Trevecca alumnus named recipient of Church of the Nazarene Distinguished Service Award

Trevecca alumnus Judge Charles Davis, (’70), was recently named the recipient of a Distinguished Service Award during the 95th meeting of the General Board of the Church of the Nazarene. Davis was recognized with the award on February 26 at the recommendation of the Board of General Superintendents.

“I was very blessed to have been born into a Nazarene family that instilled in me a deep commitment to the church. I was further blessed to have had the many opportunities to be involved in the life of the church at every level,” Davis said. “I have great admiration and appreciation for those who give of themselves as leaders of our church and to be given this honor by this group is very humbling and I am most appreciative of their kind expression.”

For Davis, his Trevecca experience proved transformative.

“It was while I was a student at Trevecca that I settled the very basic issues of my commitment to Christ,” he said. “When I left the Hill, I did not know where my path would take me, but I had the deep faith to believe that God would open doors if I would but follow.”

Following his graduation, Davis taught for a few years and went on to earn a law degree from the University of Florida. He remained in Winter Haven, Fla., to practice law, eventually going on to serve as mayor and being appointed to the Second District Court of Appeals in 1999 by former Governor Jeb Bush.

Davis has remained a faithful member of the Church of the Nazarene for his entire life, including being a third-generation member of the First Church of the Nazarene of Winter Haven.

“I have in the past served as a member of church board, secretary of the church board, chairman of the church finance committee, church treasurer, and chairman of Heritage Christian Academy Board of Directors,” says Davis.

While carving out his career and serving the church, Davis has also remained faithful to the University, serving on the Board of Trustees from 1979 until 2017. As a member of that board, he served as chair of the Academic Affairs Committee and as board chairman for a total of 12 years.

Well-known throughout the denomination, Davis has also served on the district as member of the District Advisory Board and the District Finance Committee. In addition, he spent more than 20 years serving on the General Board as the chair of the Finance Committee, chair of the Audit Committee, chair of the Special Salaries Committee, member of the Executive Committee, and as president of the General Board from 2009-2017.

Since 2015, Davis has served as an adjunct instructor of business law at the University. While he says he never could have imagined the trajectory his life has taken, Davis is grateful for the opportunity to serve as he’s been called.

“In the spring of 1970, I would never have dreamed of my going to law school, becoming a judge nor being involved in roles of leadership at Trevecca or in the General Church,” Davis said. “But my faith taught me to live from day to day, to do my best in every opportunity that God provides and to be sensitive to His will and to follow wherever He leads.”

By Rebekah Warren
Media contact: Mandy Crow,, 615-248-1695