John Davis is a man willing to get his hands dirty—or, to be more accurate, get his hands clean.
“I love Maranatha and I would do anything I could to further the cause of Maranatha,” Davis said. “If the president asked me to wash dishes, I’d do that.”
Davis (’73) was asked to change jobs this summer, but his new office will be nowhere near the dish room. The current Director of Development and Alumni Services will become Dean of Students following Commencement on May 4. Davis replaces Doug Richards, now senior pastor at Faith Baptist Church in Waukesha, WI.
“Doug has done an outstanding job of establishing the pattern of discipleship in the Student Life Office,” Davis said. “I hope we can build on that.”
The 60-year-old Davis will continue in his Alumni role. He came to Maranatha in 2001 as Director of Alumni Services and added the Development part of his title in 2009.
Davis has accompanied more than 25 College traveling groups on tours around the country, preaching and interacting with current students as well as pastors, school administrators, and prospective students. He previously spent 15 years as a youth pastor and 14 as a senior pastor at three churches, including Faith Baptist of Danville, IL. He and wife Gayle have three children and seven grandchildren.
“I’ve been a pastor; I’ve been a parent; I think I can look at student issues from a broad perspective,” Davis said.
The first priority for the new Dean of Students will be student leadership.
“I see this as an opportunity to disciple students, especially those in leadership roles, and that is what I’ll pour myself into,” Davis said. “My primary contact with students is going to be to mentor those in leadership positions.
“Our student leadership structure has been built around the dorm supervisors. I want to encourage them, be available to them. I don’t want to take over, but to help them address student issues.”
New students are not always a natural fit for leadership. Davis is ready to work through the disciplinary process with those students who still require some maturity and spiritual refinement.
“I think 29 years in the pastorate has prepared me to help people with spiritual issues,” Davis said. “Every one of them has great potential, but they also face obstacles. It is daunting. Sometimes the best thing to do for someone is the hardest thing. Later, in time, they’ll recognize that moment as a life lesson and see how they grew from it.”