Mary Hill Davis was born in Greenville, Georgia around 1860 to Waid Hampton and Margaret Hill. In 1870 her parents moved to Dallas and joined First Baptist Church. At the age of 20, she married F.S. Davis, a Dallas physician. The couple had one son, Raymond, who also became a physician and surgeon.
Mary had a heart for missions and people. She continually encouraged women to give and pray for missions. Mary served as recording secretary of the Texas Women's Missionary Union from 1898 to 1906. She was elected president in 1906 and served for the next twenty-five years. In 1907 she organized the Young Women's Auxiliary in order to educate young women about mission work. The following year she organized the Royal Ambassadors and then in 1913 the Girls Auxiliary. She also encouraged the WMU to support Baptist work among students on the college campuses. As the organizations grew she continued to stress missions on a local level.
During her tenure, money was raised to build facilities for the Williford-Miller and Annie Jenkins Sallee schools in China, the Baptist Women's Training School in Ft. Worth (part of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary) and The Women's Memorial Dormitory at Baylor University. She also raised money for Buckner Orphans' Home. Mary started a retirement program to take care of retired pastors because many of these pastors were living in poverty. During the time she served as president, giving to the co-operative program increased 1,000%.
In addition to the work she did with WMU, she served as chairman of the Advisory Board of Women's Missionary Training School from 1911 to 1934 and as Vice president of the Baptist Missionary Union, an auxiliary to the SBC, serving in that capacity for twenty-six years.
Mary saw Texas as a mission field and believed we have a responsibility to reach out to immigrants with the gospel message. In September 1910, a State Missions Week was established. Mary Hill encouraged women to give and pray for the many needs of the people in our state and around the world. In 1935, because of her leadership, the state mission offering was named the Mary Hill Davis Offering.
Mrs. Davis died in Dallas, November 28, 1934.