Gailor, Thomas Frank

(Sept. 17, 1856-Oct. 3, 1935). Educator and Presiding Bishop. He was born in Jackson, Mississippi. Gailor received his B.A. in 1876 from Racine College, where he was the valedictorian, and his S.T.B. from the General Theological Seminary in 1879. He was ordained deacon on May 15, 1879, and priest on Sept. 17, 1880. Gailor began his ordained ministry at Messiah Church, Pulaski, Tennessee. On May 15, 1882, he became the professor of ecclesiastical history and polity at the School of Theology of the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, a position he held until 1893. While teaching at the School of Theology he also taught English literature, political economy, and history in the College of Arts and Sciences. From 1883 until 1893, he was the chaplain of the University of the South, succeeding William Porcher DuBose. From Aug. 6, 1890, until July 27, 1893, he was the fourth vice-chancellor of the University. Gailor was consecrated the first Assistant Bishop of Tennessee on July 25, 1893. He became the third Bishop of Tennessee on Feb. 15, 1898, serving until his death. He served as the eighth chancellor of the University from June 23, 1908, until his death. In 1916 Gailor was elected president of the House of Bishops, and at the 1919 General Convention he was elected president of the National Council of the Episcopal Church. He served in this position until 1925, when a Presiding Bishop was elected for a six-year term. Gailor also wrote the “Sewanee Hymn.” He died in Sewanee.