Born: July 28, 1827, McMinn County, Tennessee.
Died: February 19, 1918, at the home of his daughter, Zollie Sullins Stuart, in Birmingham, Alabama.
Buried: Fort Hill Cemetery, Cleveland, Tennessee.
David was the son of Nathan Sullins and Rebecca Mitchell, and husband of Ann Rebecca Blair.
He was educated at Emory and Henry College, Emory, Virginia (AB, AM & DD).
In 1850, he joined the Methodist Episcopal Holston Conference, and in 1853 became president of the Odd Fellows Female College, Jonesboro, Tennessee, where he served five years.
He went on to serve two years as a pastor, then as a chaplain in the American civil war.
After the war he was president of the Female College in Virginia for three years, then moved to Bristol, Tennessee, and founded Sullins College.
In 1880, he was elected president of his alma mater.