category: Campus News

Dr. Randy Davis and Dr. Bob to Deliver Fall Commencement Addresses

Dr. Randy Davis, executive director and treasurer of the Tennessee Baptist Convention, will deliver Carson-Newman College’s fall commencement address to undergraduates at 2 p.m. Friday, December 16. Dr. Robert Overholt will address those receiving graduate degrees at 7 p.m. on Thursday, December 15.

“It’s great that graduates in both of our ceremonies will hear from speakers of this caliber,” said C-N President Randall O’Brien. “Dr. Davis and Dr. Overholt love the Lord and students, and both have deeply invested themselves in the betterment of East Tennessee. They are dedicated leaders who keenly understand the importance of Christ-centered education and support it whole-heartedly.”

Some 65 undergraduates are expected to graduate on Friday afternoon in Holt Fieldhouse. Davis, who will receive an honorary doctorate of divinity degree during the ceremony, served two East Tennessee churches as pastor before joining the TBC’s Brentwood office last year.

A Mobile, Alabama native, Davis earned his undergraduate degree at William Carey College, the MRE from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and a doctorate from the Southern Baptist Center for Biblical Studies. He was closely affiliated with C-N during 18 years of pastoral service in East Tennessee. He led Morristown’s First Baptist Church from 1992 until 2001, during which the church averaged some 150 additions per year. From Morristown, he was called to First Baptist Church of Sevierville, which saw more than 900 baptisms during his tenure. He led both congregations to significantly raise Cooperative Program support by setting a goal of 10 percent of donations to the church.

Denominational service has included serving as president of the TBC, president of the Tennessee Baptist Pastors Conference, as trustee of the Southern Baptist Convention’s International Mission Board and on the SBC’s Committee on Committees and its Committee on Nominations. He served as pastor of Mississippi congregations at First Baptist, Vancleave, and New Hope Baptist, Leakesville. He has also participated in mission outreach in more than a dozen countries.

Davis and his wife Jeanne have two married daughters and three grandchildren.

Overholt, known across much of Tennessee as “Dr. Bob,” will address graduate students on Thursday evening in Thomas Recital Hall, part of Tarr Music Center. He has been in private practice since 1970 and is a renowned expert on medical and health issues. In addition to “The Dr. Bob Show,” which airs on public televisions from the Plateau to the North Carolina border, he regularly discusses medical topics on Knoxville’s WBIR TV10.

A member of Knoxville’s West Hills Baptist Church, Overholt is a longtime C-N supporter who was honorary chair for its For Such a Time as This campaign. His wife, Carol, has served as trustee of C-N for several years.

Certified by both the American Board of Internal Medicine and the American Board of Allergy and Immunology, Overholt has maintained an active role in medical research and is a fellow with the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology and the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. He earned his medical degree from the University of Tennessee Medical School in Memphis. He then completed a three-year internal medicine residency followed by his allergy fellowship at the University of Michigan.

Receptions for graduates and families will follow each ceremony.

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