Rev. Dr. Cynthia Davis named superintendent of Mississippi River District, beginning March 1


Beginning March 1, Rev. Dr. Cynthia Davis will be superintendent of the Mississippi River District.

Rev. Dr. Cynthia Davis will become superintendent of the Mississippi River District in the Memphis Conference, beginning March 1, according to an announcement today by Bishop William T. (Bill) McAlilly of the Nashville Episcopal Area of The United Methodist Church (UMC).

Davis follows Rev. Kevin Conrad who will become senior pastor of Cookeville First UMC in Cookeville, Tennessee, in the Tennessee Conference, beginning March 1.

The Mississippi River District includes eight counties in northwest Tennessee and has its district office in Alamo, Tennessee.

Davis currently serves as senior associate pastor and executive director of congregational care at Christ UMC in Memphis, Tennessee, an appointment she has held since July 2016.

Before her appointment to Christ UMC, Davis was superintendent of the Memphis Conference's former McKendree District. She was appointed to that cabinet-level position by Bishop Richard J. (Dick) Wills, Jr., in 2011 and served until 2016.

The McKendree District combined with the Asbury District in mid-2016 to create the current Metro (Memphis) District.

The Memphis Conference cabinet includes Bishop McAlilly and superintendents of the conference’s four districts. The cabinet provides oversight and direction for the work of the Memphis Conference, its districts and churches.

Commenting on the Davis appointment, McAlilly said, “In this season of challenge in the Church, we need an experienced, pastoral presence to serve in the Mississippi River District. Cynthia is a beloved and proven leader in the Memphis Conference and was the unanimous choice of the cabinet.”

From 2005 to 2011, Davis was lead pastor of Friendship UMC in Millington, Tennessee, before which she had a career in healthcare:

  • 2001-2005: Manager of Admissions and Retention, Baptist College of Health Sciences, Memphis, TN

  • 1990-2001: Faculty and college counselor positions, Baptist College of Health Sciences, Memphis, TN

  • 1985-1990: Nurse Manager, Trauma Orthopedics and Burn ICU and Step-Down, Detroit Receiving Hospital, Detroit MI

  • 1983-1985: Nurse Manager, Cardiovascular ICU, Baptist Memorial Hospital, Memphis, TN

Davis received her doctor of ministry degree from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio in 2005. She earned her master’s degree in counseling from the University of Memphis in 1994 and bachelor’s degree from the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Mississippi in 1980.

Davis and her husband, Dr. Sonny Davis, are the parents of four adult children and two grandsons, Jalen and Blake.

Reacting to her March 1 appointment, Davis said, "I am tremendously humbled by this opportunity and ask for prayers of wisdom and discernment. Sonny and I look forward to meeting the wonderful people of the Mississippi River District. We give God thanks for the great spiritual leadership of the Rev. Kevin Conrad and how he has led the district with exceptional excellence."

Bishop McAlilly and his cabinet are continuing with the appointive process, working to discern the best missional appointments for the Memphis Conference and Nashville Episcopal Area.

Projected appointments for 2019-20 will be announced in April and finalized during the 2019 Memphis Annual Conference in June in Collierville, Tennessee. 

~Compiled by Lane Gardner Camp, Director of Communications, Memphis Conference