A Change in Leadership at LeMoyne-Owen College in Memphis

Vernell A. Bennett-Fairs, president of LeMoyne-Owen College in Memphis has resigned. No reason was given for her departure, just two and a half years since taking the job. Christopher Davis has been appointed as interim president.

“I’m grateful to the faculty, staff, students, administration, and trustees who accomplished much over the past two and a half years,” Dr. Bennett-Fairs said in a statement. “It has been my honor and privilege to work alongside you. I’m excited to see the magic that will ensue as LOC’s renaissance continues.“

Before becoming president of LeMoyne-Owen College, Dr. Bennett-Fairs was vice president for student affairs at Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi. Earlier, she was vice president for student affairs at Kentucky State University.

Dr. Bennett-Fairs is a graduate of Fisk University in Nashville, where she majored in vocal performance. She earned a master’s degree in vocal performance from Eastern Michigan University and a doctorate in instruction and administration from the University of Kentucky.

Interim President Davis has been serving as the associate dean of Memphis Theological Seminary and is the senior pastor of St. Paul Baptist Church. He is the immediate past chair of the board of trustees of Lemoyne-Owen College.

Dr. Davis joined the faculty of Memphis Theological Seminary in 2007.  His research interests include preaching and pastoral ministry. Dr. Davis has led St. Paul Baptist Church since 2000. In the last 10 years, the 145-year-old church has grown from approximately 200 members to over 1,600.

Dr. Davis holds bachelor’s degrees from the University of Arkansas and Arkansas Baptist College. He earned a master’s degree in religion from the Memphis Theological Seminary and a doctor of ministry degree from the United Theological Seminary in Ohio.

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