My Photo

Born May 18, 1953; got saved at Truett Memorial BC in Hayesville, NC 1959. On rigged ballot which I did not rig got Most Intellectual class of 71, Gaffney High School. Furman Grad, Sociology major but it was little tougher than Auburn football players had Had three dates with beautiful women the summer of 1978. Did not marry any of em. Never married anybody cause what was available was undesirable and what was desirable was unaffordable. Unlucky in love as they say and even still it is sometimes heartbreaking. Had a Pakistani Jr. Davis Cupper on the Ropes the summer of 84, City Courts, Rome Georgia I've a baby sitter, watched peoples homes while they were away on Vacation. Freelance writer, local consultant, screenwriter, and the best damn substitute teacher of Floyd County Georgia in mid 80's according to an anonymous kid passed me on main street a few years later when I went back to get a sandwich at Schroeders. Had some good moments in Collinsville as well. Ask Casey Mattox at if he will be honest about it. I try my best to make it to Bridges BBQ in Shelby NC at least four times a year.

Monday, January 29, 2007

All Baptists should be More Like Will

Come back to this post as I am on the fly today. I will add to the intro.
Tyler Coker and Vivee Monteagudo were in the same room with Will Campbell at the Pacers gig in Montgomery about 97 or so. I first met Will in 74, and bought his Brother to a Dragonfly the year it was published. He was a friend of L D Johnson and Carlyle Marney, great Baptists.
Among his admirers are myself, David Halberstam, Marshall Frady, Steve Miller, Todd Heifner and Kate Campbell.
Halberstam wrote about Leon Culberson, once engaged to Aunt Virginia who went in for Joe's brother Dom Dimaggio in the 46 World Series Bosox vs Cards, Game 6 in St. Louis. But that is another story.
When Roach, will remember his first name later, was about to be executed in Columbia South Carolina in 84, I got all torn up, near basket case and called Will on the phone from my Grandmother's Home in Rome Georgia. I said my homestate is makin an ass of itself near lynch party calling for the death of this poor soul with an IQ of 57 or so.
And Will said: "Hell Son, get a grip on yourself; There is not a damn thing I can do about it!"
Fleming Rutledge has a great tribute sermon to Will "God Damn Christians".
Frady devoted 20 pages of his 79 bio on Billy Graham to Will Campbell.

Here is the latest, from the Sat Jan 27, 2007 Nashville Tn.

Saturday, 01/27/07
Baptists of all stripes can take cue from Mt. Juliet's CampbellBy RAY WADDLE
An observer of the scene once described Southern Baptists as the "hyper-Americans." If Americans are considered patriotic, Baptists are super-patriotic. If Americans read the Bible, Baptists really read it.
Generalizations are dangerous. There's no one kind of Southern Baptist, but many — back-road saints, Nashville professionals, sweet-souled tithers, anti-tax ideologues, big-steeple autocrats, fair-minded conservatives, social gospel organizers, closet segregationists, rock 'n' rollers, evangelists, Texans … and ex-Baptists. If Americans are diverse, Baptists are hyper-diverse.

Left-of-center Baptists (led by former U.S. presidents Carter and Clinton) recently announced intentions to create an alliance of North American Baptists to rival the Nashville-centered Southern Baptist Convention — not a new denomination but an ideological, spiritual alternative. They want to rescue "Baptist" from negative connotations they blame on conservatives, who've controlled the SBC for two decades.
The new group's goal is to promote social justice, help the hungry and homeless, welcome strangers, promote religious liberty and respect diversity.
Scrimmages over "Baptist" really mirror a larger, contemporary clash over another word — "religion." Spiritual trends have complicated the definition of religion, infiltrating SBC life for a generation.
What does it mean to be religious?
The liberal side provides its answer, majoring in action. These people are less preoccupied with doctrinal purity, which they consider a false god, an arrogant illusion, a weapon for keeping people fearful. They seek a Jesus who's welcoming, not scary.
The conservative side gives its answer. These people saw trouble brewing after the 1950s — feminism, abortion rights, gay rights, multiculturalism, all birthed by liberalism. These had theological consequences — a fuzzy drift away from Scripture, evangelism and Christ's divinity, the decline of traditional decency.
Conservative social analysis triggered a like-minded surge in national political life — in the SBC, too. Conservatives emerged as brokers of assertive Christian truth.
While Baptists debate what Baptist means, one revolutionary Baptist goes overlooked, Mt. Juliet's Will Campbell. Virtually alone among white Baptists, Campbell turned publicly against racial hatred in the 1950s. Ever since, this author/minister/farmer/dissident/native Mississippian has lambasted unexamined prejudice and sanctimonious pretense.
As he might say, he gave up the church to go into the ministry. His eight-word definition of Christianity — "We're all bastards but God loves us anyway" — means Campbell has befriended racist Kluxers as well as victims of hatred. He makes both left and right squeamish. Yet his instincts are deeply Baptist — allegiance to Bible and discipleship, upholding Jesus' difficult ideal of love of enemy.
Campbell, now past 80, is a shadow figure in Baptist life — well-known and evaded. Baptists who would polish their public image should inject this feisty prophet into the mix and startle the world with new dreams of Christian discipleship. If they dare.


Blogger foxofbama said...

Larry Nelson singers is the other find of the day, a find of Kevin Heifner, a kidney doctor out in Little Rock.
Google em up and buy the CD. The Tribute to Momma song is a strong one.

1:01 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home