Updated: Aug 18
You might be wondering, “Who is this guy, where did he come from, or what is his plan for the Wesley at USM?” Well, I'm glad you asked. In this post, I want to take time to introduce myself, my family, and my vision for ministry at USM Wesley.
Getting to know me:
I grew up in Starkville Mississippi and attended Starkville First United Methodist Church. Whenever the doors were open, I was in church. I first felt the call to ministry as a junior in high school, but because I did not fully understand the call before me, fear and worry began to overwhelm me. A few years later, I found myself attending Mississippi College to play basketball, but what I did not realize was that I was craving Christian community. I met my wife during my junior year of college, and we married two years later. I served for three years as youth minister at Houston First United Methodist Church in Houston, MS before heading to Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, KY. It was during my time at Asbury that God began to tug at my heart for college students. After Seminary, I returned to Mississippi and was commissioned at the 2015 Annual Conference. I served at Louisville First United Methodist Church as the associate pastor over children’s ministry and youth ministry, at which time I also launched a contemporary service. During that time, my heart continued to burn to be in college ministry. Following that year, I was sent to Memorial United Methodist Church in Bolton, MS as the senior pastor, where I also taught classes at Hinds Community College and launched the Wesley Foundation on that campus. This past Annual Conference, I was ordained an Elder in the United Methodist Church. Over the past two years, my family and I have watched ministries grow, students come to know Christ and the kingdom advance.
Meeting the family:
I met Christine, my wife of six years, while attending Mississippi College. During that time, she received a B.S. in Elementary Education from MC, and later she earned her M.A. in Teacher Leadership from Asbury University in Kentucky. She taught elementary school for several years but most recently worked for Hinds Community College's eLearning Department as an instructional designer, focusing much of her work in the Center for Teaching and Learning.
Meet our little caveman, James Emmett. He’ll turn two this July, and he loves dinosaurs, fishing, and his family. He's excited to be a big brother and cheer on those golden eagles.
In September, we will welcome a little girl, Emily Bell. She will be the first girl grandchild on both sides of our family so to say that everyone is excited to meet her is an understatement. She already loves pink, bows, and all pretty things. Don't worry, she’ll like to play basketball and fish too.
We are excited for our family to join the USM Wesley family. Our prayer is for a long and fruitful ministry on the campus of Southern Miss.
Exploring the Vision:
My vision for the Wesley Foundation at Southern Mississippi is a "sending" ministry. In the words of one our Wesley students, let's "go, go, go" on this campus. Students longing for this ministry to "go, go, go" reflect a biblical worldview of Mark 16:15 when we are told, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation." The Wesley Foundation is an airport terminal where students are gathered and prepared to be sent out into all the world. Our purpose for gathering is described in Acts 2:42, “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” At the Wesley Foundation, students will be prepared, focused, and refueled to be sent out into all the world to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
Sharing with Neighbor:
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Let's Go, Go, Go!
We look forward to making space to experience Grace. Find yourself making space for someone else through the tools at your hands already: facebook, email, and other outlets. Join us as we seek to impact the world around us with the redemptive activity of God’s grace.
USM Wesley Foundation
Rev. Eric Davis