From His Perspective: Matthew Davis

 

Matthew Davis is a current Master of Divinity student at Truett Seminary. He shares a glimpse into his journey from New York to Texas and his role as both the Diversity Coordinator for Truett’s Student Recruitment Team and as Worship Coordinator for the Seminary’s weekly Community Gathering for Worship.


Church has always been a part of me and has always been in me, but it wasn’t until I turned 16 or so that I felt a sense of call on my life. What’s great about New York is that there is a plethora of churches, so I was able to surround myself with people who were involved in what I was looking to pursue and people like my pastor, my dad, and different ministers who would speak to me about what ministry is all about. 

In New York, since there are so many churches and so many people who sing, who preach, who pray, I didn’t feel alone, isolated, or confused. There were plenty of people that I could speak to, and I really enjoyed that atmosphere, especially in Brooklyn where there are churches on every single street corner. So, the connections that my pastor and my church had with other churches fostered a sense of community that helped in developing my walk.

I had never heard of Baylor before, but as I was looking into seminaries, we actually had a student who had graduated from Truett come to our church. I asked him if he could tell me about Truett, and he told me about the great MDiv program where I could take both music and preaching classes, the two avenues that I wanted to pursue. 

I didn’t expect to be here. I knew I wanted to leave New York and explore other places, but Texas was not one of the places I originally thought of. Yet everything came back to Truett. Even when I would check out other schools, it always came back to Truett and Baylor. 

Moving here has been a leap of faith. I was nervous because I had lived in New York for 24 years, and it was really only myself there. But I knew that this was a place where God needed to get my attention, where He could isolate me and walk with me through this preparation stage of getting ready for ministry. He is leading me daily and connecting me with people, allowing me to explore new things and to learn different lessons that I wouldn’t have been able to learn in New York.

At Truett, as a member of the Student Recruitment Team, my job is to connect with historically black and Hispanic colleges and universities, as well as different denominations such as the African Methodist Episcopal Church. I’m building relationships with those in different races and cultures and seeing how we can diversify not just our school population, but also our curriculums and the things that we teach so that we may be well equipped to educate those who are here to go out into the world. So, on our recruitment trips, my focus is to reach out and let people know that Truett is here and our programs are great and geared toward helping to bridge that gap and make those connections between blacks, whites, Africans, African Americans, Asians, and Hispanics. I want to let them know that we are all in this together, and that in all of the differences in our worship, we are coming together to learn, learn how to learn, and how to be mindful of, praise, and celebrate those differences so that they are recognized in our work in school and in the community. 

I was also given the opportunity to serve as the Worship Coordinator for Truett’s weekly Community Gathering for Worship this spring. My goal is, every Tuesday, to speak about culture and variety, and to raise awareness that there are other types of worship styles that praise the same God. In chapel, my goal is not to make it a lab where I am experimenting on people; it is a weekly offering to God. 

As I have attended chapel, I have learned to appreciate different styles of music. I want people to come to chapel and it not feel academic, like I’m trying to prove a point, but I want people to come to chapel because they need to hear a word from the Lord and need to be refreshed, restored, and revived. We have some Gospel music, some Contemporary Christian music, and not just six new songs every week, which can be overwhelming. 

My goal is, moving into next year, to bring in some music from Africa and other cultures so that what people hear on Tuesday really represents the sound of Heaven, because we will all be there, all different races. I want to be mindful of what is being introduced and to guide Truett Tuesday by Tuesday, experiencing God in different ways through our services.