Richard Terrell Davis ’55

Rev. Dr. Richard Terrell Davis, 83, formerly of the Durham area, died Sunday, June 26, 2016, at the Gordon Hospice House in Statesville, NC. He was born April 5, 1933, in Rutherford County, the son of the late Joseph Gomer and Sarah Ellerbe Davis.

He was a minister for more than 40 years, serving churches in eastern North Carolina, and later as a chaplain at the V.A. Hospital in Durham.

Dr. Davis was preceded in death by his wife of 50 years, Barbara Geer Davis, in 2005. He resided at Hyco Lake in Person County until 2014, when he moved to The Gardens Assisted Living Facility in Statesville.

He is survived by their three children and their families: Richard T. Davis, Jr., of Gibsonville, NC, and children, Richard T. Davis, III, and Rachelle Vo, of Pinellas Park, FL, and Drew and Stacy Davis Knab of Oakland, CA; Nancy Davis and Tip Nicholson of Statesville, NC, and children, Brittain and Will Kenney of Charlotte, and Peggy Nicholson and Justin Tosco of Durham; and Peggy Davis Gold, and child, Austin Gold, both of Durham; and six great-grandchildren, Richard T. Davis, IV, of Pinellas Park, FL.; Benjamin James Knab of Oakland; Nancy James, Davis Elizabeth and May McCullough Kenney of Charlotte; and James Elijah Tosco of Durham. He is also survived by a brother, Joseph G. Davis of Rockingham; and 13 nieces and nephews.

Also preceding him in death were his sisters, Sarah Davis Helms and Beth Davis Carpenter.

Dr. Davis received a B.S. in Religion from Davidson College in 1955. He was a lieutenant in the U.S. Army before receiving a B.D. from Southeastern Seminary in 1960 and a Master of Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1961.

He returned to Southeastern Seminary and earned his Doctor of Ministry in 1987. Dr. Davis pastored churches at Winterville Baptist Church in Winterville, NC, Edgemont Baptist Church in Rocky Mount, NC and Park View Baptist Church in Durham, NC. He also served for more than a decade as a chaplain at the V.A. Hospital in Durham.

His love of beagles and stone masonry kept him busy for decades, which he enjoyed more with a chew of tobacco and classical music on the radio.

An avid storyteller and jokester, Dr. Davis also had tremendous pastoral care skills that touched many lives. As a scholar and preacher, he lectured on many topics, but it was following a lecture series in 2002 at Grace Baptist Church in Statesville, that a lecture series was named for him and his wife. Now in its 14th year, the Barbara and Richard Davis Lecture Series honors Dr. Davis’; efforts and commitment to the study of scripture with serious inquiry and honest dialogue.

A memorial service will be held July 16 at 11 a.m. at Grace Baptist Church, 719 Club Drive, Statesville. Interment will follow at a later date.

Memorials may be made to the Davis Lecture Series, WCPE Radio in Raleigh, or to the charity of the donor’s choice.

The family extends special thanks to the staff at The Gardens and Gordon Hospice House for their care and kindness.

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