David Marshall Ramsay was born in Greenville County on October 10, 1857, son of Andrew and Martha Gaines Ramsay. He began a career of teaching and ministry at the age of 18 and spent the next 70 years in the same professions. Ramsay attended Richmond College (now the University of Richmond) from 1880 to 1884. He earned a Master of Theology at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1887 and was ordained at Hillsboro Baptist Church in Woodford Co., Ky. that same year. Ramsey pastored the following churches; Glen’s Creek Baptist Church, Woodford County, Ky., 1887; First Baptist Church, Tuscaloosa, Ala., 1887-91; Citadel Baptist Church, Charleston, SC, 1891-1907; Grace Baptist Church, Richmond, Va., 1907-11; Pelzer Baptist Church, 1932-37; and Shady Grove Baptist Church, Anderson County, 1937 to 1952.
In 1892, while pastor of the Citadel Square Baptist Church he was elected a member of the joint board of trustees of Furman University and Greenville Woman's College. In 1898, he became chairman of the joint board and served in this capacity until 1907, at which time he resigned upon leaving the State to accept the pastorate of the Grace Street Baptist Church. In 1911, he was called from this pastorate to the presidency of the Greenville Woman's College. He accepted this position after having refused the presidency of five other colleges. Ramsay served as president until 1930. Ramsay later received the honorary degrees of Doctor of Divinity from Howard College in Ala., and Doctor of Literature from Furman University.
Dr. Ramsay was married to Mamie Woolfolk (1865-1943) of Versailles, Ky. and they had three children; Eudora Ramsay Richardson of Richmond, Va.; Col. Allen Brodie Ramsay, U.S. Army Medical Corps; and David M. Ramsay, Jr.
Dr. Ramsay died on August 5, 1957 in Greenville, S.C.