France A. Davis, pastor of the Calvary Baptist Church of Salt Lake City, will present the Gaskin Lecture at Oklahoma Baptist University Oct. 2. Davis will present his lecture at 10 a.m. in Geiger Center room 218. The lecture topic is “Black Baptists in Oklahoma: 1990-Today.”
The J.M. Gaskin Lectureship was established by friends of Dr. J.M. Gaskin and advocates of the preservation of Oklahoma Baptist history and heritage. The lectureship was designed to promote the study of Oklahoma Baptist history to students at OBU, many of whom will be future leaders of churches in the state. Others interested in Oklahoma Baptist history and heritage are invited to attend these lectures.
The Rev. France A. Davis was born in a small town in rural Georgia to parents of faith. After high school, he attended Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, and in 1966 joined the U.S. Air Force where he served as an aircraft mechanic.
Davis earned a Bachelor of Arts in rhetoric from the University of California at Berkeley and his Bachelor of Science in religion from Westminster College in Salt Lake City. He also earned a Master of Arts in mass communication from the University of Utah and a Master of Ministry from Northwest Nazarene College.
He has been the pastor of the historic Calvary Baptist Church of Salt Lake City since 1974. In 2014, he retired from the University of Utah as adjunct associate professor emeritus. He has written several publications including “Light in the Midst of Zion: A History of Black Baptists in Utah,” and his autobiography, “France Davis: An American Story Told.” Davis lectures widely on cultural and religious topics.
Davis lives in Salt Lake City with his wife, Willene. Together they have two daughters, a son and daughter-in-law, four grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.