The family of Bishop Bobby Davis of Miracle Faith World Outreach Church in Bridgeport, Connecticut, asked his congregation to stay after church services Sunday. They had something important to tell them. And although it is yet unclear what actually might have caused the 72-year-old pastor to have a heart attack, that is exactly what happened. Because after admitting to his congregation that he had cheated on his wife, Pastor Boby Davis suffered a heart attack and died.
He died hearing the members of his church shouting out words of forgiveness, the Christian Post reported March 13.
"After the service on Sunday the bishop's family asked us to remain in the church and the bishop confessed to us something that happened long ago," church elder Judy Stovall said. "He wanted to come clean with all of us. He wanted to ask our forgiveness."
An emotional Stovall said that amid shouts of forgiveness, the pastor keeled over onto the floor. "I held his head as he lay on the floor. … Our congregation is hurting now."
According to the Daily Mail, Stovall said she thought the stress of the situation had induced the heart attack.
But not everyone agrees that Pastor Bobby Davis' final act was of such a straightforward nature. Speaking to the Christian Post under the condition of remaining anonymous, one source said that the matter should have been handled in a better manner and the circumstances surrounding the public announcement likely contributed to the man's heart attack.
The pastor had confessed his infidelity to his wife at an earlier time, the source explained, and his wife had called for the members of the church to stay after the services, unbeknownst to Pastor Davis. Neither Davis nor his wife had been at the service, but afterward, several members of Davis' family told the congregation about the affair, which had apparently happened some years in the past.
"From what I was told, she (the pastor's wife) told the congregation what he had done," the source went on. "And so, when he comes through the door he had no idea what he was walking into. So it wasn't even: 'We're gonna make an announcement today' ... in a unified way as a couple."
The source said Davis' wife, Christine, with whom the pastor had recently celebrated a 50th wedding anniversary, confronted her husband then and there. "'Tell them what you just told me,' which is what induced the heart attack," she source contended, "because it's not like he was walking into it knowing."
The source continued: "She said it and he said, 'Yes, that's right.' She asked him to say who exactly it was. And he said, 'Well, it doesn't matter [because] that person has passed. God forgive, let's get past it.' Apparently it was his family members who reacted out in anger, from what I understand. It was not the congregation."
According to the source, one of Pastor Bobby Davis' sons even attacked him. A daughter poured water over him.
"It was like something out of, not even like the Old Testament, but a bad reality TV show," the source said. "My heart is so devastated because it could have been handled in a private manner."
The source noted that part of the tradition of the church was a public confessing of sins.
When a call was made for medical assistance, police also arrived at the Miracle Faith World Outreach Church. An investigation into the matter is underway, Bridgeport Police spokesman William Kaempffer said.
The official cause of death is still undetermined.
Bishop Bobby Davis founded the Miracle Faith World Outreach Church in 1967 after prayers for his mother seemed to miraculously cure her of cancer.
According to the church's website, Bishop Bobby Davis was a certified marriage and family therapist.