BRENTWOOD, Tenn. (BP)–Randy Davis, president of the Tennessee Baptist Convention, was elected unanimously as the convention’s next executive director, effective July 1, during a called meeting of the TBC executive board June 2.
Davis did not immediately accept the position, noting that he wanted to share his decision with his congregation, First Baptist Church in Sevierville, on Sunday, June 6. After speaking to his church, Davis notified the executive board’s president, Lon Shoopman, that he would accept the TBC position.
Davis, 53, also had been the unanimous choice of both the search committee and the administrative committee of the executive board.
On Monday, June 7, Davis resigned as president of the convention. Poly Rouse, pastor of Hermitage Hills Baptist Church in Hermitage and convention vice president, assumes the TBC presidency.
After his election, Davis noted that when he talked to the search committee he told them he must have “a clarity of call and a clarity of purpose” in order to leave the pastorate of a local church, especially the one he was currently serving.
He thanked the executive board for their “affirmation and confirmation.”
“As we walk together I will need more than just your confirmation,” Davis told the board.
“I need your commitment to lift us up in prayer … and to help us reach as many people for Jesus Christ as we can in our state and around the world and to take them to heaven with us,” he said.
A native of Mobile, Ala., Davis has served in Tennessee since 1992 when he became pastor of First Baptist Church in Morristown. During his tenure there, the church averaged more than 150 additions each year. The church also increased its Cooperative Program giving from $32,897 (4.2 percent) to $188,373 (9.8 percent).
Davis accepted the pastorate of FBC Sevierville in 2001. The church has 4,300 members with an average attendance of 1,975. During Davis’ tenure, the church has had more than 900 baptisms. Cooperative Program giving has increased from $105,000 (4 percent) in 2001 to $388,000 (8.3 percent) of current budget with a goal of moving to 10 percent.
In addition to serving as president of the TBC, Davis has been president of the Tennessee Baptist Pastors Conference and has served on the board of trustees of Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City.
At the Southern Baptist Convention level, Davis has served as a trustee of the International Mission Board, the SBC Committee on Committees and the Committee on Nominations.
Prior to his ministry in Tennessee, Davis served two churches in Mississippi — First Baptist, Vancleave, and New Hope Baptist, Leakesville. While in Mississippi, Davis also served as a trustee of his alma mater, William Carey College in Hattiesburg. Davis also holds a master of religious education degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and a doctor of Christian ministries degree from the Southern Baptist Center for Biblical Studies in Jacksonville, Fla.
Davis and his wife Jeanne have two daughters, Wendy Davis Walker and Beth Davis Greene, and one grandchild.
Lonnie Wilkey is editor of the Baptist and Reflector (www.tnbaptist.org/BRNews.asp), newsjournal of the Tennessee Baptist Convention.