Emerson was a flighty, angst-ridden individualist, who abandonned the ministry. What does it say about our faith that we cite him to people who ask?
I think Parker is a much better example. He struggled to retain his place among colleagues who often conisdered his theology too radical, committed to a religious community that was at best uneasy with many of his ideas. He continued to perform parish ministry through a marriage that was, at best, rocky even by the standards of his times.
Others can probably lay out equally strong arguments to cite other figures. But whatever we do, please, let's drop Emerson. He sends the wrong message about faith and religous community.