Monroe Franklin Swilley, Jr. was born October 12, 1914 in El Dorado, Arkansas, the youngest of five children of a merchant. He graduated from Ouachita College in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. He received a Master of Theology Degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. Dr. Swilley also studied at Union Theological Seminary in New York and the University of Zurich in Switzerland. In October 1945, Dr. Swilley became the pastor to Second-Ponce de Leon Baptist Church in Atlanta. In 1950 the Atlanta Baptist Association appointed Dr. Swilley and three other committee members to lead a study of the need for a Baptist college in the Atlanta area. Convinced of that need, a 562-acre tract of land was acquired on the east expressway 12 miles from downtown Atlanta. Second-Ponce de Leon Baptist Church members heavily supported Dr. Swilley’s campaign to raise funds for the college. He resigned as pastor to become President of Atlanta Baptist College on January 1, 1969. In 1972, ABC became Mercer University Atlanta, a branch of Macon’s Mercer University and Dr. Swilley became Vice President of Mercer University Atlanta until his retirement in 1989. Mercer University honored Dr. Swilley by naming the library on the Atlanta campus the Monroe F. Swilley, Jr. Library. The library was dedicated in his name on October 12, 1983. Dr. Swilley died April 29, 1991.

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