Religion feature: Pastor awarded for work with youth

CNJ staff photo: Benna Sayyed Pastor Clyde Davis surveys an area in his office at the First Presbyterian Church in Clovis to hang the Celtic Cross award plaque he received Sunday. The award symbolizes Davis’ service to youth in the community.

Benna Sayyed

Throughout his career as a teacher and pastor Clyde Davis has used the outdoors to reach out to youth.

Davis, interim pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Clovis, was presented the Celtic Cross award Sunday for his extensive work in youth church camps and conferences, participation in non-denominational and Presbyterian youth events and volunteer coaching football and basketball in Clovis.

“I like the outdoors myself and I think it’s good for kids to be in the outdoors,” Davis said. “Nowadays kids can go through a whole year without stepping foot outside if they want to.”

Davis teaches history, biblical studies and a project-based class at Clovis Christian School.

“The volunteer time and energy I’ve invested in kids is really the reward. Last summer we had a reunion of the kids that were my youth group back in the late eighties. Now they’re middle-aged adults. It was really neat to see these guys 20 years later married, having little kids of their own and working as professionals.”

The Celtic Cross award, presented to Davis by the First Presbyterian Church and National Association of Presbyterian Scouters, is prominent throughout the history of the Presbyterian Church. It symbolizes an individual’s exceptional involvement in youth ministry.

Ladona Clayton, superintendent of Clovis Municipal Schools, said Davis is sincerely dedicated to serving young people and creates a highly engaging learning environment at Clovis Christian School.

Clayton said Davis created a class called “Innovations” in which he brings math to life through the application of real knowledge in hands-on activities. In the class students refurbish school property and construct new items useful on campus.

“He’s been a breath of fresh air at Clovis Christian High School. He works exceptionally well with the older students. That’s his gift,” Clayton said.

Davis is trying to start a youth ministry at the First Presbyterian Church and advises citizens to find a way to invest in children.

“If you’re not a kid person look for another way. Donate some money; make it possible for people who do work well with kids to work well with kids. It’s tremendously important to our society to invest in our kids and our young adults.”