Will D. Campbell

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Will Davis Campbell

Birthdate:
Birthplace: Amite County, Mississippi, United States
Death: June 03, 2013 (88)
Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee, United States (Stroke)
Place of Burial: Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Lee Webb Campbell and Hancie Ted Campbell
Husband of Private
Father of Penny Elizabeth Campbell; Private and Private User
Brother of Joseph Lee Campbell; Lorraine Honea and Private

Occupation: Minister, activist, author
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Will D. Campbell

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Will_D._Campbell

Will Davis Campbell (July 18, 1924 – June 3, 2013) was a Baptist minister, activist, author, and lecturer. Throughout his life, he was a notable white supporter of civil rights in the Southern United States. In addition to his activism, Campbell was also a noted author, particularly with his autobiographical work Brother to a Dragonfly, a finalist for the National Book Award in 1978. He was the late cartoonist Doug Marlette's inspiration for the character "Will B. Dunn" in his comic strip, Kudzu.[1]

Contents [show] Personal and career[edit] Campbell was born in Amite County, Mississippi, United States, the son of a farmer. He cited his family with raising him culturally tolerant even though his family church has Bibles emblazoned with a Ku Klux Klan symbol.[2] He was ordained as a minister by his local Baptist congregation at age 17. He attended Louisiana College, then enlisted in the Army during World War II where he served as a medic.[2] After the war, he attended Wake Forest College (BA, English), Tulane University, and Yale Divinity School.

Though he held a pastorate in Louisiana from 1952 to 1954, Campbell spent most of his career in other settings. In 1954, he took a position as director of religious life at the University of Mississippi, only to resign it in 1956, in part because of the hostility (including death threats) he received as a supporter of integration.

He subsequently took a position as a field officer for the National Council of Churches, where he had his closest contact with the Civil Rights Movement. In 1963, Campbell left the NCC to become director of the Committee of Southern Churchmen, which provided a home for his activism in the subsequent years.[3] [4] This organization published a journal, Katallagete, the title of which is the New Testament Greek for the Pauline phrase "be reconciled," a reference to 2 Corinthians 5:20. The journal featured articles about politics and social change, as understood through the lens of the Christian faith, particularly the neo-orthodox movement, which Campbell became acquainted with at Yale. Edited by James Y. Holloway of Kentucky's Berea College, Katallagete was published from 1965 until the early 1990s; the CSC relinquished control of the journal to Campbell and Holloway in 1983. By 2005, Campbell described this last organization in the past tense as “nothing ... a name and a tax exemption and whatever I and a few other people were doing on a given day," and he continued his work on a personal basis among his network of acquaintances[5] including Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Dick Gregory, Jules Feiffer and Studs Terkel.[6]

Although remaining a Baptist, he reputedly conducted house church worship services in his home late into his life. His home was in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee, outside of Nashville.

Death[edit] Campbell died on June 3, 2013, in Nashville, Tennessee, from complications from a stroke he suffered in May 2011. He was 88 and is survived by his wife of 67 years, Brenda Fisher, a son, Webb, and two daughters, Bonnie and Penny.[7]

Activism[edit] Civil rights[edit] In 1957, while working for the National Council of Churches, Campbell participated in two notable events of the Civil Rights Movement: he was one of four people who escorted the black students who integrated the Little Rock, Arkansas, public schools; and he was the only white person present at the founding of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference by the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.[3] Some black delegates opposed admitting him; but Bayard Rustin sponsored him.[8] In 1961, he helped "Freedom Riders" of the Congress of Racial Equality and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee to integrate interstate bus travel, despite white mob violence, in Alabama.[6] In a 1964 interview with Robert Penn Warren for the book Who Speaks for the Negro?, Campbell discussed many of the issues of the Civil Rights Movement, including the assassination of Medgar Evers by Byron De La Beckwith, Desegregation busing, and the relationship between theology and social activism.[9]

He appealed to Southern Christian churches to end their own segregation and fight discrimination, rather than remain silent. Mr. Campbell eventually left organized religion, though he remained firmly Christian.[10]

Despite these efforts, Campbell later claimed, "I never considered myself ... an activist in the civil rights movement, though a lot of other people considered me an activist."[11]

His uncompromising theology has led him to keep his distance from political movements. He has insisted that "anyone who is not as concerned with the immortal soul of the dispossessor as he is with the suffering of the dispossessed is being something less than Christian" [12] and that "Mr. Jesus died for the bigots as well".[13] These convictions sometimes caused friction between Campbell and other civil rights figures, for example, when Campbell ministered to members of the Ku Klux Klan and visited James Earl Ray in prison.[8] He remarked in 1976, "It's been a long time since I got a hate letter from the right. Now they come from the left."[11]

In his book, "The Stem of Jesse", Will examines the experience of Sam Oni, the first black student to attend Mercer University in Macon Georgia as well as the moral courage of Dr. Joseph Hendricks, who shepherded Mercer through the process of desegregation. The book also profiles Samaria Mitcham Bailey, a young American female of African descent, and her resolve in coping with the racial challenges she faced while matriculating at Mercer University.

Other issues[edit] While Campbell is best known in connection with civil rights activism, he also took an interest in other political issues. He participated in protests against the Vietnam War[11] and helped draft resisters to find sanctuary in Canada.[14] In the late 1970s he spoke out against the death penalty, particularly after forming a relationship with John Spenkelink, whom the state of Florida executed in 1979.[15] Campbell also expressed an opposition to abortion.[11] Akin to the likes of William Stringfellow and Jacques Ellul (who were both contributors to Katallagete), Campbell espoused a fairly strong distrust of government and a belief that people must make their own history. These last two stands sharply distinguish Campbell's thought from that of most religious liberal activists, bringing his views in line with those of more recent postliberal theologians, who denounce liberal (as well as conservative) esteem for civic society as a misplaced faith, an idolatry taking the place of God and Jesus Christ in the Christian life. Will D Campbell was photographed by Henry Groskinsky from TIME magazine on the balcony at the Lorraine Motel, standing in front of the room that Martin Luther King Jr. was staying in the very night that Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, it was quiet but creepy said Henry Groskinsky, and he was taken aback at his unfettered access to the scene of the crime.

Writings[edit] This list contains every, or nearly every, book-length work authored primarily by Campbell, but it makes no attempt to list shorter works.

Race and the Renewal of the Church (1962) Up to Our Steeples in Politics (1970, reprint 2005) (with James Y. Holloway) The Failure and the Hope: Essays of Southern Churchmen (1972, reprint 2005) (edited with James Y. Holloway) ... and the criminals with him ..." Lk 23:33: A first-person book about prisons (1972) Brother to a Dragonfly (1977): part autobiography, part elegy for Campbell's brother, part oral history of the Civil Rights Movement The Glad River (1982): novel Cecelia's Sin (1983): historical novel set among the early Baptists The Lord's Prayer for Our Time (1983) (with Will McBride and Bonnie Campbell) Forty Acres and a Goat (1986): autobiography (40 acres is about 16 hectares) The Convention: A Parable (1988): allegory based on the conflict between moderates and fundamentalists within the Southern Baptist Convention Covenant: Faces, Voices, Places (1989) (with photographs by Al Clayton) Chester and Chun Ling (1989): children's book, illustrated by Jim Hsieh Providence (1992, reprint 2002) The Stem of Jesse: The Costs of Community at a 1960's Southern School (1995, reprint 2002): account of racial integration at Mercer University "Little Red Riding: The Babtist Red-headed Girl" (1996, reprinted 2001): children's book, illustrated by Picasso "Elvis Presley as Redneck" (1995): address delivered at First Elvis Presley Symposium, University of Mississippi The Pear Tree That Bloomed in the Fall (1996): children's book, illustrated by Elaine Kernea And Also With You: Duncan Gray and the American Dilemma (1997): a tribute to the Rt. Rev. Duncan M. Gray, whom Campbell calls one of his heroes Bluebirds Always Come on Sunday (1997) Shugah and Doops (1997) Soul Among Lions: Musings of a Bootleg Preacher (1999) Robert G. Clark's Journey to the House (2003): a biography of the man who, in 1967, was elected Mississippi's first black state legislator since Reconstruction "Writings on Reconciliation and Resistance" (2010) "Crashing the Idols: The Vocation of Will D. Campbell" (2010) "And the Criminals With Him: Essays in Honor of Will D. Campbell and the Reconciled" Edited by Will D. Campbell and Richard C. Goode. (2012)

Rev. Will D. Campbell, Maverick Minister in Civil Rights Era, Dies at 88 By ROBERT D. McFADDENJUNE 4, 2013

The Rev. Will D. Campbell, right, and the Rev. Ralph D. Abernathy comforted each other on April 4, 1968, at the Lorraine Hotel in Memphis after the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Credit Henry Groskinsky/Time & Life Pictures, via Getty Images The Rev. Will D. Campbell, a renegade preacher and author who joined the civil rights struggle in the 1950s, quit organized religion and fought injustice with nonviolent protests and a storyteller’s arsenal of autobiographical tales and fictional histories, died on Monday night in Nashville. He was 88.

A family friend, John Egerton, confirmed the death. He said Mr. Campbell had moved to a nursing home in Nashville from his family farm near Mount Juliet, Tenn., after a stroke in 2011.

Mr. Campbell, one of the few white clerics with an extensive field record as a civil rights activist, wrote a score of books that explored the human costs of racism and the contradictions of Christian life in the segregated South, notably in a memoir, “Brother to a Dragonfly” (1977), a National Book Award finalist.

A knot of contradictions himself, he was a civil rights advocate who drank whiskey with Klansmen, a writer who layered fact and fiction, and a preacher without a church who presided at weddings, baptisms and funerals in homes, hospitals and graveyards for a flock of like-minded rebels that included Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Dick Gregory, Jules Feiffer and Studs Terkel.

Most of his scattered “congregation,” however, were poor whites and blacks, plain people alienated from mainstream Christianity and wary of institutions, churches and governments that stood for progress but that in their view achieved little. He once conducted a funeral for a ghost town, Golden Pond, Ky., where the residents had been removed in the late 1960s to make way for a Tennessee Valley Authority project.

After a fashion, he was also an eccentric voice of wisdom in the funny papers — the model for the Rev. Will B. Dunn, the bombastic preacher with the broad-brimmed clerical hat in “Kudzu,” Doug Marlette’s syndicated comic strip about rural Southerners.

Followers and friends called Mr. Campbell hilarious, profound, inspiring and apocalyptic, a guitar-picking, down-home country boy who made moonshine and stomped around his Tennessee cabin in cowboy boots and denim uttering streams of sacred and profane commentary that found their way into books, articles, lectures and sermons.

“Brother Will, as he was called by so many of us who knew him, made his own indelible mark as a minister and social activist in service to marginalized people of every race, creed and calling,” former President Jimmy Carter said.

The son of Mississippi cotton farmers, Mr. Campbell grew up in a backwater of segregated schools, churches and cracker-barrel country stores where men chewed tobacco and spat bigotry. He was ordained a Baptist minister at 17 and attended three colleges and Yale Divinity School before embarking on an unsatisfying life as a small-town pastor and then chaplain at the University of Mississippi. He left Ole Miss amid death threats over his integrationist views.

As a race-relations troubleshooter for the National Council of Churches from 1956 to 1963, he joined the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the Rev. Ralph Abernathy, James Farmer, Bayard Rustin, John Lewis and other civil rights luminaries in historic confrontations across the South.

Mr. Campbell was the only white person invited by Dr. King to the founding of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta in 1957. Months later, Mr. Campbell helped escort black students through angry crowds in an attempt to integrate Central High School in Little Rock, Ark. (The students were turned away by the National Guard, but succeeded three weeks later with an escort of federal troops.)

In 1961, he counseled and accompanied Freedom Riders of the Congress of Racial Equality and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee who integrated interstate bus travel at the cost of beatings by white mobs in Anniston, Birmingham and Montgomery, Ala.

Photo

The Rev. Will D. Campbell. Credit Seabury Press And in 1963, he joined Dr. King’s campaign of boycotts, sit-ins and marches in Birmingham, one of America’s most segregated cities. In scenes that stunned the nation, protesters were met with snarling police dogs and high-pressure water hoses.

“If it hits you right, the pressure from a fire hose can break your back,” Mr. Campbell said years later. “I remember seeing adults and children hit and rolling along the sidewalk like pebbles at high tide.”

Later in the 1960s, after appeals to Christian churches in the South to end segregation in their own ranks and actively fight discrimination, Mr. Campbell abandoned organized religion, though not his faith. He accused Southern Protestant churches in particular of standing silent in the face of bigotry.

Widening his horizons in the 1960s, he protested American involvement in the Vietnam War, helped draft resisters find sanctuaries in Canada, spoke against capital punishment and turned against politics, government and institutions in general for failing to provide solutions to the nation’s social problems.

His belief that Christ died for bigots as well as devout people prompted his contacts with the Ku Klux Klan, and he visited James Earl Ray in prison after the 1968 assassination of Mr. Campbell’s friend Dr. King. He was widely criticized for both actions.

In later years, Mr. Campbell campaigned for equal rights for women, gays and lesbians, and turned increasingly to writing. “Brother to a Dragonfly” was both an elegy to his brother, Joe, who died after years of alcoholism and drug addiction, and a memoir of the civil rights era and its bombings, murders and terrifying calls in the night.

“Will D. Campbell is a brave man who doesn’t like to talk about it,” John Leonard wrote in a review of the book for The New York Times, “one of a handful of white Southerners — like P. D. East, Ralph McGill, James Silver, Charles Morgan and Claude Sitton, all of whom appear in these pages — who Mr. Campbell says stood with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Fanny Lou Hamer and John Lewis in the worst of times.”

Will Davis Campbell was born on July 18, 1924, in Amite County, Miss., to Lee and Hancie Campbell. At 5, he survived a near-fatal case of pneumonia. He and his sister and two brothers attended local schools, and he went to Louisiana College before joining the Army in 1942. He was a combat medic in the South Pacific in World War II.

In 1946, he married Brenda Fisher. They had a son, Webb, and two daughters, Penny and Bonnie. They survive him, as do four grandchildren.

After earning a degree in English from Wake Forest College in 1950 and a year at Tulane University, Mr. Campbell graduated from Yale Divinity School in 1952. His two years at a small Baptist church in Taylor, La., dissuaded him from a pastoral career; two more as a chaplain at Ole Miss coincided with his growing opposition to segregation.

After his years in the civil rights movement, he directed the Committee of Southern Churchmen and for decades published Katallagete, its quarterly journal of politics and social change, whose title referred to a biblical passage on reconciliation. He wrote books at his farm near Mount Juliet and traveled widely, lecturing and ministering to followers who shared his distrust of institutions.

His books included critiques of modern Christianity, “Race and the Renewal of the Church” (1962) and “Up to Our Steeples in Politics” (1970); spiritual-historical novels, “The Glad River” (1982) and “Cecelia’s Sin” (1983); memoirs, “Forty Acres and a Goat” (1986) and “Crashing the Idols: The Vocation of Will D. Campbell” (2010, with Richard C. Goode); and various biographies, histories and children’s books.

In 2000, Mr. Campbell received the National Endowment for the Humanities medal from President Bill Clinton and was profiled in a PBS documentary, “God’s Will,” narrated by Ossie Davis.

Correction: June 4, 2013 An earlier version of this obituary referred incorrectly to Mr. Campbell’s siblings. He had two brothers and a sister, not two sisters and a brother.

Correction: July 5, 2013 An obituary on June 5 about the civil rights activist Will D. Campbell, who was involved in the attempt to integrate Central High School in Little Rock, Ark., in 1957, contained several errors. The black students trying to enter the school succeeded three weeks after Mr. Campbell and others had tried to escort them in through an angry crowd; they did not succeed the next day. The students were stopped from entering the building by National Guard troops, not by mob violence. And there were eight students in the group that day, not nine. (One student attempted to enter the school separately.)

Daniel E. Slotnik contributed reporting.



https://mississippiencyclopedia.org/entries/will-d-campbell/

https://tennesseeencyclopedia.net/entries/will-davis-campbell/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Will_Campbell_(Baptist_minister)

Will Davis Campbell (Amite County, Mississippi, July 18, 1924 – Nashville, Tennessee June 3, 2013) was a Baptist minister, activist, author, and lecturer. Throughout his life, he was a notable Southern white supporter of African-American civil rights. In addition to his activism, Campbell was also a noted author, particularly with his autobiographical work Brother to a Dragonfly, a finalist for the National Book Award in 1978.

Personal and career

Campbell was born in Amite County, Mississippi, in 1924, the son of a farmer and his wife. He credited his family with having raised him to be culturally tolerant, even though his family church had Bibles emblazoned with a Ku Klux Klan symbol. He was ordained as a minister at age 17 by his local Baptist congregation.

He attended Louisiana College, then enlisted in the Army during World War II. He served as a medic. After the war, he attended Wake Forest College (BA, English), Tulane University, and Yale Divinity School (B.D., 1952).

Though he held a pastorate in Louisiana from 1952 to 1954, Campbell spent most of his career in other settings. In 1954, he took a position as director of religious life at the University of Mississippi, only to resign it in 1956. This was in part because of the hostility (including death threats) which he received for supporting racial integration.

He subsequently took a position as a field officer for the National Council of Churches, and started a period of close engagement with the Civil Rights Movement. In 1963, Campbell left the NCC to become director of the Committee of Southern Churchmen, which was his base for continuing activism.

This organization published a journal, Katallagete, referring to the New Testament Greek language for the Pauline phrase "be reconciled", a reference to 2 Corinthians 5:20. The journal featured articles about politics and social change, as understood through the lens of the Christian faith. It expressed ideas of the neo-orthodox movement, which Campbell had become acquainted with at Yale. Edited by James Y. Holloway of Kentucky's Berea College, Katallagete was published from 1965 until the early 1990s. The CSC relinquished control of the journal to Campbell and Holloway in 1983.

By 2005, Campbell described the CSC as "nothing ... a name and a tax exemption and whatever I and a few other people were doing on a given day." He continued his work as an individual among his network of acquaintances, including singers Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson, comedian Dick Gregory, cartoonist and playwright Jules Feiffer and writer Studs Terkel.

Although remaining a Baptist, Campbell reportedly conducted house church worship services in his home late into his life. His home was in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee, outside Nashville.

Campbell died on June 3, 2013, in Nashville, from complications of a stroke he suffered in May 2011. He was 88 and was survived by his wife of 67 years, Brenda Fisher, a son, Webb, and two daughters, Bonnie and Penny.

Activism

Civil rights

In 1957, while working for the National Council of Churches, Campbell participated in two notable events of the Civil Rights Movement; he was one of four people who escorted the black students who integrated the Little Rock, Arkansas, public schools; and he was the only white person present at the founding of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference by Martin Luther King Jr. Some black delegates opposed admitting him, but Bayard Rustin sponsored him. In 1961, he helped "Freedom Riders" of the Congress of Racial Equality and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee to integrate interstate bus travel, despite white mob violence, in Alabama. In a 1964 interview with Robert Penn Warren for the book Who Speaks for the Negro?, Campbell discussed many of the issues of the Civil Rights Movement, including the assassination of Medgar Evers by Byron De La Beckwith, desegregation busing, and the relationship between theology and social activism.

He appealed to Southern Christian churches to end their own segregation and fight discrimination, rather than remain silent. Campbell eventually left organized religion, though he remained firmly Christian.

Campbell later said, "I never considered myself ... an activist in the civil rights movement, though a lot of other people considered me an activist."

His uncompromising theology led him to keep his distance from political movements. He insisted that "anyone who is not as concerned with the immortal soul of the dispossessor as he is with the suffering of the dispossessed is being something less than Christian" and that "Mr. Jesus died for the bigots as well". These convictions sometimes caused friction between Campbell and other civil rights figures. Campbell was known to minister to members of the Ku Klux Klan and visited James Earl Ray in prison. He remarked in 1976, "It's been a long time since I got a hate letter from the right. Now they come from the left."

In his book The Stem of Jesse, Campbell examined the experience of Sam Oni, the first black student to attend Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, as well as the moral courage of Joseph Hendricks, who shepherded Mercer through the process of desegregation. He also profiles Samaria Mitcham Bailey, a young American female of African descent, and her resolve in coping with the racial challenges she faced while matriculating at Mercer University.

Other issues

Campbell also took an interest in other political issues. He participated in protests against the Vietnam War and helped draft resisters to find sanctuary in Canada. In the late 1970s, he spoke out against the death penalty, particularly after forming a relationship with John Spenkelink, whom the state of Florida executed in 1979. Campbell also expressed an opposition to abortion.

Similarly to William Stringfellow and Jacques Ellul (who were both contributors to Katallagete), Campbell expressed a fairly strong distrust of government and a belief that people must make their own history. These last two stands sharply distinguish Campbell's thought from that of most religious liberal activists. He is considered aligned with more recent postliberal theologians, who denounce the liberal (as well as conservative) esteem for civic society as a misplaced faith, an idolatry taking the place of God and Jesus Christ in the Christian life.

Campbell was photographed by Henry Groskinsky from TIME magazine on the balcony at the Lorraine Motel, standing in front of the room where Martin Luther King Jr. Groskinsky said the night was quiet but "creepy", and he was surprised they were allowed access to this site.

Writings

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Will_Campbell_(Baptist_minister)#Writ...

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Will D. Campbell, a Southern Baptist Convention minister best known for his work for civil rights in the 1960s and 1970s, was born into a Baptist family in southern Mississippi. His father had at one time aspired to the ministry, but became a farmer instead. At the age of seven Campbell was converted in a Baptist church and quite early in life decided to be a preacher. He began to preach during his teen years and was ordained by his church at the age of 17. He enrolled in Louisiana College but dropped out after a year and joined the Army during World War II.

Campbell served as a medic in the South Pacific, and while there he began to meditate upon the plight of southern Blacks. The reading of Howard Fast's Freedom Road had a marked effect upon him and led to his decision to spend his life dealing with what he termed the "tragedy of the South." He finished his military service and returned to marry Brenda Fisher, a Louisiana College girlfriend, and complete his bachelor's degree at Wake Forest College from which he graduated in 1948. He then earned a master's degree in English literature from Tulane and a B.D. from Yale Divinity School in 1952. He began his professional career at Taylor Baptist Church in northern Louisiana. In 1954 he moved to the University of Mississippi as the school's director of religious life. While at the university, his commitment to civil rights raised one issue after another, culminating in the university's canceling of a speaker scheduled for a religious emphasis week. The cancelled speaker was an Episcopal priest who had supported the NAACP. Campbell retaliated by staging an hour for reflection before the empty stage.

In 1956 Campbell moved to Nashville, Tennessee, to work with the National Council of Churches Department of Racial and Cultural Relations. As one of the few southern, white religious leaders publicly working for civil rights in the South, he found himself in some unique and historic situations. He was the only white person present for the formation of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). Campbell was there when the first black children enrolled in the white public schools of Little Rock, Arkansas. He frequently found himself in the middle of civil rights negotiations as the movement grew and shifted across the South.

Campbell worked with the Council of Churches for seven years, simultaneously writing his first book, Race and Renewal in the Church (1962). About the time the book appeared, he was asked in an informal theological discussion to summarize the gospel in a brief sentence. He replied, "We are all bastards but God loves us anyway." He was then challenged to apply that gospel to white southerners, in particular a sheriff who had recently shot a student registering black voters. The challenge made him realize that, in a most unchristian manner, he had been taking sides. He was now forced to see the problems of, and even sympathize with, his fellow Whites whom he also saw as oppressed, as victims of the system. Some statements in this regard angered his superiors, and eventually he resigned rather than submit to their censorship of his public statements, which touched on his sympathies toward Whites.

His break with the council led to the formation of the Committee of Southern Churchmen, an informal gathering of people who shared Campbell's radical perspective. Through its journal, Katallagete, Campbell and the committee speculated on a variety of problems, and they touched a broad spectrum of people from poor African Americans to the exploited, poor, white lower class. The work of the committee led Campbell to emerge as a prophet who targeted institutions of all types as the victimizers of the poor, the outcast, and the dispossessed. His message became paradoxical. While seeing institutions as the embodiment of evil, he was aware of the necessity of participating in them to some extent, especially if one wanted to effectively correct injustice.

As the work of the committee ended and its constituents moved on, Campbell settled in Mt. Juliet on a farm. He is now established as a minister to those who come to visit, especially those alienated from the institutional church, an institution believed no less evil than secular ones. He again was in the news in the 1980s for ministering to Ku Klux Klansmen. During this time he has partially supported himself through writing books, including: Brother to a Dragonfly (1977); The Glad River (1982); Cecelia's Sin (1983); and God on Earth: The Lord's Prayer for Our Time (1983). He has also written two autobiographical volumes: An Oral History with Will Davis Campbell, Christian Preacher (1980), Forty Acres and a Goat: A Memoir (1986), and most recently his autobiographical account of the 1960s, The Stem of Jesse (1995).

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Will D. Campbell's Timeline

1924
July 18, 1924
Amite County, Mississippi, United States
1953
1953
Mount Juliet, Wilson County, Tennessee, United States
2013
June 3, 2013
Age 88
Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee, United States
????
Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee, United States