True Stories by Teena Myers
At the tender age of seven, David experienced a deep sense of being lost. He approached his father to share his fear, “I really want to have Christ in my life and know that I am saved.” His father led him to commit his life to Christ. That experience became a defining moment that set the course of David’s life.
Four years later, David’s father accepted the pastorate at a church in Texas, and David’s ministry began. Eleven-year-old David and three of his eight brothers formed a quartet and sang at a rescue mission in El Paso. He recalled with fondness praying with the men who came to the altar after his father preached and then joining them for a meal after the service. David assumed the leadership of the quartet when he was seventeen. Before the Crosby Brothers quartet disbanded, they traveled to three hundred churches in eleven states, sang on two weekly radio programs, and made four albums.
His family moved to central Texas so his father could pursue a degree at Howard Payne University. While studying at the university, David’s father accepted the pastorate at a Baptist church. “There are two reasons my family became Baptist. My father had good rapport with the Baptist church, and he wanted his children to attend accredited schools,” said David.
David enrolled in Baylor University to study journalism. In the middle of his freshman year, he suffered a crisis of faith. He had always studied the Bible from a devotional point of view. The religion classes he took approached the Bible from a scholarly point of view. One of his professors believed in Darwin’s theory of evolution, leaving David confused and frustrated.
His professors shook his faith, but the solid foundation of Christ proved stronger than the wisdom of man. “The night I asked God what to do,” said David, “‘Jesus is all you need’ rumbled out of my soul. From that point on, I became both intellectually and spiritually a Jesus person. I knew that God had called me to preach, so I changed my major to religion.”
After David graduated, he served as senior pastor in various churches. During his pastorate at Trinity Baptist Church, he met the infamous pickax murderer Karla Faye Tucker. Karla had accepted Christ six months after her arrest while incarcerated. David baptized Karla in the Mountain View Prison while she awaited execution.
Tucker’s appeal to commute her death sentence to life imprisonment drew support from world figures Waly Bacre Ndiaye, the United Nations commissioner on summary and arbitrary executions; the World Council of Churches; Pope John Paul II; and Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi. Pat Robertson, founder of CBN, delighted death penalty opponents when he called for clemency.
Shortly after Tucker’s execution, David told the Baptist Press that Karla exemplified the love of God as well as anyone he had ever known. He also reevaluated his position on capital punishment. His relationship with Karla put a face on the death penalty and made him question if society can implement capital punishment equitably.
David had purchased forty-one acres and built a house for his family in Texas. He loved his ministry, his new home, and walking outside at night to look at the stars. When a committee from New Orleans contacted him about a church on St. Charles Avenue, he wasn’t interested.
The committee called a second time. Confident his wife would not be interested in moving, he discussed the offer with her. During a time of prayer, the Lord impressed on his wife’s heart that they should talk to the committee. David traveled to New Orleans intent on doing little more than talking.
He met with the committee and returned to his eleventh-floor hotel room for a restless night. Around 4:00 a.m., he walked onto the balcony and looked up to see the stars. “The stars at night are big and bright deep in the heart of Texas,” said David, “but they were not so bright deep in the heart of New Orleans.”
Dismayed, David exclaimed, “God, where are the stars?” A twinkle caught his eye, and he looked down. The city dotted with a sea of man-made lights sprawled awkwardly around the river. As he pondered what he should do about the committee’s offer, he heard a voice as clear as though someone spoke audibly. “The people in the city are your stars now. I want you to come to New Orleans and help people ‘shine like stars in the universe’” (Philippians 2:15).
David smiled, “That is my calling. I’ve been here longer than any other place, and I don’t plan on leaving.” Since David accepted the pastorate at First Baptist New Orleans, he has led his congregation to put their faith into action by practicing Jesus’s command to love your neighbor as yourself.