Basil Manly, Sr. (1798-1868) was an influential Southern Baptist pastor, educator, and missionary. Born in Pittsborough, North Carolina to Captain John Basil Manly and Elizabeth Maultsby, Manly received his education in South Carolina at Beauford College and South Carolina College. He married Sarah Murray Rudolph, the daughter of an Edgefield, South Carolina planter.
Manly primarily conducted his ministry in South Carolina and Alabama. He was pastor of two prominent churches in Charleston, South Carolina: the First Baptist Church of Charleston from 1826 to 1837, and the Wentworth Street Baptist Church, 1855 to 1858. He was president of the University of Alabama from 1837 to 1855, he served as a missionary appointed by the Alabama Baptist Convention from 1858 until 1860, and he pastored the First Baptist Church of Montgomery, Alabama from 1860-1862. Manly was chaplain both to the Secession Convention of the State of Alabama and at the Inauguration of Jefferson Davis as President of the Confederate States of America. He was an instrumental figure in the formation of the Southern Baptist Convention and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; he served as the first president of the board of trustees for the latter institution.
In 1867, Basil and Sarah Manly moved from Tuscaloosa, Alabama to Greenville, South Carolina to live with their son, Basil Manly Jr. who was a professor at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Basil Manly Sr. died in Greenville on December 21, 1868.