Campbell, Alexander

( 17 88-1866 )
   founder of the Restoration movement
   Alexander Campbell was one of the founders of the 19th-century Restoration movement, which produced three large international Christian communities - the Churches of Christ, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and the Churches of Christ and Christian Churches. He was born on September 12, 1788, at Ballymena, Antrim County, Ireland, the son of Thomas Campbell (1763-1854), a Presbyterian minister. Alexander's father had left the Church of Scotland and affiliated himself with one of the factions of Succes-sionists, Presbyterians opposed to the patronage system in the state church. Thomas Campbell saw to his son's education at the University of Glasgow, where Alexander was strongly influenced by the Haldane brothers.
   Thomas Campbell moved to America in 1807, and Alexander followed two years later. They lived in western Pennsylvania. originally working among the American Presbyterians, they eventually withdrew out of dislike for their creedal demands. They also began to doubt the validity of infant baptism.
   In 1811, the Campbells organized the independent First Christian Association of Washington, Pennsylvania, the so-called Brush Run church. The following year, Alexander was ordained to the ministry, and both he and his father were rebaptized by immersion by Matthias Luce, a Baptist minister. Alexander became leader of the little church, which in 1813 became affiliated with the Redstone Baptist Association. Alexander's 1826 translation of the Bible rendered the Greek word baptizo as immerse, rather than the usual baptize, and the name John the Baptist became John the Immerser.
   Campbell refined his views in a series of public debates with leaders from various Christian churches. In 1823, he began the Christian Baptist (1823-30). He became increasingly critical of the Baptists, who also had creedal standards. He wanted to abandon any activities without a biblical base, such as creeds or theology, and "restore" the church to the model of the biblical church - simple worship, the Lord's Supper, and the autonomy of local congregations. His approach to the Bible assigned higher inspirational value to the New Testament than to the old.
   Campbell came to advocate an informal fellowship of congregations that chose to worship according to the New Testament pattern. By 1830, he had left the Baptists; he discontinued the Christian Baptist in favor of a new periodical, the Millennial Harbinger. In 1832, he and Barton Stone, who had reached similar conclusions, united the movements that had developed around their ideas. They wanted to be known only as Christians, but soon the designation Disciples of Christ was common.
   In 1840, Campbell founded and became president of Bethany College in what is now West Virginia. He continued to edit the Millennial Harbinger and head Bethany until his death on March 4, 1866.
   See also Baptists; Free Churches.
   Further reading:
   ■ Alexander Campbell, Christian Baptism With Its Antecedents and Consequences (Bethany, Va.: Alexander Campbell, 1853)
   ■ Selina Huntington Campbell, Home Life and Reminiscences of Alexander Campbell By His Wife (Joplin, Mo.: College Press, 1882)
   ■ Debate on the Evidences of Christianity; containing an examination of the social system, and of all the systems of scepticism of ancient and modern times, held in the city of Cincinnati, for eight days successively, between Robert Owen, of New Lanark, Scotland, and Alexander Campbell, of Bethany, Virginia. With an appendix by the parties (Bethany, Va.: Alexander Campbell, 1829)
   ■ Bill J. Humble, Light from Above: The Life of Alexander Campbell (Nashville, Tenn.: Gospel Advocate, 1988)
   ■ Eva Jean Wrather, Creative Freedom in Action: Alexander Campbell on the Structure of the Church (St. Louis: Bethany House, 1968).

Encyclopedia of Protestantism. . 2005.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Campbell, Alexander — ▪ American clergyman born Sept. 12, 1788, near Ballymena, County Antrim, Ire. died March 4, 1866, Bethany, W.Va., U.S.  American clergyman, writer, and founder of the Disciples of Christ and Bethany College.       He was the son of Thomas… …   Universalium

  • Campbell, Alexander — (1788–1866)    Sect Founder.    Campbell was the son of a Presbyterian minister and was educated at the University of Glasgow in Scotland. In 1809 he emigrated to Pennsylvania and there he was ordained into the Baptist ministry. However, in 1827… …   Who’s Who in Christianity

  • CAMPBELL, ALEXANDER —    an Anti Calvinistic Baptist, born in Antrim; emigrated to America in 1807, and founded a sect called the Disciples of Christ ; disowned creeds, and owned no authority in religion but the Bible; the sect has upwards of 5000 meeting houses in… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Alexander Campbell — Alexander Campbell, or Alec ... or Alex Campbell, may refer to:Canadian politicians: *Alexander Campbell (Upper Canada politician) (1770 1834) *Alexander Campbell (Canadian politician) (styled Sir, 1822 1892), legislator, minister, Lieutenant… …   Wikipedia

  • Alexander Campbell (Schottland) — Alexander Campbell (* 9. Mai 1871 in Killin, Perthshire, Schottland; † 7. Mai 1915 im Atlantischen Ozean vor Irland) war ein englischer Spirituosengroßhändler, Destillateur und Geschäftsführer des Londoner Whisky Erzeugers John Dewar and Sons,… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Alexander Campbell (Destillateur) — Alexander Campbell (* 9. Mai 1871 in Killin, Perthshire, Schottland; † 7. Mai 1915 im Atlantischen Ozean vor Irland) war ein schottischer Spirituosengroßhändler, Destillateur und Geschäftsführer des Londoner Whisky Erzeugers John Dewar and Sons,… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Alexander Franklin Campbell — (March, 1845 ndash; ) was a journalist and political figure in Ontario, Canada. He represented Algoma East in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario as a Conservative member from 1890 to 1894.He was born in Mayfield, Chinguacousy Township, Peel… …   Wikipedia

  • Alexander Campbell Mansion — Infobox nrhp | name =Campbell Mansion nrhp type =nhl caption = Alexander Campbell Mansion nearest city= Bethany, West Virginia lat degrees = 40 lat minutes = 12 lat seconds = 27.5 lat direction = N long degrees = 80 long minutes = 32 long seconds …   Wikipedia

  • Alexander Campbell of Carco — infobox bishopbiog name = Alexander Campbell Alasdair Caimbeul religion=Church of Scotland/Roman Catholic Church See = Diocese of Brechin Title = Bishop of Brechin Period = 1566 ndash;1607 consecration = July 21 1566 x July 23 1569 Predecessor =… …   Wikipedia

  • Alexander Petrie Campbell — The Reverend Alexander Petrie Campbell OBE (4 June 1881 13 December 1963) was an Australian born Congregational church minister and chairman of the Congregational Union of Australia and New Zealand from 1937 until 1939.Immediate familyAlex… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.