As a young man David Clyde “DC” Davis, adamantly denied the possibility of working in ministry.
Yet years later, that’s exactly where he’s found himself — the youth pastor at Tomah’s Lighthouse Assembly of God ... and he loves it.
A native of Hilliard, Florida, Davis got his first inkling that he might end up working as a pastor in 10th grade. He was performing in a Christian talent show at West Nassau High School in Florida doing an imitation of preaching, poking fun at it.
“When doing it I just felt in my heart that, ‘hey, you need to stop making fun of this because you’re going to be doing it one day,’” he said.
That thought stayed in the back of his mind even as he was filling out college applications during his senior year, determined to go to college and be a meteorologist.
The voice told him to fill out at least one application to a Bible college. So he did, all the while thinking that even if he got in, he was going to attend another college because he didn’t want to be a pastor.
“I was an A and B student, I had a 3.5 GPA, I had a scholarship, and then all the colleges I applied for denied me but the Bible school,” he said. “So I was like, ‘OK, I guess this is where I’m going.’”
After his first year at the Jacksonville Master’s Commission in 2008, Davis warmed up to being a pastor.
“I felt like this is where I’m supposed to be,” he said.
Also at this time Davis found his passion for youth ministry.
During the first year at Bible college students were required to work with all the different ministries for about two months each, Davis said. They started with children’s ministry and worked their way up to seniors.
“We got a taste for every age group where there are ministries,” he said. “Then at the end of my first year, we were told that if you come back for your second year, you need to choose which you want to do most prominently.”
While Davis eventually chose to work with youth, it was the children’s pastor at the school’s church who most influenced his decision.
“He was telling me to fill the void — if you see a void, fill it,” he said. “He was trying to promote me to take children’s ministry, but at the time the middle school was lax — no one wanted to deal with middle school or high school; they thought all the kids were crazy. Actually, these people need the most help. So that’s how I got involved with youth ministry. They needed a leader, and I fell in love with it my second year, returned my third year, and it has been youth ministry since.”
He graduated from Bible college in 2011.
Davis said what he enjoys about being a youth minister is the chance to help teenagers better their lives.
“I think every student needs to feel like someone cares and that someone hears them and to be by their side through the worst things and through the best things in life,” he said. “It doesn’t matter how many friends they have or don’t have, some of them feel like no one’s there for them. For me personally, it’s cool just to be there and push them − say you have this and you can make yourself a better life, whether they come to the Lord or not. My personal goal is that they come to know Jesus and get saved, but also that they can become good citizens in this community − help them change their life for the better. For me I think that’s the coolest thing.”
While a Florida native, Davis comes to Tomah from Rawlins, Wyoming, where he has lived for the past five years with his wife Danielle and two-year-old daughter Nadia, as a youth pastor.
The Davis family is expecting a second child in November.
About a year ago Davis and his wife began searching for a new job, and they found Tomah.
They came to Tomah for an early August visit and wound up moving to Tomah Aug. 28.
It seems like a good fit, Davis said.
“We’re really liking the community; it’s really nice,” he said. “It feels like a small town but filled with city life too. You can go 10 miles out and you’re already in the country or you get the city feel.”
He also enjoyed being involved with an established children’s church, which his church in Rawlins didn’t have.
Pastor Kirk Brown of the Lighthouse Assembly of God said he’s happy to have the Davis family involved.
“They bring a lot of light and energy,” he said. “They’re easy-going people that love God, and we love having them here.”
In his first year, Davis hopes to get more youth involved with his group.
“Right now we have about 20 students right now, but there are tons more out there that aren’t being reached or being cared about or feeling important,” he said. “My goal is to make Frontline Youth (the name of our youth group at Lighthouse Assembly) a known name in the community, as a place parents trust and a place students feel safe and can have fun while at the same time being encouraged to make a difference in their life and community even as a teen.”