The Davis Sisters: Their Influences and Their Impact, compiled and written by Patricia P. Pickard. Bangor, ME: the author, 2009.
This delightful book is a tribute to the legacy of two Southern aristocratic ladies named Miss Carro and Miss Susie Davis who became Pentecostal evangelists and founders of Pentecostal churches. After these twin sisters from Macon, Georgia, were converted to Pentecost, they hit the streets of Macon, powerfully charged with the gospel and the Holy Spirit. Later they felt directed to establish Pentecostal churches in Maine and New Brunswick. They ended up in Saint John, New Brunswick, where they founded a Pentecostal congregation and became copastors for many years.
Miss Carro and Miss Susie Davis were twins whose parents died when they were young. They were from a well-to-do family, so their Aunt Minnie accepted the task of raising the twins. The family lived a fashionable life on a plantation outside Macon, Georgia. Both girls decided to become schoolteachers. Around 1910 they were converted to Pentecost and became dedicated Christians, desiring to serve God in every way they could. Through their aunt, they learned about the baptism in the Holy Spirit. When they planned a vacation trip to Chicago, Aunt Minnie urged them to visit a Pentecostal Persian Mission which had been established by Andrew Urshan. They also attended a series of meetings which were conducted by William Durham, where a mighty Pentecostal outpouring was taking place, and where Miss Carro received Spirit baptism. Miss Susie received the Pentecostal blessing shortly after she returned home.
Eager to share this good news in Georgia, they returned and shared this news with their associates and with their friend, Professor J. Rufus Moseley, who had already received the Baptism. Not long afterwards, Professor Moseley, the Davis sisters, and their aunt were refused admittance to the Presbyterian Church they attended because of their Pentecostal beliefs.
This led the two sisters to begin traveling the streets to tell others about the good news of God’s love. They held street meetings, conducted house and tent meetings, and established churches in Georgia and Florida among African Americans and whites. They suffered persecution, but God blessed their ministry. Four “unusual men from Maine” (that included Clifford A. Crabtree) arrived at the plantation in 1922, and spent the winter helping the ladies and Professor Moseley in their work of evangelism. Soon they heard an inward “voice” that spoke to them to “Go north, Miss Carro and Miss Susie.” They started out like Abraham, not knowing just where they were to go. Arriving in Bangor, Maine (with Crabtree as their young chauffeur and assistant), they started holding revival services which resulted in the establishment of a strong congregation in that city which is now Glad Tidings Church.
Later they felt a call to go to Saint John, New Brunswick. Unbeknownst to them, Arthur Saunders, and several other men of the Reformed Baptist Church in Saint John had been meeting each week to pray for revival in their city. They had seen revival in times past, and they wanted to see it again. When Miss Carro and Miss Susie Davis arrived at Saint John in 1924, they preached Jesus Christ as the Savior, Baptizer, Healer, and Coming King. This is just what the prayer warriors needed to hear.
The Davis Sisters and Crabtree were invited to hold services in the Reformed Baptist Church, and crowds began to flock to the building. After only a few days of this revival, the leading denominational elders in Moncton came to see what was happening, and they refused to accept this “full gospel” message. The services were stopped, and members of the church who wished to follow this “strange doctrine” were given their membership cards and asked to leave.
The sisters and their followers continued services in Clayton Hall on Prince Edward Street in Saint John. Later the services were moved to the Pythian Castle for a period of time. In the meantime, the congregation at Saint John continued to grow, and branch assemblies were started.
The Davis Sisters pastored the Full Gospel Assembly at Saint John for 37 years before Miss Susie passed away at the age of 78 in 1962. Miss Carro was 91 when she passed away in 1976. It is reported that seventy-five or more preachers and gospel workers eventually went out into ministry from this congregation that the Davis Sisters founded. Their legacy lives on.
Reviewed by Glenn W. Gohr, Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center
285 pages, photographs, bibliography and index; paperback. $25.00 (includes postage, USA) or $30.00 (includes postage, Canada). Order from the author, Patricia Pickard, at 144 Poplar St., Bangor, ME 04401. Contact by email at email@example.com.