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The Life and Ministry of Alexander Campbell in Historic Bethany. Early Life. Alexander was born Sept. 12, 1788, in a location about 25 miles northwest of Belfast, Ireland. In 1798, Thomas Campbell (1763-1854) moved to Ahorey, Ireland. In 1807, Thomas immigrated to Washington, Pennsylvania.
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Early Life • Alexander was born Sept. 12, 1788, in a location about 25 miles northwest of Belfast, Ireland. • In 1798, Thomas Campbell (1763-1854) moved to Ahorey, Ireland. • In 1807, Thomas immigrated to Washington, Pennsylvania
Early Life • In 1808, Thomas Campbell renounced the Presbyterian Church. • The family was shipwrecked on the coast of Scotland. • Alexander then entered the University of Glasgow, where he came under the influence of Greville Ewing, John Glas, and the Haldanes.
Early Life • 1809: Christian Association of Washington • Declaration and Address • Unity document • Only what is expressly commanded • Each judges for oneself • Alexander and the family travel from Greenock, Scotland to America.
Brush Run Years • “Where the scriptures speak, we speak; and where the scriptures are silent, we are silent.” • In the spring of 1811, Thomas Campbell began to believe the Association must become a church. • May 4, 1811 -- • Thomas Campbell appointed Elder • Alexander Campbell licensed to preach • Sunday, May 5, 1811: first worship service
Brush Run Years • Problem of the form of baptism • Three people requested baptism: Margaret Fullerton, Abraham Altars, Joseph Bryant. • Bryant thought immersion was the only proper form. • Thus baptism became an issue • Thomas Campbell was accused of being… • Inconsistent – immersing others, though he still believing in sprinkling • Unqualified to immerse others – since he himself was not immersed.
Brush Run Years • Alexander and baptism--- • At first, issue of no great importance • Three sermons to defend INFANT baptism • Birth of first child: began serious study • Concluded… • infant baptism was not present in the NT • immersion was the form of baptism in the NT • Asked Matthias Luce to baptize him.
Brush Run Years • Thomas Campbell was still reluctant, he was in heart still Presbyterian • June 12, 1812 was the date set for baptisms • Thomas and wife and daughter Margaret arrived prepared to be immersed. • Thomas Campbell asked to be allowed to make a statement on his reasons for being immersed
Brush Run Years • Alexander’s words: this is the NT way • Immersion • on confession, not of a human creed, but of Jesus Christ as the Son of God. • Two others in the crowd then requested baptism • The meeting continued 7 hours • Next Sunday, 13 requested immersion, among them James Foster.
Brush Run Years • Redstone Baptist Association--Brush Run Church was received in 1813 • Immediate problems: Brush Run is too independent, and is non-Calvinistic • In his Sermon on the Law, Alexander claimed the OT is no longer applicable • Departure from Redstone was in September, 1823
Brush Run Years • After departure from Redstone Association in September, 1823, the Brush Run church joined the Mahoning Baptist Association • A sequel to the “Sermon on the Law” preached there (in Canfield, 1826) • The text of sermon was Malachi 4:2: “The Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in its wings.” • Theme: “The progress of revealed light”
The Christian Baptist • “The Restoration of the Ancient Order of Things” • the nature and work of the church of the NT based on the “pattern” of the apostolic church as recorded in the NT. • Revised, it was published in book form later: first edition, Christianity Restored; later editions, The Christian System • Alexander Campbell was in this time period a champion of the Baptists • [Insert information about Alexander Campbell and the Baptists]
Later Years • Publication of Millennial Harbinger beginning in 1830 (which continued after his death) • Bethany College was established (1841) • The Lunenburg Letter • American Christian Bible Society (1845) • General Convention of Disciples or Campbellite churches • Immediate opposition: no NT authority for such a meeting or proposal
Missionary Society Question • Raised the issue: what is a “matter of faith,” and what is a “matter of opinion”? • Raised the issue of “expedients” • Orphans’ Homes • Herald of Truth • Giving to colleges • Any “Para-church” organization
Close of an Era • Deaths of leaders • Barton W. Stone, Nov. 9, 1844. • Thomas Campbell, January 4, 1854. • Walter Scott, April 23, 1861. • Alexander Campbell, March 4, 1866.
Historic Bethany • Historic Bethany is just north of Bethany, WV. This is a picture of the visitor center.
Historic Bethany • This a group of Sojourners whom I was privileged to lead on a tour of Bethany while they were on a “sojourn” at OVU.
Historic Bethany • The well house on the north side of the “mansion” served as cold storage. The buildings have been preserved beautifully.
Historic Bethany • The path to the schoolhouse also leads by an outer door to the basement--the only access now.
Historic Bethany • The grounds at Bethany are well-kept and park-like. Here is an alternate view of the study as it appears from the house.
Historic Bethany • The mantle in the original house and an early recliner, used by Thomas Campbell in his declining years.
Historic Bethany • Kneeling benches used by Alexander and Margaret when they were married in this house.
Historic Bethany • Early baby bed.
Historic Bethany • A single bed/cot in the original bedroom. Note the pitcher and bowl.
Historic Bethany • A very narrow double bed in the Campbell bedroom.
Historic Bethany • The “death mask” for Alexander Campbell, indicative of what he looked like at his death.
Historic Bethany • The infamous long table in the dining room.
Historic Bethany • The living area of “stranger’s hall.”