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Journalist, author, broadcaster Paul Davis dies from cancer
ONE OF THE key behind-the-scenes figures in the development of UK Christian music, Paul Davis, passed away on 6th May 2011. The 67 year old founder of New Christian Music, a Leighton Buzzard-based organisation which runs an annual gospel music awards ceremony and releases various artists albums to numerous radio stations, Davis is well known as a Christian music magazine editor, broadcaster and author of numerous books including New Life In Country Music (1977), George Hamilton IV: Ambassador Of Country Music (2000), The Legacy Of The Blackwood Brothers (2000), Pat Boone: The Authorised Biography (2001) and George Beverly Shea: Tell Me The Story (2009).
Paul, the son of a London City Missionary, grew up in a poor part of West London. He committed his life to Christ at a Billy Graham rally at Wembley in 1955. After writing an article about the origins of "Amazing Grace" for Country Music People magazine he found himself being asked to contribute to various radio programmes. In 1975 Paul began publishing Britain's first Christian music magazine, originally named New Music (later it became New Christian Music and then NCM). Paul started the New Christian Music record label which released various albums by such artists as Jerry Arhelger, Erv Lewis and his son, singer/songwriter Wes Davis. During the '80s and '90s Paul wrote dozens of album sleevenotes and compiled numerous albums of archive material for companies like Word Records and Reader's Digest.
For the last 26 years Paul has been lead pastor at Leighton Christian Fellowship, a church he formed with his wife Hazel. In February this year, Paul experienced tremors down his right side and TIAs (or mini-strokes) were diagnosed. However, following a brain scan the doctors discovered a tumour in his brain. Following a biopsy the doctors told him that the tumour was terminal and Paul opted not to have treatment so that he could enjoy 'quality over quantity' in the last few months. He died peacefully in a hospice with his family by his side.The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.