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Utah Baptist pastor to retire after 45 years of service

Pastor France Davis speaks to the congregation as Calvary Baptist Church celebrates 45 years of service from Pastor France Davis on Sunday, April 28, 2019. Photo: Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A beloved pastor at a Baptist church in Utah has announced his retirement after 45 years of service.

The Deseret News reports that hundreds attended a celebratory service Sunday at the Calvary Baptist Church in Salt Lake City for the Rev. France Davis. He plans to retire at the end of the year after being the church’s pastor since 1974.

Davis decided to become a pastor after participating in the civil rights campaigns of Martin Luther King Jr. He moved to Salt Lake City in 1972 as a graduate student at the University of Utah. He worked in the university’s communications and ethnic studies programs until 2014. He will give a commencement speech at the university this week.

Community leaders have praised Davis for his work with other denominations, civil rights activists and local veterans.

Information from: Deseret News,