The first African-American Campus Minister at Berea College, Henry Levy Parker committed much of his career to bettering the lives of communities in the South and as a proponent of social change. Born in Plainfield, New Jersey in 1921, Parker received the Bachelor of Arts from Gordon College in 1949. He attended Harvard Divinity School from 1952 to 1955. He was ordained as a minister in the Episcopal Church, first as a deacon in 1955 and then a priest in 1957. He went on to pastor Episcopal congregations in South Carolina, Michigan, and Arkansas.
In Little Rock, Arkansas, Parker was involved in the work of the Opportunity Industrialization Center serving as its director in 1967. In Greenville, Mississippi, he was an active participant in the civil rights movement where from 1968 to 1971 he served the National Council of Churches as Director of Interpretation for its Delta Ministry and editor of the monthly newsletter Delta Ministry Reports. He assisted in bringing direct relief services, community development, and reconciliation to blacks and whites of Mississippi communities. While in Greenville in 1971, he also worked as director of Brethren Services.
Parker served as Berea College Campus Minister from 1971 until his death in 1982. During this time he was also active in the Berea Ministerial Association and for some of this time served as its president. Parker also authored sections of the publication The Church and Violence in Rural Areas, and was a member of the National Association of College and University Chaplains.