By Rich Brown
JOPLIN, Mo. —
The name Doyle Davidson may ring a bell with many Joplin-area residents, and that's understandable. Every Sunday morning from 1992 to 2009 Davidson was the featured preacher on a one-hour telecast on KODE-TV in Joplin.
Last year the 81-year-old Sarcoxie native began radio broadcasts on 28 stations, including KKOW-AM, out of Pittsburg, Kan.
Despite the fact that he serves as pastor of Water of Life Church in Plano, Texas, he still returns to Joplin on a monthly basis to hold Body of Christ Praise and Worship meetings. The next one is scheduled for noon Saturday, Aug. 24, at the Holiday Inn.
Davidson graduated from Sarcoxie High School and the University of Missouri before going on to become a successful veterinarian and prominent businessman.
It wasn't long after beginning his veterinary career that he felt God telling him to change course.
That new course involved the ministry, and Davidson has never looked back since giving up his practice and letting his many business investments go by the wayside in order to follow the Lord.
The praise and worship meetings began on a small scale in 1994 and nine years later Davidson said he was directed by God to go to every state to pray or conduct meetings there.
In addition to Missouri, he and his evangelistic team have been to California, Colorado, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin.
The TV ministry came to a halt with the sudden death of DavidsonÕs son-in-law and music minister, Terry Mai.
"I went off television but we remained on live stream and are there still," said Davidson, who served as a hospital corpsman in the Navy before enrolling at the University of Missouri School of Veterinary Medicine in 1958.
Radio broadcasts are from 6 to 7 a.m. Saturdays and 10 to 11 a.m. Sundays.
"Although I rarely speak 30 minutes, most of my messages are the gospel at the introduction of the broadcast and then we finish with powerful praise and worship," Davidson said.
"We have viewers, listeners, followers and contributors of our ministry in almost every state of this country and many from foreign countries also."
Davidson, the son of a contractor who proclaims to be a country boy at heart, said he thought he had his mind made up to be a veterinarian when God began speaking to his heart to enter the ministry.
However, out of what he described as unbelief, Davidson completed his degree in 1962 and moved to Texas where he built a successful equine practice and veterinary clinic.
Then, with another visitation from God, Davidson finally heeded the call in 1970.
After serving as a lay speaker and Sunday school teacher, he answered another call by God in 1980 to go to Plano.
That is where he established the Water of Life Church and his Water of Life Ministries outreach.
Despite his advancing age, Davidson said both his health and walk with God are as strong as ever.