Palisades Lutheran Church Pastor Kenneth Davis is leaving his position after two-and-a-half years and a 30-year career in ordained ministry. His last sermon will be at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, June 23.
“It’s sudden to the community, but it was a decision a long time in the making,” Davis told the Palisadian-Post.
Davis confirmed that he will remain in the area while his daughters finish their last year of high school in Santa Monica. An actor with experience in commercial and modeling work, Davis also confirmed his departure was not to pursue acting specifically.
“I’m definitely exploring other opportunities, including acting opportunities, but that’s not my primary focus,” Davis said. “I want to focus on issues like racism, hate and bigotry, and use my voice to speak out against them in whatever form they take.”
Speculation rose that Davis’ departure was caused by an April 18 incident in which he and his daughter Cassadi were victimized by hate speech.
“I don’t know if the incident on April 18 had a whole lot of bearing on my decision, other than to confirm that I really wanted to do something in the area of race relations in a venue where I feel that my voice can be heard by more than just the local congregation,” Davis said. “As far as healing is concerned, the Palisades community—especially my neighbors on the Alphabet Streets—has been overwhelmingly loving, caring and supportive.”
Davis is now establishing his own website, dedicated to bringing his message of hope, inclusion, love and forgiveness to venues both secular and sacred. As an inspirational guest speaker, Davis hopes to spread his message to a broader audience.
“We’re all very sad he’s made this decision, but we were blessed to have him and his family here for the past two-and-a-half years,” Palisades Lutheran Church Council President Rich Wilken told the Post. “We were all very surprised, but we wish him and his family nothing but the best.”
Earlier this week, Ralphs, where the hate speech incident involving Davis and his daughter took place, released the footage of the incident to the LAPD.
“I reviewed the video footage and without doing a follow up I can’t tell for sure if we have a suspect photo,” Senior Lead Officer Michael Moore told the Post. “Unfortunately the videos do not show a license plate, so it does reduce our ability to investigate further.”
“I do not believe the license plate was captured on the video,” Detective Gail Russell added. “Additionally, we have continued to check the area for the suspect vehicle and have not had any new leads.”
Davis, as his website suggests, is moving on and using his wounds to heal others.
“My experience covers church and non-church communities,” Davis shared. “So I want to use my voice to speak in those different settings on the issues of race and bigotry that polarize our country and plague us to this day.”
At his final sermon on June 23, one member from each congregation in the Palisades will speak about their experiences with Pastor Davis.
“I want to use that final sermon as a bridge to connect with the community,” Davis said. “I hope that that will be a really great service in closing out 30 years of ordained ministry. My ministry will continue, but it will take on a different form. The world will be my pulpit now.”
For more information, visit www.woundedhealerministry.com