MACON — Long-time Mercer University professor Dr. Harold L. McManus Sr. died Tuesday, July 24. He was 92. He was emeritus professor of Christianity and held the Roberts Professorship of Christianity in the Columbus Roberts Department of Christianity, where he taught from 1949 until 1985. He served as chair of the department from 1964 to 1984.
Services will be held Sunday, July 29, at 2 p.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Macon with Dr. Gary Hadden officiating. Burial will be in Marie Baptist Church Cemetery in Dublin, Ga. The family will greet friends on Saturday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Hart’s Mortuary on Cherry Street in downtown Macon. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made to a charity of the donor’s choice.
Over his long career at Mercer, Dr. McManus was honored twice as the dedicatee of The Cauldron, Mercer’s yearbook, in 1957 and 1962. In addition to his teaching duties, Dr. McManus pastored rural churches in Middle Georgia — Marie Baptist Church, near Dublin, from 1953-1957, and Elam Baptist Church, near Gray, from 1958-1965 — and encouraged both to become full-time ministries. He taught several summers at Naval Chaplains School, Newport, R.I., in the 1960s, as well as other military bases. Additionally, Dr. McManus was one of the first non-Catholics to preach from the pulpit during Mass at St. Joseph Catholic Church, Macon, in the 1960s. 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 a member of the Macon Palaver Club for 40 years.
Dr. McManus graduated from Wake Forest College in Wake Forest, N.C., in 1941. He earned his Th.M. from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., in 1944 and earned his S.T.M in 1948 and Ph.D. in 1953 from the Yale University Divinity School, in New Haven, Conn. 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.
After his retirement, Dr. McManus 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. He also served as associate teacher of the Garland Taylor Bible Class of Vineville Baptist Church in Macon from 1993 to 2006.
Dr. McManus, son of the late Burch and Lizzie McManus, was born Sept. 27, 1919, in Sanford, N.C. He was preceded in death by his wife, Louise, in 1989, and four brothers and two sisters. Dr. McManus is survived by his children, Harold Lynn McManus Jr., Kermit Neal McManus (Paula), and Marcia Louise McManus; and grandchildren, Tomme Kyle and Casey Lynn.
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