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Collins Denny Edit Profile


Collins Denny, American bishop. Member Virginia State Council of Defense, 1917; member Virginia War History Commission.; Member Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Psi, Phi Delta Phi.


Collins Denny was born in Winchester, Virginia, on May 28, 1854. His father was William R. Denny and his mother, Margaret A. Collins.


Denny was educated in Winchester. He graduated Princeton University, where he was captain of the 1875 football team. He attended graduate school at the University of Virginia, and received a Doctorate of Divinity from Randolph–Macon College, Emory and Henry College and Washington and Lee University.

Denny entered the ordained ministry of the Baltimore Annual Conference of the M.E. Church, South in 1880.


He was Professor of Mental and Moral Philosophy at Vanderbilt University from 1891 to 1910. He served as bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South from 1910 to 1943. He had a sister, later married to M.D. James of San Antonio, Texas.

Denny was Professor of Moral and Mental Philosophy at Vanderbilt University from 1891 to 1910. Much of the coursework relied on the writings of Noah K. Davis, due to Denny's admiration of Davis. One of his students was John Crowe Ransom.

When he became ordained as bishop in 1910, Denny tried to "impose theological control over the university." As a result, he was dismissed by Chancellor James Hampton Kirkland, and replaced by Herbert Charles Sanborn. He was retired as a bishop in 1932, but continued to challenge the proposed unification of the M.E. Church and M.E. Church, South. The Court ruled that it had no jurisdiction in the matter, which ended all challenges to the 1939 unification of The Methodist Church.

Prior to his election to the episcopacy, Collins toured Asiatic Missions, 1886–87. He served as the chaplain of the University of Virginia, 1889–91. Denny died 12 May 1943 in Richmond, Virginia.

He was buried at the Riverview Cemetery in Richmond.


Member Virginia State Council of Defense, 1917. Member Virginia War History Commission. Member Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Psi, Phi Delta Phi.


Married Lucy C. Chapman, July 5, 1881. Children: Margaret Collins (wife of Review.

William R. Denny

Margaret A. (Collins) Denny

Lucy C. Chapman

Margaret Collins (wife of Rev Denny