‘Mormon Land’: Baptist preacher and civil rights legend France Davis recalls his five decades serving in the land of Latter-day Saints

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) The Rev. France Davis preaches a sermon at Calvary Baptist Church, Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019.

Nearly 50 years ago, France Davis arrived in Utah, where he became the pastor of the state’s most prominent black congregation.

For 46 years, he led Calvary Baptist Church. But Davis is more than a preacher. He’s an educator, who has taught communication and ethnic studies at the University of Utah; a civic activist, who has served on numerous boards and commissions; and a civil rights icon, who marched for voting rights from Selma to Montgomery.

During his decades in the Beehive State, his words have carried a resounding moral clout and clarity that belie his small stature and soft-spoken nature.

As Davis retired at year’s end from the pulpit, he joined the podcast to talk about his time leading a Baptist church in the heart of Mormondom.

Listen here.