John McClintock and James Strong, “Collins, Charles,” Cyclopaedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature (New York: Harper & Brothers, Publishers, 1889), 2: 29.
Collins, Charles, D.D., a minister in the Methodist Episcopal Church South, was born in North Yarmouth, Me., April 17,1813. He received an elementary education at Portland, and the Maine Wesleyan Institute; after several years of school - teaching entered Wesleyan University, Middletown, Conn., and before he was twenty-five years of age graduated, taking the first honors, and was elected as the first president of Emory and Henry College, near Abingdon, Va. During the years of his student life he had embraced religion, and dedicated all his energies to it and education, and having united with the Holston Conference, labored abundantly and effectively in the pulpit during his service in Emory and Henry College. His controversial papers against Romanism, in 1844, exhibit his talent and ability in polemic theology; as do also his tracts, published in 1848, entitled Methodism and Calvinism Compared. He was also at this time editor of the Southern Repertory and College Review, and was a regular contributor to the Ladies' Repository, and various church papers and periodicals. In 1852 he was elected president of Dickinson College, and filled that position eight years, during which time he declined the presidency of Centenary College, La., and of Central College, Mo.; the chancellorship of the University of Missouri, of Michigan, and of Southern University, Greensborough, Ala. In 1860 he was transferred to the Memphis Conference, and took charge of the State Female College at Memphis, Tenn., becoming sole proprietor of the buildings and grounds, and placing it under the patronage of the Memphis Conference. In the service of that college he closed his life and labors, July 10, 1878. Dr. Collins was amiable, grave, sympathetic, studious, learned; a popular, able writer; an humble, earnest preacher, and an exemplary Christian. See Minutes of Annual Conferences of the M. E. Church South, 1875, p. 210; Simpson, Cyclop. of Methodism, s. v.