A Man for All Seasons
Franklin Nutting Parker, 1951H
Acting Chancellor, Acting President 1920
Among the inducements to bring a new Methodist university to Atlanta was the availability of Wesley Memorial Church as a home for the school of theology. The new school, which was named Candler School of Theology in honor of Bishop Warren A. Candler, began operation on September 23, 1914, with Dr. Plato Tracy Durham as dean. Dr. Franklin Nutting Parker was named to the chair of systematic theology the following year. He came to Emory from Trinity College (now Duke University), where he held the chair of Biblical literature.
The school of theology moved from Wesley Memorial Church to its new home on the Druids Hills campus in 1916. Upon Dean Durham's resignation in the fall of 1918, Dr. Parker succeeded him on January 1, 1919, and continued as dean until 1937, and then as an active member of the faculty until his retirement in 1942.
In 1918, the General Conference of the Methodist Church elected Dr. Parker a bishop. He declined the honor in order to continue teaching. In 1922 he would not allow his name to be put ito nomination again, although his election was certain.
As early as 1919 Bishop Warren A. Chandler asked to be relieved of his duties as Chancellor. When Candler's request was granted in 1920, Dr. Parker served as Acting Chancellor and then as Acting President when Bishop Candler reluctantly resumed the chancellorship. In the fall of 1920, Dr. Harvey Warner Cox assumed the office of president.
The clergy of the Southeastern Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church in 1940 sponsored an endowment for the Parker Chair. Collection of the capital sum of the endowment was eventually completed, and Mack B. Stokes was named the first Franklin N. Parker Chair of Systematic Theology in 1953.
Sources: Emory University 1915-1965: A Semicentennial History, Thomas B. English. The
Emory Alumnus, April 1954