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Anne Davis, founding dean of Carver School of Social Work, dies

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP)–Anne Davis, founding dean of the Carver School of Social Work, which originated at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, died Nov. 16 in Waco, Texas.

Davis, 69, died at Hillcrest Hospital in Waco. A memorial service was held Nov. 20 at Seventh & James Baptist Church in Waco, with Raymond Bailey conducting the service.

“Anne Davis gave generously of herself to an entire generation of students at Southern Seminary, and her influence will live on through them,” said seminary president R. Albert Mohler Jr. “She was deeply loved and respected by her students and colleagues.”

In addition to being a scholar, administrator and teacher, Davis was known for her compassion, according to former students and colleagues.

“There are many social workers in this world that Anne Davis really had an impact on,” former student Judith Lambert told the Louisville Courier-Journal.

“She was a tenacious teacher, mentor and witness to the possibilities of Christ’s love and care in society,” said Andy Rawls, director of media services at Southern.

Davis was born April 17, 1937, to Samuel L. and Annie Mae Davis in Baskerville, Va. She earned degrees from Averett College, Westhampton College of the University of Richmond, Southern Seminary and the Kent School of Social Work of the University of Louisville.

At Southern, Davis served as professor of social work, director of social work and director of professional studies in the School of Religious Education. She served as founding dean of the Carver School, leading it to become the first non-university program to gain accreditation for the Master of Social Work degree. Davis retired from the faculty in 1995. The Carver School completed a move from Southern Seminary to Campbellsville (Ky.) University in 1998.

Before coming to Southern, Davis served as executive director of the Baptist Community Center in Lexington, Ky., and then as director of Portland Baptist Center, a ministry of Crescent Hill Baptist Church in Louisville.

Davis moved to Waco in 1998, where she served as director of operations for the Advocacy Center for Crime Victims and Children.

Davis also worked as a consultant to Baylor University on its development of a master’s degree in social work. Baylor recognized Davis with a lifetime achievement award in 2004.

Davis is survived by two sisters, Janice Crutchfield of Chase City, Va. and Carolyn Davis of Dallas; and Mike Davis of Arvonia, Va. She is also survived by two nieces, four nephews and seven great-nephews.

Memorial gifts may be sent to Seventh & James Baptist Church, 602 James Avenue, Waco, Texas, 76706, or any agency serving the poor.

    About the Author

  • Garrett E. Wishall