Cookeville’s Most Influential People – Bobby Davis

There’s a good chance you know the name Bobby Davis. 

As lead pastor for the thriving, five-campus Life Church, he is recognized as a spiritual leader and deeply influential figure in the Upper Cumberland. 

But, did you know Bobby’s story could have ended much differently?  

Severely addicted to drugs, Bobby entered a recovery ministry (Teen Challenge) in the late 80s and exited a different man, committed to introducing others to the same life-changing experience he encountered. 

He reflected, “My mission statement is this, I just want people who maybe are in a dark place in their life, like I was, to just give Jesus a chance. That’s why I do what I do.”

As someone who fully understands the restorative potential of faith (and the goodness of his fellow man), Bobby seeks to enable the congregation that enters the doors each Sunday to leave through them as viable tools for community and hope. 

To put this in practice, Life Church has developed an outreach geared toward providing vital services, at no cost, to those often unable to find them through traditional means. 

This ministry, known as Duo Mobile, includes a fleet of buses that address medical, dental, cosmetic, eye care, and nourishment needs. Named for the church’s commitment to loving both God and people, Duo is quietly improving the quality of life for countless underserved in the area.

“I’ve just taken what’s happened in me and let people know He has that for you too.” Pastor Davis continued, “If cleaning their teeth, or cutting their hair, checking blood, or changing their glasses shows them that God has a plan for them and helps them reimagine what life could look like, we’re happy to do it all.”

In a world where leaders both religious and non-religious alike seek to make change through force, Bobby and his team are looking to reshape Cookeville and beyond through service, selflessness, and sacrifice. 

Beyond its leadership teams, the Life Church congregation includes medical professionals, hair stylists, optometrists, and more who volunteer their time via Duo, and other outreach efforts, to express love in practical, revolutionary ways.

One could argue that Pastor Davis has as much effect on the Upper Cumberland as anyone in this edition, but to him, this impact would be meaningless were it self-facing, or lacking authenticity. By willingly sharing his personal history and battles with those facing obstacles of their own, he opens himself to criticism and pain but also creates avenues for healing that wouldn’t exist otherwise. 

As our interview drew to a close, Bobby reiterated that his journey is one for sharing, further reinforcing what was obvious, Pastor Davis’ influence is born of humility and a sincere passion for bettering lives.

He concluded by saying, “If I have any influence at all, it’s because He is influencing me. I want people to experience the grace that I have experienced, there is nothing like it. I’ve never forgotten where God brought me from.”

– by Andrew Buckner, photos by Cris Stroud


  1. Cathie Johnson

    Fantastic Preacher. Keep you wanting to learn more and makes you laugh too.

  2. Sheila Cunningham

    All his sermons are fantastic, they are all on the Life Church website. Check them out!

  3. Dianna

    Bobby Davis’s story gives hope to the hopeless. He has allowed God to use him in a mighty way. He lives a surrender life.

  4. George Butler

    My spiritual leader, Pastor and Church I attend. I have spoken with him on multiple occasions and he is what this article portrays him to be.

  5. Brandi Jolley

    So thankful for Pastor Bobby!!

  6. Linda Mccoy Holland

    I have been coming to Life Church for three years. Pastor Bobby’s first sermon was wonderful and I couldn’t wait to hear more. Every week he just keeps getting better ! His sermon series’ “Our Crew”, “The Cover Up”, “Identity Crisis”, his sermons on forgiveness, and transparency ( and ALL the others) to today’s sermon on “Christmas 2.0” ! I take notes on every sermon, all the scripture passages and look them up later. I can’t wait to worship with the 10:00 am Musicians ! I cry when singing the old hymns. Of course, I am a little bit old, so maybe that’s why. At 75 I had come to a comfortable place as a Christian. Pastor Bobby has catulpulted me out of my holding pattern. My heart and spirit have been moved to be a more active Christian again, if only to my grandchildren! In Christ’s Love to Bobby and everyone at Life Church, Linda Holland


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