The Rev. Stephen A. Davis, founding pastor of The Refiner’s House in Huffman, plans to affiliate his church with New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Ga. The name will be changed to New Birth Birmingham. (Birmingham News file photo.)
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama — The 2,300-member Refiner’s House in Huffman has announced that it will change its name and be affiliated with the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Ga.
"We’ll no longer be the Refiner’s House; we’ll be New Birth Birmingham," said Elder Kesia Webb Dailey, a spokesperson for the church. "We’ll receive benefits of mentorship, resources, relationships."
The Rev. Stephen A. Davis, founding pastor, started The Refiner’s House in a former auto parts store in Center Point in 2001. The Refiner’s House bought the former Ridgecrest Baptist Church campus, 117 12th Court Northwest, and moved there in October 2007. Refiner’s House already had 1,000 members as it moved into the 2,200-seat sanctuary.
Davis said at the time that he had been mentored since 2006 by Bishop Eddie Long, pastor of New Birth in Lithonia.
Long, the controversial TV evangelist, recently settled lawsuits against him by several young men in the church who accused him of sexual improprieties.
Long’s legal problems didn’t affect the association between the two churches, Dailey said.
"That’s our bishop and we love him," Dailey said. "We thank God what transpired is over. We’re moving ahead."
Dailey said that Long will take part in a service with Davis on Friday at 7 p.m. at The Refiner’s House to officially change the name to New Birth Birmingham.