Alexander Campbell

From A Compendium of Irish Biography, 1878

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Campbell, Alexander, D.D., was born in the County of Antrim, June 1786, and was educated for the ministry at Glasgow University. His father, Thomas, a relative and class-mate of Thomas Campbell the poet, was a Presbyterian minister, and emigrated to the United States in 1807. Two years later, Alexander followed and took up his residence near Bethany, in western Virginia. At first a Presbyterian minister, he separated from that body on the ground that the Bible should be the sole creed of the church. With his father he established several congregations, uniting with the Baptists, but protesting against all creeds. In 1827 they and their followers were excluded from fellowship by that body, and organised themselves into a separate body under the name of "Disciples of Christ," more commonly known as Campbellites. In 1867 their numbers in the United States were estimated at 424,500, chiefly in the northern and western States. In 1823 Mr. Campbell commenced the publication of the Christian Baptist, afterwards merged in the Millennial Harbinger, the recognised organ of the sect. He also published numerous theological works, and engaged in several public discussions. In 1840 he founded a college at Bethany, West Virginia: there he died, 4th March 1866, aged 79. Drake styles him: "A man of strong intellect, fine scholarship, and great logical power." He was an apologist for negro slavery, and maintained that the holding of slaves should not disqualify for church membership.

Sources

96a. Curry, John: Review of the Civil Wars in Ireland. Dublin, 1793.

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