2016 Award Recipient Rev. James F. Davis III

Rev. James F. Davis currently serves as the pastor of Dunn Creek Baptist Church in Ware Shoals, SC. Rev. Davis also works as a school bus driver and substitute teacher for Ware Shoals School District 51. Rev. Davis was born in Dillon, SC, and graduated from Butler High School in Hartsville, SC. He is a 1977 graduate of South Carolina years. Following his military service, Rev. Davis worked as an addictions counselor for the Greenville County Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse for 11 years. Rev. Davis also became an interim pastor while in Hawaii in 1987-88 and has pastored two churches since 1990. He has pastored Dunn Creek Baptist Church of Ware Shoals for 21 years and continues to do so.

Rev. Davis gives back to his community through community service. He is a grief counselor for a funeral home, a Trustee for the Little River Multicultural Complex, and a member of the Ware Shoals High School Improvement Council. Rev. Davis is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Ministry at Anderson University. He has been married to his college sweetheart, Gale (Smith) Davis since 1978. Rev. and Mrs. Davis have one daughter, Ivy Elise.

While Rev. Davis’ work as a minister, counselor, and community servant has always provided valuable assistance to at-risk youth, he became aggressively involved in dropout prevention after attending a districtwide meeting of educators and community leaders on the issue in 2013. Rev. Davis made school success and high school graduation the theme of his church’s youth ministry. He invited school and community of the dropout problem and taught them strategies for supporting their children to succeed in school and to graduate. Under the leadership of Rev. Davis, Dunn Creek Baptist Church has hosted numerous youth events that communicate the stay-in-school message and support the school success of children in the Ware Shoals community.

Rev. Davis creatively spreads the message of school success beyond his ministry at Dunn Creek Baptist Church. He leads a group of church and community members who regularly attend local school board meetings and offer support and assistance to school system leadership to improve graduation rates. As a school bus driver, Rev. Davis drives “Bus #8” and all his young passengers know and share the bus motto, – cant improvement that results from the schools and community working together. Rev. James Davis, as a leader in the faith community, has guided adults to assist students in school success and to support the school system’s graduation rate improvement efforts. In Ware Shoals, the community sends a loud message of school success and expectation of graduation to its children. That message is in large part due to the dedication and creativity of Rev. James F. Davis.

Good, Great and Future Graduates of Bus 8!!! Primaries in the front, Elementary and Middle School in the middle and High School in the rear!!!

Rev. James Davis Receives the Governor and Mrs. Richard W Riley Award For Excellence in Dropout Prevention


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