It is not the kind of game most young children play in the summer.
In the early evening, 10-year-old T.J. Davis Jr., along with some siblings and friends, would gather beneath the shade of a tree to play church.
Somebody would be the piano player, others would be choir members.
"I always ended up being the preacher," Davis recalled. "I would be out there yelling 'Jesus' and kicking up some dust."
There was an elderly gentleman who would sit on his porch and watch the children.
"He was unchurched, but he would listen to my foolishness," Davis said. "His wife told my mother he refused to leave until I finished. I don't know if he ever went to church, but I hope I had an impact on him."
Davis, the new pastor at St. James C.M.E. church on Northstar Drive in Columbus, said it was at this time he realized that God had a purpose and a plan for him.
And it's not terribly surprising that the fifth of seven children should become a minister. Davis' father was a C.M.E. pastor for more than 40 years.
"I loved watching my father on Sunday," Davis said. "I saw how church members responded to him. I thought it was fun, the call and response."
His brother, James, also became a minister.
Davis was born and raised in Kilgore, Texas. He said he graduated from Texas College in Tyler, Texas, and also attended the Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University.
He has been in Columbus for a month and said he likes much of what he has seen here.
Davis said his wife of 27 years, Fayette, and three sons are still in Texas. She is currently working on a master's in business administration degree.
For the past five years, he has been the pastor at Wesley Chapel C.M.E. in Henderson, Texas. During that time, he also served as campus minister at Texas College, where his wife worked in the library.
"I really love young people and feel I have the ability to make an impact in their lives," Davis said. "Many students at Tyler came from broken homes. We adopted them like a mom and dad. We taught them, fed them and bought them things. It was just being a Christian. We are here to serve, not be served."
He said his faith has always been strong and was never more tested than when he was diagnosed with cancer in 2006. He had a knot in his right shoulder blade. He underwent radiation treatment and also had muscle removed.
Davis still lacks strength in his right arm.
He said he really did not feel fear when he was sick. He just remembered what he had said about faith and feeling positive when counseling others who had been in the same situation.
"It was tougher on my wife," he said.
She added: "It strengthened me. I am squeamish, but I had to take care of him, cleaning on a daily basis."
He said he now values every day.
"Life is short," he said.
Davis said he has no particular plans for St. James, a church with about 300 members.
"I am still feeling my way through, trying to pick up on the church's strengths and weaknesses. I am known for evangelism. I want to know what we are doing to reach out to the unchurched. I want to know what we are doing to help the community."