I was born in Southern California, in the small town of Lomita. We lived there until I was five, and we move to Ashland, Oregon. I went to school there through my third year of college. At the end of my junior year of college I married Bill and followed him as he moved around in the Air Force.
While Bill was in the Air Force, I completed a BA degree in Art at Minot State College. Soon after I graduated, he was assigned to Oklahoma State Universite to complete his BS in public administration. We spent two years in Stillwater, Oklahoma where our oldest son, Tony was born.
After Officer Training, our family was moved to March Air Force Base outside of Riverside, California. Our second son, Clarke, and our daughter, Michelle were both born while Bill was stationed at March AFB.
After four years as an officer in the Air Force, Bill left the service and started working as a Human Resource Manager for Goodwill Industries in San Bernardino. All this time, my primary focus was on being the full-time mom to three active children. When all three were in school, I started working as a Teacher's aide, first in a forth grade classroom, and then in classes of students with special needs. My favorite was the class deaf children ranging in age from 18 months to 3 years.
I went from there to working with adults in sheltered and supervised work settings until we decided it was time to move our family out of Moreno Valley and back to Oregon, where both Bill and I had family and our roots. After a year in Salem where Bill had a temporay job with the State of Oregon, we moved to Medford when Bill was hired as a Public Assistance worker. We stayed there for ten years. When all three of the children were well on their way to being independent adults, I approached the idea of going to Seminary with Bill. It had been a long-time dream of mine and it seemed to be the right time. Bill was more supportive than I ever thought possible. Before I knew it, we had made arraignments to move to Chicago, sell the house and start our new adventure.
Life in Chicago was a new experience for both of us. We enjoyed the many new experiences we encountered, and I was expecially fond of going to the Chicago Art Institute. It was an art major's dream. Seminary was exciting, hard and really pushed my understanding of who I was. I struggled with Greek and Hebrew, pondered the mysteries of the faith, and found a whole new outlook on being an inclusive church. We were active in a truly multicultural congregation that was a unified churh of Methodist, Presbyterian and United Church of Christ. I went to classes with students for all over the world. The Lord's prayer was said in three languages and several versions all at once. My trust in God and God's love was expanded as I encountered the diverse world around me.
The end of my second year of Seminary, Bill felt a call to also go to Seminary. So for one year we were both students. When I graduated, I worked for the Seminary until Bill had completed his schooling.
After seminary, I was ordained and pastored a small church in Illinois among the soy and corn fields. Again, I was learning about a way of life I had never experienced. Driving thiry miles to go the grocery store, and even farther if you needed to get to the hospital. Like much of Oregon, the pickup was the main transportation for many, and the second car was likely to be a minivan. People knew each other and their families really well.
After three years in Illinois, Bill got two churches in Southwest Minnesota. So I left my church in Illinois and joined him in Beaver Creek. Soon after we got there, I started preaching at a small Church of the Brethren. I was there until Bill took the First Presbyterian Chuch of Coos Bay. Which is how we got back to Oregon. Since we have been here, I have been the pastor of the Lakeside Presbyterian Chuch, the Gold Beach Presbyterian Church and since July 2014, the United Methodist Church of Camas Valley. Now I am here at the Tenmile Community United Methodist Church while I still serve Camas Valley.
Pastor Isabelle Davis