Dean David Collins, right, meets Pope John Paul II in 1980
The Very Rev. David Browning Collins, president of the House of Deputies from 1985 to 1991, died Dec. 29 in Alpharetta, Georgia. He was 94. The Cathedral of St. Philip in Atlanta, which he served as dean from 1966 to 1984 and as dean emeritus beginning in 1984, will host a memorial service at 2 p.m. Feb. 4.
Born in Hot Springs, Arkansas, Collins was a graduate of the University of the South, where he earned degrees in education, New Testament studies, and sacred theology. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1943 to 1946 and in the U.S. Navy Reserve from 1946 to 1960.
He was ordained deacon in 1948 and priest in 1949. He was priest-in-charge of Holy Cross Church, West Memphis, Arkansas (1949-53), and rector of St. Andrew’s Church, Marianna, Arkansas (1948-49), before becoming chaplain and associate professor of religion at the University of the South. He remained at Sewanee until 1966, when he became dean of St. Philip’s.
He was vice president of the House of Deputies (1979-85), a trustee of the Church Pension Fund (1976-88), and a member of the Board of Clergy Deployment (1971-76). A longtime baseball fan, he was chaplain of the Atlanta Braves’ 400 Club (1966-84).
Collins wrote a privately published memoir, There Is a Lad Here, in 1994. In 1984 he founded Windsong Ministries, which he led with his wife, Virginia, until 2011.
In addition to his wife, survivors include a daughter, Melissa Williams; sons Christopher, Matthew, and Geoffrey; grandchildren Rebekah Williams and Trevor Williams; and great-grandchildren Austin Williams and Grayson Williams.
The interment of the dean’s ashes is scheduled for the summer at the University of the South.