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Reverend France A. Davis

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Information about Reverend France A. Davis

Profile image of Reverend France A. Davis

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
ReligionMakers
Occupation(s):
Civil Rights Activist
Pastor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Fish (Fried)
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall, Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
Yes, I Have A Goodly Heritage.

Birthplace

Born:
12/5/1946
Birth Location:
Cooperstown, Georgia

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
ReligionMakers
Occupation(s):
Civil Rights Activist
Pastor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Fish (Fried)
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall, Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
Yes, I Have A Goodly Heritage.

Birthplace

Born:
12/5/1946
Birth Location:
Cooperstown
See how Reverend France A. Davis is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Reverend France Albert Davis was born on December 5, 1946 on a farm, outside of Gough, Georgia to John and Julia Davis. He attended and graduated from the segregated Waynesboro High & Industrial School in Waynesboro, Georgia in 1964. In 1966, Davis joined the United States Air Force where he served as an aircraft mechanic. He went on to earn his B.A. degree in rhetoric from the University of California at Berkeley and his B.S. degree in religion from Westminster College in Salt Lake City. Davis also earned his M.A. degree in mass communications from the University of Utah. He has attended several other universities including the Tuskegee Institute and Laney College in Oakland, studying subjects ranging from Afro-American Studies to arts and humanities.

In 1968, Davis served as the assistant to the pastor at St. Paul Baptist Church in Boise, Idaho. Then, in 1971, he received his certificate of ordination at Center Street Baptist Church in Oakland, California where he later became an associate and youth minister. In 1972, Davis came to Salt Lake City, Utah to fulfill a one-year teaching fellowship at the University of Utah. That same year, he joined Calvary Baptist Church where he later served as pastor and chief administrator.

During the 1960s, Davis participated in the Civil Rights Movement and marched from Selma, Alabama to Montgomery, Alabama promoting voting rights for African Americans. At the onset of the Civil Rights Movement, he met Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and received his spiritual calling into the ministry as a young man. In 1972, Davis was confronted by his minority status, when he was removed from the LDS Church-owned Brigham Young University campus for wearing an afro. As a political activist, Davis was also instrumental in declaring Martin Luther King Jr. Day as an official holiday, an achievement for which his church office was riddled with gun shots. He later furthered his education by earning his M.M. degree in ministry from Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, Idaho in 1994.

Davis has served as the secretary of the Salt Lake Ministerial Association; a member of the South Africa Preaching Team for the National Baptist Convention’s Foreign Mission and as an advisor, vice-president and assistant to the Dean of the Intermountain General Baptist Convention. He has also taught as an adjunct associate professor in the Department of Communications at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Davis has written several publications including Light in the Midst of Zion: A History of Black Baptists in Utah 1892-1996 and his autobiography, France Davis: An American Story Told in 2007.

Davis lives in Salt Lake City, Utah with his wife, Willene. They have three children: Carolyn, Grace and France; and one grandson, Cedric.

Davis was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 13, 2008.

See how Reverend France A. Davis is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Reverend France A. Davis' interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Reverend France A. Davis lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Reverend France A. Davis describes her mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Reverend France A. Davis recalls his maternal family's experiences with the Ku Klux Klan
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Reverend France A. Davis talks about his mother's education
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Reverend France A. Davis describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Reverend France A. Davis talks about his father's education
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Reverend France A. Davis describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Reverend France A. Davis describes his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Reverend France A. Davis talks about his early religious experiences
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Reverend France A. Davis remembers his father's storytelling
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Reverend France A. Davis describes his family home
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Reverend France A. Davis describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood, pt. 1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Reverend France A. Davis describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood, pt. 2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Reverend France A. Davis recalls his childhood pastimes
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Reverend France A. Davis recalls his favorite teachers at Gough Elementary School in Gough, Georgia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Reverend France A. Davis remembers Waynesboro High and Industrial School in Waynesboro, Georgia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Reverend France A. Davis recalls his decision to attend the Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee, Alabama
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Reverend France A. Davis remembers his early interest in the Civil Rights Movement
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Reverend France A. Davis remembers the March on Washington
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Reverend France A. Davis remembers the Selma to Montgomery March
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Reverend France A. Davis remembers his commitment to civil rights
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Reverend Frances A. Davis recalls leaving the Tuskegee Institute
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Reverend France A. Davis describes his experiences in the U.S. Air Force
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Reverend France A. Davis talks about his call to the ministry
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Reverend France A. Davis recalls meeting his wife
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Reverend France A. Davis describes his college education
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Reverend France A. Davis recalls his first impressions of Oakland, California
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Reverend France A. Davis remembers D'Army Bailey
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Reverend France A. Davis talks about his college coursework
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Reverend France A. Davis recalls teaching at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Reverend France A. Davis recalls pastoring the Calvary Baptist Church in Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Reverend France A. Davis describes the theology of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Reverend France A. Davis describes the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Reverend France A. Davis talks about the history of Utah's black Baptist churches
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Reverend France A. Davis describes his religious studies
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Reverend France A. Davis talks about the Buffalo Soldiers
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Reverend France A. Davis recalls advocating for Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Utah
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Reverend France A. Davis describes his civic involvement in Utah
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Reverend France A. Davis recalls his experiences in South Africa
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Reverend France A. Davis describes his membership in the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc.
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Reverend France A. Davis describes 'Light in the Midst of Zion: A History of Black Baptists in Utah'
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Reverend France A. Davis describes 'France Davis: An American Story Told'
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Reverend France A. Davis talks about the programs at the Calvary Baptist Church in Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Reverend France A. Davis talks about his religious philosophy and mentors
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Reverend France A. Davis reflects upon his life
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Reverend France A. Davis describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Reverend France A. Davis reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Reverend France A. Davis describes his family
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Reverend France A. Davis talks about the congregation of the Calvary Baptist Church in Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Reverend France A. Davis describes how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Reverend France A. Davis narrates his photographs