Serving in character

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By Thomas Brown –

Major David Davis dons a Captain America costume.

Major David Davis serves with his wife Major Lola Davis on Kodiak Island in Alaska. They’ve only been there a few months, but previously spent nine years in the rural post, leaving in 2007. Their homecoming to Kodiak, which was their first post as newlyweds in 1998, follows successes such as developing a homeless transitional housing center in Longview, Wash.

After nine years, a lot has changed, but one thing has not: David Davis still brings a lot of character to his community and to his sermons—literally.

He can be regularly seen donning one of about 20 costumes at chapel. Crusaders, medieval knights, Roman soldiers, Jedi knights, and sasquatches are just some of the characters in his wardrobe. “Captain America and Santa Claus costumes are the two exceptions,” he said. “I haven’t used them for sermons. My favorite is probably my first, which is the Roman.”

For seven years, Davis was a crossing guard for Kodiak’s East Elementary School during his last posting there. This year, on the first day of school, he surprised students when he showed up as Captain America.

“The reaction from both the kids and drivers was excellent. Lots of honks, photos, thank yous—just another reminder of why I love the Kodiak community,” he said.

While a first-year cadet, Davis participated in the Great Victory Congress. He was uncomfortable dressing in costume in front of 5,000 people, but he remembers Major Charlene Bradley telling him, “It’s not really about you. It’s about communicating God’s message.”

How it went from a simple cadet assignment to a mainstay of his preaching comes from a simple line Davis has heard since his first day with The Salvation Army: “You make the Scriptures come alive.”  

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