October 28, 2021
“Pastor France Davis Way” signs have been installed on Harvard Ave. between State and Main streets in honor of local longtime pastor and civil rights leader Rev. France Davis.
“Pastor Davis has been a steady, strong force for good in Salt Lake City,” said Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall. “From his service as a pastor of Calvary Baptist Church for more than 45 years, to his ongoing work on our Commission on Racial Equity in Policing, our community has been fortunate to have Pastor Davis call our capital city home.”
The new signs were unveiled Thursday, as members of the community and church gathered to celebrate.
Friends, colleagues and church members of Pastor Davis began the process of petitioning for an honorary street renaming in 2019, when they wanted to honor the religious and community leader following his retirement after 46 years.
“Pastor France A. Davis has been one of my longtime mentors and guides in my life, and it is with great pride and respect that I get to honor him,” said Shawn Newell, founder of the Utah Multicultural Civic Council.
The Salt Lake City Council adopted the petition for the honorary renaming in August of this year. Honorary street name designations are generally done to recognize individual, cultural or community contributions. Previous streets have been named for Harvey Milk, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr., Cesar Chavez, Karl Malone and John Stockton.
“I am excited to participate in the honorary street naming to recognize Pastor Davis for his many years of service to Calvary Baptist Church and our community,” said Salt Lake City Council Chair Amy Fowler.
About Pastor Davis
Born in rural Georgia, Rev. Davis moved to Salt Lake City in 1972. That same year, he joined Calvary Baptist Church where he later served for 46 years as pastor and chief administrator. He served as a faculty member of the University of Utah on the Utah State Board of Regents, and in many other roles in his time in Utah. He is one of the Core Commission Members of the City’s Commission on Racial Equity in Policing.