news-category: Alumni

Celebrating Alumni: Lt. Col. Jim Davidson

The South Carolina National Guard held a changing of the stole ceremony at the Adjutant General Complex auditorium, Columbia, South Carolina, July 9, 2022. U.S. Army Chaplain (Col.) Norris Darden, Jr., South Carolina National Guard senior state chaplain, passed the stole to incoming chaplain, U.S. Army Chaplain (Lt. Col.) James Davidson, South Carolina National Guard. The transferring of the stole is similar to the passing of a unit's guidon during a change of command ceremony. The changing of the stole demonstrates the responsibility for spiritual leadership and pastoral care passing from one chaplain to another. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Brian Calhoun, South Carolina National Guard)
The South Carolina National Guard held a changing of the stole ceremony recently in Columbia, S.C., for Lt. Col. Jim Davidson. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Brian Calhoun, S.C. National Guard)

Two-Time Gardner-Webb Graduate Named State Chaplain for South Carolina National Guard

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—Students are the focus of Gardner-Webb University’s mission. Faculty members seek to engage students with unique, experiential learning opportunities to prepare them for their next steps. Whether they choose to begin a career or accept the academic challenges of graduate school, students are equipped with the knowledge and skills to lead and serve. Additionally, through GWU’s supportive and diverse Christian community, students are inspired to make a positive and lasting difference in the lives of others.

Recently, Lt. Col. Jim Davidson was named state chaplain for the South Carolina National Guard (SCARNG). The Gardner-Webb alumnus received his bachelor’s degree in religious education in 1996 and his Master of Divinity in 1999.

The leadership of the South Carolina Army National Guard chose Davidson for the position based on his achievements, accomplishments, and dedication to the Chaplain Corps of the U.S. Army. Davidson’s accomplishment was celebrated in a story written by 1st Lt. Franklin McGuire, and photos were published here.

U.S. Army Chaplain (Col.) Norris Darden Jr., S.C. National Guard senior state chaplain, passed the stole to incoming chaplain, U.S. Army Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Jim Davidson, S.C. National Guard. The changing of the stole demonstrates the responsibility for spiritual leadership and pastoral care passing from one chaplain to another. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Brian Calhoun, S.C. National Guard)

Davidson said in the article, “By far, the highlight of my service with the SCARNG has been this selection as the next State Chaplain. This is an amazing honor, and I am humbled by the trust and confidence the leadership sees in my ability to lead the Chaplain Corps.”

Davidson joined the Army in January 2003, prompted by the events of 9/11. Nearly 20 years later, he has accumulated a long list of accomplishments in the Army National Guard, having served in both the North Carolina and the Virginia National Guards before transitioning into the South Carolina Army National Guard in 2017.

Davidson has mobilized twice as well, first in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from October of 2003 to January 2005 and, second, in support of Operation Spartan Shield from October 2016 to July of 2017. He has faithfully served the soldiers of the 263rd AAMDC (“Army Air and Missile Defense Command”) in Anderson, S.C., and the Regional Training Institute (“RTI”) at McCrady Training Center in Columbia, S.C., by being the Chaplain of both units at various times over the past five years.

On the civilian side of his career, Davidson is a committed leader within the ministry as well, leading Pleasant Valley Baptist Church in Indian Land, S.C., as its senior pastor.

Whether in or out of uniform, Davidson’s passion and calling remain true to the motto of the Chaplain Corps—to serve and lead “For God and Country.”

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Gardner-Webb University is North Carolina’s recognized leader in private, Christian higher education. A Carnegie-Classified Doctoral/Professional University, GWU is home to six professional schools, 14 academic departments, more than 80 undergraduate and graduate majors, and a world-class faculty. Located on a beautiful 225-acre campus in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb prepares graduates to impact their chosen professions, equips them with the skills to advance the frontiers of knowledge, and inspires them to make a positive and lasting difference in the lives of others. Ignite your future at Gardner-Webb.edu.

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