JACKSON, Tenn. – April 13, 2009 – H. Franklin Paschall, a 1944 Union University graduate, former president of the Southern Baptist Convention and longtime pastor of First Baptist Church in Nashville, Tenn., died April 10. He was 86.
“Franklin Paschall was a most influential Baptist leader and faithful preacher for a previous generation of Baptists,” Union President David S. Dockery said. “Those of us at Union University are certainly grateful for his love for his alma mater. His faithfulness and generosity to this university were demonstrated over and over again. We offer thanks to God for the life and ministry of Franklin Paschall.”
Paschall was pastor of First Baptist Church in Nashville from 1956 until his retirement in 1983 and served as SBC president from 1966-68.
A history major at Union, Paschall earned two degrees from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Union awarded him with an honorary doctorate in 1956.
In 2002, Paschall donated more than 4,500 books he collected during three decades of ministry to Union’s R.C. Ryan Center for Biblical Studies.
“I owe a lot to Union,” Paschall said at the collection’s dedication. “It was a big step for me when I came. I owe all of my college experiences to my dad – he’d heard preachers who were students at Union, and because of their example, he knew this was the school I needed to go to.”
Paschall and his wife Olga were married in 1944. She died in 1994. The Paschalls had two daughters, Palma Lynn and Sandra Kay, who survive.
Visitation will be held at First Baptist Church in Nashville from 2-7 p.m. April 13, and from 12:30-1:30 p.m. April 14. The funeral will be at 2 p.m. April 14 at the church.