Imagery of Regent people and campus

Maury Davis: Pastor, Speaker, Convicted Murderer

By Brett Wilson | November 6, 2014

Maury Davis.

Maury Davis, senior pastor of Cornerstone Nashville in Tennessee, looks like a run-of-the-mill, ordinary preacher. He is neatly pressed, stacked with a bright smile and accompanying humor. But, to see Davis certainly isn't to know him.

The crooked pinky on his left hand is the only hint from his former life, a permanent relic from his years spent as a drug dealer, a meth addict and a convicted murderer.

"I went through life thinking it was about the 'survival of the fittest,' and that we ought to be either a predator or prey," he told students, faculty and staff on Wednesday, Oct. 29, during Regent University's weekly chapel service hosted by Campus Ministries.

Davis was confronted about his behavior when his biological father, a man who abandoned him when he was five-years-old, intervened and tried to tell him about God.

"He said, 'I’m not the Christian man I should be, and I'm not the father I should have been, but I met God when I was 18 years old,'" said Maury. "Then he told me that God was going to put me in a place to get my attention."

Davis didn't realize how quickly those words from his father would spin into prophesy. After committing what he described briefly as a "brutal, horrible" murder, Davis came head-to-head with pleading guilty for his crime. His family hired a lawyer, who told Davis plainly that he "didn't need an attorney" but "needed God."

"I was terrified; I knew if an attorney was coming to talk to you about God, the next step would be the electric chair," said Davis. "And the city of Dallas could get you there."

But then through his time in jail, God "came in like a flood" for Davis. He believes the hopeful people he met while incarcerated who loved God were "lights in the darkness," despite their life-sentences in prison.

"God took the scales off of my eyes then," said Davis, who remembers his first few months as a born-again Christian. Through his experience, his family members also came to Christ. And though he still had 20 years to serve in prison, he said that God melted his heart of stone and gave him joy and radical redemption through it all.

Davis has spent the latter part of his life proclaiming this news and encouraging his congregation to seek the Holy Spirit and to live life in full-throttle for Christ, as he continues to be living proof that "nothing can separate" anyone from the love of God.

"All he really wants in return is for you to love him back," said Davis. "Regardless of who you are or what you've become."

Learn more about Regent University's Campus Ministries.


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