NOLENSVILLE, Tn (BNc) – Jerry Olin Davidson, age 75, passed away at his home on November 15, 2020. He served as a minister in the churches of Christ for 51 years. During his years of ministry, Jerry Davidson served as an elder of the church in Fairhope and Summerdale, Alabama, where he was loved and respected by all.
Davidson graduated from Alabama Christian College (Faulkner University) Montgomery, AL with a Bible degree in 1967. He received a Master’s degree in Bible from Amridge University, Montgomery in 1993. It was at Alabama Christian College that Davidson met and married the former Linda Frances Williams of McMinnville, TN. They were married 53 years. He later served for 25 years as an Adjunct Bible Professor at Faulkner University, Mobile, AL campus while living in the Mobile area.
The Davidsons united love for the souls of men was exemplified in the desire to go into all the world and preach the gospel. Their first full-time work was with the Ault Road church of Christ, Knoxville, TN, 1967-68. From there they moved to Donalsonville, GA and worked with the Donalsonville church from 1968-70. Their first son, Jerry Olin Davidson, Jr “Jay” was born during this tenure.
In December 1971, family matters necessitated their move to Mobile where they took over the family business to help his elderly mother. They worked with the church at Spanish Fort, AL during this time. A brother soon purchased the business and Jerry and Frances devoted full-time work to the church. During this time two other sons, Jonathan Mark and Jeffrey Jerome were born.
Jerry Davidson was co-director of Gulf Coast Bible Camp, Lucedale, MS for 25 years while serving churches in the Mobile area.
With a burning desire to work on the mission field the Davidson’s moved to work with the people in San Fernando, Trinidad during 1972-73. Afterwards, they returned to Spanish Fort and worked with the church for eight years. In 1981, they moved to Fairhope, and Davidson preached for the church there for 25 years.
In 1989, Jerry went to Guyana, South America for the first time. His eyes were opened to the great possibilities of spreading the gospel in that area. He came home and spearheaded a very successful work plan. After his work with the church in Fairhope, the Summerdale church of Christ assumed oversight of the Amerindian work in Guyana, South America.
Jerry and Frances Davidson devoted 28 years to preaching the gospel in Guyana, South America. During this time Davidson set up the very successful Guyana Christian University where area students studied for two years and graduated with a Bible degree. They then became ministers for the congregations in the Amerindian villages. Davidson always concentrated his work on the interior of Guyana where more often than not there was no electricity or running water. He purchased pup tents for those traveling with him to sleep in while working on the quarterly campaigns. Baths were taken in the local river. Monthly reports mailed to supporting congregations always gave encouraging information about their work telling of large numbers being baptized and congregations established. In 2017 Jerry’s health required him to retire. His love for the Amerindians continued the rest of his life. The church at Summerdale honored him with a retirement party June 1, 2018. Approximately 125 friends, family, and fellow missionaries attended.
Jerry Davidson was preceded in death by his parents, Jerome and Clara Davidson and eight brothers and sisters. He is survived by his wife, Linda Frances; sons, Jay (Dewi), Jonathan (Lori), and Jeff (Melissa) Davidson; seven grandchildren: Jill, Brookley, Landen, Jeffrey, Jaayla, Jake, and Joy Davidson. He is also survived by three brothers and one sister.
Funeral services were held on Nov. 19, at the Tusculum church of Christ in Nashville, TN and Nov. 21 at Eastern Shore church of Christ, Daphne. He was laid to rest in the Jubilee Memorial Gardens, Daphne, AL.
As a teenage girl, I prayed to marry a preacher. I knew no one who was desiring to be a preacher but each night I knelt by my bed and prayed, “Lord, if I am capable of being a preacher’s wife I would like to marry a preacher. If not, just let me marry a Christian.” God answered that prayer for me. Our local preacher, Jerry Humphries, preached in two gospel meetings that summer and invited a young man from Alabama Christian College (now Faulkner University) to preach in his absence. He brought his girlfriend with him so that took him out of the running. But when I learned they were coming back in a week or so, I asked if they didn’t have some fine young man they could bring down and let me meet. The girl thought for a minute, snapped her fingers and said, “Old Doug.” Old Doug and I will be married 56 years on December 18. We have two children and two grandchildren. All our children are faithful members of the church. God is so good. I love Him so.