The Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church today introduced their congregation to its new senior pastor, the Reverend Elijah L. McDavid III, who will step into the role on January 1, 2021. The church’s current senior pastor, the Reverend Albert Gallmon Jr., is scheduled to retire at the end of the year, from what is affectionately referred to as “the Ship” by its congregants.

McDavid was formally introduced by Gallmon during a special 10 a.m. live YouTube broadcast, which is the time of the church’s usually pre-recorded worship service. The leadership pushed the pre-recorded service to start later. McDavid received overwhelming approval from the congregation having garnered 85% of the vote.

Gallmon and Fellowship’s Deacon Board chair, Sonia Smith, led the pulpit search committee through a nearly three-year national search process, which amassed more than 60 applicants. The candidate group was whittled down to four finalists who presented bible studies and sermons throughout July and early August. The field was then narrowed to two candidates. Church voting took place over a two-week period, with the results formally announced by Gallmon Saturday evening, September 12. Gallmon says the congregation is thrilled beyond measure.

He praised the search committee’s dedication and professionalism. “As I journey towards my retirement, it warms my heart and soul to see how God walked with the pulpit search committee. The committee demonstrated Godly discernment, wisdom, and professionalism throughout the entire process,” Gallmon said in a formal statement.

McDavid comes to Fellowship from Alexandria, Va.-based Alfred Street Baptist Church, where he was Assistant to the Rev. Dr. Howard-John Wesley. McDavid had oversight of Village, a community ministry; Hidden Halos; and supported the Men’s Ministry, Tuesday night Bible Study, and the funeral service team.

“I am overjoyed to join the family at the Ship! It does not yet appear what God has in store for this new chapter. I cannot wait to meet you all and experience all that God has in store for this chapter as ‘Pastor and People,’” says Pastor-elect McDavid.

McDavid earned a Bachelor of Arts in Religion from the Historically Black College and University (HBCU) institution, Morehouse College in Atlanta, and a Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary.

He plans to relocate to the Twin Cities in early November. Due to covid-19, a formal installation service will be scheduled at a later date.