On April 4, 2019, during a regular chapel service, Concordia University Ann Arbor recognized Rev. David A. Davis with the 2019 Outstanding Alumnus Award.
Davis graduated in Concordia’s second-ever four-year class in 1979. He earned majors in both Greek and the Humanities and a minor in Earth Science. While at Concordia, “D. Davis” served as president of the Student Senate and was awarded an athletic letter for soccer. It was through their time together at Concordia that Davis convinced Sallie (nee Mertz, A.A. ’79) to spend her life with him. Most of his lifelong friendships began at Concordia. After graduation, he matriculated to Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Mo.
Because Davis’ roots in Michigan go back to his ancestors settling in the Saginaw Valley area nearly a decade before the Franconians arrived, he was glad to spend his entire pastoral ministry proclaiming Jesus to people throughout Michigan. He served congregations in Spring Lake, Trenton, Grand Rapids, and currently serves in Haslett/Lansing. He was instrumental in beginning various new congregations and ministries. He served the Michigan District, LCMS as Chair of the Mission Board and later the Board of Directors. Davis was also a Regional Vice President for four terms. His special interests in ministry, both within the congregations and through his service to the District, were encouraging reading through the Bible annually, developing new Gospel-proclaiming ministries, and promoting congregational life in center city locations.
Davis has built various reading groups inside and outside of the congregation. He has always loved to learn about what people do and how they think about things. For the purpose of mentoring young people and new pastors, he authored a series of essays. For over a decade, Dave and Sallie have hosted an annual gathering of pastors—a “Homemade Pastors’ Conference.”
Rev. David P. E. Maier, who preached at the chapel service on the occasion of the award presentation, says of Davis: “He is a true example of a godly family man, sold out to Jesus and His Word, doing it in an organized fashion in terms of bringing people together in administration yet trusting the Lord, seeing serendipity of the Spirit where things and doors open up. Because of his humility, God has used him mightily. He is really the example of a true leader. If leaders have the gift of influence, it has been given to Dave Davis in abundance.”
Davis and his family are lifelong supporters of Concordia. They return regularly for special events. For many years, he brought his confirmation class for an introductory tour of the campus. He and his extended family established a scholarship for education students in memory of his parents, Robert and Anne Davis.
Dave and Sallie raised four daughters. Together, the family enjoys living, serving, and vacationing throughout the State of Michigan.
Photos by Elisa Schulz/Michigan District, LCMS