REV. M. L. DAVIS, son of Mead L. and Mary L. Davis, was born in Cherokee county, Ga., Nov. 1, 1856. When two years old his parents moved to Oconee county, S. C., where young M. L. was brought up. He was raised on the farm where he was taught to do all kinds of farm work. Having no early school privileges, he learned to read in a Sunday school at the age of 13. When about 17 years old he professed faith in Christ, and united with the Methodist church. Subsequently he became disturbed on the subject of baptism, which lead him to a thorough investigation of the scriptures, upon that subject, and resulted in his uniting with the Westminster Baptist church, South Carolina. Soon after this, Brother Davis made the mistake of his life in refusing the proffered help of this church to enable him to acquire an education. When 20 years old, without any means of support, yet with a burning desire for an education, he started to a country school, and continued going to school and teaching, alternately, until he succeeded in completing a three years’ course in Furman University, Greenville, S. C. In 1885 he came to Peoria, Hill county, Texas, where lived his maternal grandfather, William Bell. Here he engaged in school teaching for two years, during which time he met, wooed and won the hand and heart of Miss Nannie L. Edney, daughter of Newton J. and Elizabeth Edney, of Brenham, Texas, to whom he was most happily married. After this he taught school one year in Kopperl, Tex., and then moved to Louisville, Ky., where he attended the S. B. T. Seminary one and one-half sessions, spending the summer vacations as missionary in Louisiana, under the appointment of the State Mission Board. He returned to Texas in January, 1890, and located in Waco, and since that time has been connected with the interests and work of Waco Association. Here he started and managed the Baptist Book Depository for three years, under the auspices of the Baptist State Sunday School Board. He voluntarily resigned this position to enter the pastorate. After more than then years experience as a licensed preacher, he was called to and submitted to ordination and on the 9th day of April, 1893, he was set apart to the full work of the gospel ministry, after which he accepted the pastoral care of the Robinson Baptist church. Since then he has served some time as an efficient agent for the Texas Baptist Standard. Brother Davis is a man of Christian piety, loved and honored by all who know him, and still resides in Waco, Texas.
Source: J. L. Walker and C. P. Lumpkin, History of the Waco Baptist Association of Texas (Waco: Byrne-Hill Printing House, 1897), pp. 287-288.