He was a man who did more than “talk” faith. He lived it. The year was 1962, 26-year old David Ellis came to a church on the verge of foreclosure. No electricity, and the gas meter was due out any day. Total indebtedness was in the thousands, and church income less than $150 a week!
Refusing to give up, despite the odds
It was his opening sermon. What would he say?Clearly, he opened his mouth and God filled it.Out came praise—“You can’t make me doubt him, you can’t make me doubt him,” an old gospel song. He sang it boldly, and then a prophetic word: “Don’t worry! God will send help we know not of.”
Yes, David Ellis had stepped into trouble, but through the grace and mercy of God he would step out in victory! After several years of struggle, the turnaround came. The foreclosure never happened, the bills renegotiated and paid in full. The sanctuary filled to capacity with people eager to hear the fiery young preacher from Chicago.
God would use him to make Greater Grace Temple one of the most respected ministries in the country. To know this great man was a special treat. Anointed, charismatic, focused, but so full of compassion and love. Add to that a double portion of God’s favor, and you have the man that GGT and Detroit loved.
It was under Bishop Ellis that GGT saw the establishment of its schools, credit union, travel agency, low-income housing, car wash and much more. In 1996, Bishop Ellis passed away before his vision of the “City of David” could come to pass. So much more could be said about this awesome man of God, but words could never express all that he was to so many.
He would tell you that his success came from the fact that he was a “servant.” Indeed, he served well. If it were possible to tell him today that the “City of David” is now a reality, his response would be predictable. “No doubt! This is the Lord’s doing and it’s marvelous in my eyes.”