Wednesday, August 1, 2012


Since becoming pastor of St. Joseph Church, I've allowed a small Lutheran Church in our area to have a large Lutheran wedding here. Several years ago, I gave permission to our assistant organist, Harold McManus to have his father's funeral here so that Harold could play the organ here for his dad's funeral. He and his dad are Southern Baptists and Harold senior, who died, was a Baptist minister.

While I was away on vacation Harold's father died and his funeral was here at St. Joseph Church this past Sunday afternoon. It was a Baptist funeral with the pastor of Vineville Baptist Church officiating.

The following is the obituary:

Dr. Harold L. McManus, Sr.

September 27, 1919 - July 24, 2012

Macon, GA- Dr. Harold L. McManus, Sr., 92, of 5300 Zebulon Road, died Tuesday, July 24, 2012. Services will be held on Sunday, July 29, 2012 at 2:00PM at St. Joseph Catholic Church with Dr. Gary Hadden officiating. Burial will be in Marie Baptist Church Cemetery, Dublin, Georgia. The family will greet friends on Saturday from 4:00PM until 6:00PM at Hart's Mortuary, Cherry Street. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made to a charity of the donor's choice .

Dr. McManus, son of the late Burch and Lizzie McManus, was born 27 September 1919 in Sanford, North Carolina. He was predeceased by his loving wife, Louise, in 1989, and by four brothers and two sisters.

Dr. McManus attended Wake Forest College, Wake Forest, North Carolina (AB, 1941), Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky (ThM, 1944) and Yale University Divinity School, New Haven, Connecticut (STM, 1948; PhD, 1953).
Dr. McManus served as a chaplain in the United States Navy in World War II, subsequently joining the Naval Reserves and retiring with the rank of Captain. He held the Roberts Chair of Church History in the Christianity Department of Mercer University, Macon, Georgia, where he taught from 1949 until 1985. Dr. McManus was honored twice as the dedicatee of the Cauldron, Mercer University's yearbook, in 1957 and 1962.

Dr. McManus pastored rural churches in Middle Georgia: Marie Baptist Church, near Dublin, 1953-1957; Elam Baptist Church, near Gray, 1958-1965 and encouraged both to become full-time ministries. He taught several summers at Naval Chaplains School, Newport, Rhode Island, in the 1960s, as well as other military bases.

Dr. McManus became one of the first non-Catholics to preach from the pulpit during Mass at St. Joseph Catholic Church, Macon, in the 1960s. He went as a volunteer with a group of fellow Baptists to teach conversational English to Chinese students in China at Guangxi University in the summers of 1998-2000.

Dr. McManus served as associate teacher of the Garland Taylor Bible Class of Vineville Baptist Church, Macon, 1993-2006. He authored several series of Adult Sunday School Lessons for the Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention in the 1970s and 1980s. He was pleased and proud to be a member of the Macon Palaver Club for forty years.

Dr. McManus is survived by his children, Harold Lynn McManus, Jr., Kermit Neal McManus (Paula) and Marcia Louise McManus; grandchildren, Tomme Kyle and Casey Lynn.

Hart's Mortuary and Crematory, Cherry Street, has charge of arrangements.


+wordphan said...

Thank you, Father, for honoring Harold McManus and his family. The funeral was especially meaningful for me, and I'm sure, everyone in attendance. With Harold, Jr. at the organ, and scores of Mercer colleagues, friends and family, the tribute to this remarkable man was complete.

Welcome home, tomorrow; you were sorely missed!

John Nolan said...

Interesting. In England the Baptists are the most anti-Catholic of all the non-conformist sects. One can only assume the Southern Baptists are more tolerant, which is surely encouraging.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Southern Baptists here have always had an antipathy for Catholics, but not all. They don't believe we are saved although some do. Southern Baptists are the culture of Macon but have become more open to others and see that in the culture wars, they have an ally in Catholics. Macon has a large Baptist University, Mercer, so there is more ecumenical sensibilities also.

Gene said...

Mercer is Baptist and "religious" in name only. Their faculty is pretty much interchangeable with Yale or Columbia as far as political/religious beliefs are concerned.
Southern Baptists do not understand Catholicism nor are they educated enough in Church history or even the simplest theology to understand their own place in the mix. I mean, after all, the Bible was written in English and that's good 'nuff for them.