Gary Willard Manning Davis
Most Illustrious Grand Master
Gary Willard Manning Davis was born October 29, 1949 in Washington County, Tennessee, the son of
Fred and Ruby Mays Davis. He was educated in the public schools of Unicoi County and the University
of Tennessee. He is a member of Greenwood Baptist Church in Johnson City and is self-employed in
two-way radio sales and service.
Companion Davis married Brenda Presley on June 15, 1968. They have one son, Craig Steven
and wife Aylin of Kingsport, Tennessee.
Brother Davis was raised in Johnson City Lodge No. 486 on October 24, 1977 and served as
Worshipful Master in 1981. He served his Lodge as Secretary 1982 through 2010. Brother Davis has
served the Grand Lodge as: Junior Grand Deacon, a member of the Dispensation and By-Laws Committee,
and Chairman for District No. 29.
He was exalted in Thomas E. Matson Chapter No. 131 on May 13, 1978 and served as High
Priest in 1983 and 2002; he is currently serving as Treasurer of that body. He received the Order of
High Priesthood in 1983 and served as Grand President of the Grand Council of the Order of High
Priesthood, State of Tennessee in 1999. In the Grand Chapter, he served as Grand Principal
Sojourner in 1985.
Companion Davis was greeted in Holston Council No. 101 on May 14, 1978; served as
Illustrious Master in 1984, and is currently serving as Treasurer. He received the Order of Silver
Trowel in 1984 and served as Illustrious King of Tennessee Council of Anointed Kings in 1993. In
the Grand Council, Companion Davis has served on the Ways and Means Committee and as chairman of the
Jurisprudence Committee. He was elected Grand Captain of the Guard in 1990 and advanced each year
being elected Most Illustrious Grand Master in 1993. He served the General Grand Council of Cryptic
Masons International as Ambassador in Tennessee from 1996 to 1999 and in November 2005 was cited
with the General Grand Council Columbian Award for the South East Region in the triennium of 2002-
2005. Due to the untimely death on December 18, 2007 of Companion M. F. Green, Right Illustrious
Deputy Grand Master, Brother Davis was selected to fill the vacancy; and elected Most Illustrious
Grand Master on March 24, 2008.
Sir Knight Davis was knighted in Watauga Commandry No. 25 on May 14, 1978; served as
Eminent Commander in 1989, and is currently serving as Treasurer. He was inducted into the Knights
Crusader of the Cross in 1989 and served on the Grand Commandry Credentials Committee on April 12,
2009 the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar of the United States of American constituted Sir Knight
Davis as Knight Commander of the Temple.
He was inducted into Tennessee Priory No. 15 Knights of the York Cross of Honour in 1990 and
received the distinction of Knights of the York Grand Cross of Honour in 1993.
Brother Davis is: Past Celebrant of the High Council Masonic Societas Rosicruciana in
Civitatibus Foederatis, Past President of the Upper East Tennessee York Rite Association and Past
Patron of Nolachuckey-Grand View Chapter No. 194, The Order of the Eastern Star. He is a charter
member and Past Governor of the Northeast Tennessee York Rite College No. 153 and was honored and
awarded the Order of the Purple Cross by the York Rite Sovereign College in North America in 1992
He is a charter member of Jacob R. Denny Council No. 96 Allied Masonic Degrees and serving this year
as Sovereign Master. He is a charter member of W. W. Cannon No. 459 Knight Masons of the U.S.A;
currently serving as Senior Knight. He is a member of Charles Newton Bush Past Master’s
Association, St. Mathias Conclave Red Cross of Constantine and Tennessee Lodge of Research, He is a
former member of Jericho Shrine Temple, Royal Order of Scotland, Knoxville and Chattanooga Scottish
Once again the Grand Architect of the Universe chose to call one of our Companions home
prior to the completion of his Masonic journey through our Grand Council line. With the passing of
Companion Tommy Charles Kenner, Right Illustrious Deputy Grand Master, on January 9, 2011 Companion
Davis was again asked to serve; being thrice elected Most Illustrious Grand Master on March 21,