Roanoke College

Reverend Doctor H. Grady Davis '10

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The Reverend Doctor Henry Grady Davis graduated from Roanoke College in 1910 and earned his AB. Doctor Davis continued his education at the Lutheran Seminary at Philadelphia from 1913-1916. He also studied at the University of Tennessee and the University of Chicago, and earned his doctorate in divinity from Wittenberg College in 1938.

For a man of small physical stature, Dr. Davis reached tremendous heights in the admiration of his students and in services he performed for his church. He had the ability to combine the artistry of words and the imagery of thought to inspire his students to become better preachers. His personal contact and his intimate concern, as well as his inquiring mind and sensitive heart have him the fantastic ability to bridge the generation gap. In the art of homiletics, he influenced whole generations of men that are now serving Lutheran congregations throughout the country.

Doctor Davis was published in different magazines and books, and those publications include the following; numerous articles in Lutheran Quarterly and other theological journals, Design for Preaching, which was published in the Fortress Press in 1958 and is the most widely used textbook on homiletics in Protestant Seminaries in the U.S.(as of 1969), Why we Worship, in the Fortress Press in 1961, and his most influential book, The Gospels in Study and Preaching, which he co-authored and was featured in the Fortress Press in 1966.

Doctor Davis served on the Board of Adjudication of the ULCA, and served two terms on the Board of Parish Education of the ULCA. He lectured at Southern Baptist Seminaries in Fort Worth, Texas, and in Louisville, Kentucky. He also taught a preaching clinic at the Moravian Seminary in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania as well as at the United Brethren Seminary. He held many conferences throughout the country at Theological Schools and preached on the "Teaching of Homiletics in America."

He was a Professor of Functional Theology in the Chicago Lutheran Theological Seminary and also worked in the Lutheran Ministry from 1913-1927. He worked as a Emeritus Professor in the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. He was a member of the United Lutheran Court of Adjudication and Interpretation, and was President of the Weidner Institute in Mulberry Indiana.

Doctor Davis earned the Roanoke College medal in 1969 for his distinguished service to the church. He was married to Madge Mitchell on June 7, 1917 in Knoxville, Tennessee. Together they had two children; Henry Grady, Jr. and Margaret, Mrs. John Laughner.