We resume our regularly scheduled programming this week at the “Church of Christ Celebrities” blog after a couple of particularly lengthy multi-topic entries. As always, if you enjoy this project, feel free to like and share with your family and friends, and let me know what topics you want me to cover over at the Contact page.
This week, we leave the music world and head to the land of TV (though not TV Land) as we explore the religious affiliations of University of Alabama alumnus and ESPN broadcaster Rece Davis (1965-). Davis is a familiar face on the network’s SportsCenter and College GameDay programs, and he occasionally appears–this will come as a huge shock to you–on lists of celebrities with ties to Churches of Christ. Is there anything to the rumor?
(“ESPN sports broadcaster Rece Davis” by Porfirio Solorzano is licensed under CC BY SA-3.0)
We’ll begin with a 2014 Montgomery Advertiser article which examined a football-themed event held at the Landmark Church of Christ to commemorate the start of SEC play that year. Speakers included on the program included famed SMU running back Craig James and Rece Davis, among several others. Author Paul Sullivan includes the intriguing (for our purposes) detail that “Bell knows ESPN’s Rece Davis from when Bell was a campus minister at the University of Alabama.” (1)
The following year, SBNation profiled Rece Davis when he took over College GameDay, replacing Chris Fowler as that show’s host. This article specifically notes that Davis grew up in Churches of Christ:
Davis didn’t join a fraternity, partially because he didn’t drink, growing up in the Church of Christ. He formed friendships over sports as an R.A. at Paty Hall. Groups of friends would caravan to Birmingham for Bama games at Legion Field. (2)
Speaking from my own personal experience, I can also add that Davis spoke at a benefit dinner for the Florence, Alabama, Mars Hill Bible School, a K-12 school affiliated with Churches of Christ, when I was in high school there. (3)
Based on the above, it seems pretty clear that Rece Davis was raised in Churches of Christ and that he seems to have retained that connection to the present day. Thanks for reading today’s short but sweet entry!
(1) Paul Sullivan, “Gridiron Kickoff blends faith, SEC football,” Montgomery Advertiser, August 12, 2014, accessed March 8, 2018, https://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com/story/news/local/east-montgomery/2014/08/12/gridiron-kickoff-blends-faith-sec-football/13978857/.
(2) Steven Godfrey, “Meet Rece Davis: Your New Saturday Morning Best Friend,” SBNation, September 3, 2015, accessed March 8, 2018, https://www.sbnation.com/college-football/2015/9/3/9215619/rece-davis-college-gameday-espn.
(3) You believe me, right?