Southern Baptist Church at the time; but Art had a good fundamental pastor.
He became an Independent Baptist soon after he went in the Navy and was transferred to Virginia. He joined the Navy at 17 years of age and served one summer before finishing his senior year of High School.
Art and I met in Norfolk, Virginia at an Independent Baptist Church gathering in a home after a local high school football game. I was serving in the U.S. Navy as a Hospital Corpsman in the Portsmouth Naval Hospital at that time. Art was already out of the Navy when we met and was a member of the above mentioned church and was involved with reaching service men for the Lord.
From the time we met, I knew the most important thing in Art’s life was to serve the Lord and do His will. When he purposed that we marry, I told him my choice as well was to serve the Lord first of all.
I was reared in a Friends Church in California and thought because I went to a church regularly from a child; and made a profession at their church camp that I was saved. Art gave me the third-degree about this and everything seemed to check out except for my baptism. I was sure all the work I did for the Lord while growing up and during one year in a Bible college in California must have counted for something! (Boy, was I wrong!!!)
We married, being content to serve in an Independent Baptist Church in Fort Worth. I was baptized in that church. (down a wet sinner, and up the same). After staying and working in that church until our second son was born, 17 months later, we had a revival meeting with Bro. Charles Thomas of Garland, TX. preaching all week.
From the start I began hearing some strange doctrine (to me) about so called Christians who just had a “Head knowledge” of the Bible and Christ; but did not have a ‘Heart-knowledge.’ Bro. Thomas told about his wife believing she was saved even when he was a pastor and finally realizing she wasn’t, trusted Christ. I wrestled with the devil all week, stating firmly I just ‘Had’ to be saved but knowing deep down in my heart that I wasn’t. I finally trusted the Lord as my Saviour on May 16th, 1963 the fourth night of the meeting. My second son was just two months old and I knew that he was ‘safe’ in the arms of the Lord if he should die, but I wasn’t, and would never see him again if I was lost. When our pastor called my husband to the front and told him that I was accepting Christ for the first time, he could hardly believe me. He said later that I sure put up a good front that fooled him. Soon after I was saved, I was baptized with a scriptural baptism this time.
Needless to say, I really began to learn a lot more from that time forward. I had no idea at the time that we would be foreign missionaries, but was ready to listen to the Lord now.
Art was ordained to the Gospel ministry by the Jennings Avenue Baptist Church, Fort Worth, Texas, on September 16, 1966. Bro. Jo Addington was our pastor at this time. Art was a student at the Independent Baptist School of the Bible in Dallas, TX. and was called to pastor his first church in Central Texas while still in Bible School.
Art and I are blessed with four sons and daughters-in-law: Jeff and Alice Davison of Big Spring, TX; Steve and Regina Davison; Mark and Sherri Davison; and John and Rene Davison, all residing in Fort Worth, TX.
All of our children and their wives are saved and serving the Lord.
We are blessed to have seven grandchildren: Stephani, Kimberly, Matthew, Andrew, Haley, Sydney and last but not least, Joshua who was just born in April; all of Fort Worth, TX. We have a great granddaughter as well named Mckenzie Lynn from our granddaughter Kimberly.
Art served as pastor of three churches in Texas and one in Oklahoma. The first was Union Hall Baptist Church in Liberty Hill, TX, while in Bible School in Dallas. After graduation in 1968, he pastored Springdale Baptist Church in Ardmore, Oklahoma.
Art served as a foreign missionary sent out of the Lake Worth Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas for 27 years. Bro. Al Locke was the pastor at that time. Later his son Dr. Jerry Locke became the pastor at the retirement of his father. Art and Bro. Jerry had graduated together from Bible College.
His first missionary work was in Zaire, Africa, in 1970, where he and our family served with Dr. Roy Dearmore and others. Art worked daily learning the tribal language and working with the African men who kept the air-strip cleared off. He drove to the capital city of Kinshasa to buy our food every two months or so. It was a long drive as we lived in the jungle. It would take 2-3 days to make the trip one way with a large truck; then after finding enough food would make the trip in return. He bought food for five other families as well.
I worked in the hospital assisting Dr. Dearmore with several surgeries per day and clinic work as well. Our three boys at that time did their school work in the mornings and played and hunted with the native children in the late afternoon. We home- schooled our boys during that time.
In 1972 the government passed a law forbidding Baptists and others from preaching the gospel; thus necessitating us leaving the country. Shortly before leaving Zaire, our oldest son Jeff was saved at nine years of age. He is a preacher today! The Lord called him to preach in the years following while in The Independent Baptist College in Dallas, TX.
In 1976 after some years of deputation, we left for another mission field in the country of Brazil, South America.
We worked in several areas, mostly in the cities of Sao Paulo, SP, and Fortaleza, Ceara, Brazil. Art was instrumental in helping to organize a Bible Institute in Sao Paulo while working with several churches and mission works starting in 1976. He helped to organize the Jardim Campinas mission into a church in May, 1986; this was a mission we had worked with for some time before moving to the Northeast.
After moving to the city of Fortaleza, Ceara’, we started a work with 6 Christians that was later organized as the First Baptist Church of Jangurussu on November 5, 1988.
We also started a Bible Institute in Fortaleza as well. We tried to teach these people to center their lives around the church. Art was teaching the men various classes in the Bible Institute. I taught the ladies how to be Sunday School teachers; and the children to sing in different children’s choirs.
The church has grown to more than 350 faithful members and regular attendance of about 600. They always have many visitors. They have now organized their own mission works into churches. These churches have their own Brazilian pastors or leaders. The pastor wrote me recently that they are going to have to enlarge their church building for the third time since we left. They are doing this all on their own!
Art was a real ‘church planter’ and has left a great heritage in Brazil. Those churches have native pastors doing all the work now, and doing it well. The children we taught and saw grow up in the work have become the leaders and pastors of the mission works now.
We served in Brazil for 22 years, and hated to leave there. Art felt like if we didn’t leave when we did, the people would not do the work of a missionary as long as we were there. After we left, they all did very well and I still have e-mail contacts and phone calls with the pastor of the Jangurussu Church who was called to preach under the ministry of my husband. The Lord has really blessed the work there and I know Art is happy and rejoicing with the Lord.
After returning from the foreign mission field of Brazil, Art pastored Northline Baptist Church in Houston, Texas; then pastored the First Baptist Church of Brownsboro, Texas for five years. That was his last church to pastor. He began to have a lot of trouble with coughing that doctors thought were just allergies.
After Art resigned the Church in Brownsboro because his voice and throat was beginning to bother him quite a bit, we moved back to Fort Worth.
Several months later he and I served a few months in Bangkok, Thailand in Southeast Asia helping another missionary from our church until he returned home for renewal of documents. Art would preach in our English services we had on Sunday nights and help in the tract ministry as well. He also preached in a Thai Baptist Church with a translator.
After returning from Thailand, Art became very sick with pneumonia and had to be put on a ventilator in the VA Hospital in Dallas. From that time forward he was never off the Oxygen. After the pneumonia cleared, the doctors discovered he had Pulmonary Fibrosis; a disease that scars the air sacs of the lungs and leaves no room to breathe. The doctors said there is no cure and do not know what causes this disease.
This is what took his life 2 1/2 years later. He died at home with me and my family close by on June 15, 2009.
Bro. Art loved the Lord and deemed it a pleasure to serve Him in these areas of service. He left this world to a better life in Heaven.
I started posting Bible verses on “FaceBook” on the Internet before Art died as it gave me comfort in the Scriptures. At first, Art suggested verses to post; but afterwards as his health failed and he went home to be with our Lord; I felt it would be a shame to delete all his sermons from our computer and not let others continue to receive a blessing from God’s precious Word.
I have been posting messages every day on Face book for almost a year now while preparing over 767 sermons or teaching materials to be posted on this blog- space.
What you will read on this blog are sermons and lessons prepared by my husband to be used at your choice. Some are in Portuguese for the benefit of our Brazilian brethren. The majority of those in Portuguese, he left with the Brazilian pastor in Fortaleza, so don’t have very many on the computer. I have included some research materials from other preachers that Art had as well.
If you use these messages in print, or spoken (in part or all) I would appreciate it if you would also print the names of the preachers that Art quoted in some of the messages. “Give credit where credit is due.”
Art and I had 48 wonderful years of marriage when he died. I count it a privilege to have been his wife and serve our Lord on so many continents together.
I trust God’s Word will give you encouragement from day to day as you read and study these messages. My prayer is that other souls will come to know the Lord as their Saviour because of the preaching and teaching of these messages. May God bless His Word and those who read it!
With Christ for the lost,