Elected 1985, Day 6; served through 1991

The Very Rev. David Browning Collins, born in Arkansas in 1922, served in the House of Deputies for three General Conventions as a delegate from Atlanta before being elected Vice President of the House in 1976. In his first year as Vice President, Collins oversaw the controversial issue of women’s ordination. His equanimity was widely praised by church members on both sides of the issue. Collins graduated as valedictorian from the University of the South in 1943, and served in the Navy during World War II. In 1949 he was ordained to the priesthood, and after a brief time in Arkansas he returned to Sewanee in 1953, where he served for 13 years as chaplain. In 1966 he became Dean of St. Philip’s Cathedral in Atlanta, where he remained until his retirement in 1984. Under his ministry St. Philip’s grew to be one of the largest parishes in the Episcopal Church. Collins was credited for the growth with his ability to unite liturgical orthodoxy with charismatic worship to reach a wider audience. He died on December 29, 2016.


A Message to the House of Deputies, A message to the House of Deputies from outgoing President, The Very Rev. David Collins.

In this 1972 photo, Rev. Collins congratulates Atlanta Brave Davey Johnson on tying the record for the most home runs in a year by a second baseman. Among his many ministries, Dean Collins served as the Braves' chaplain, and his love of baseball was so well known that when he concluded his presidency, the members of the House of Deputies joked that they had tried to secure a contract with the Braves as a parting gift.