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Alexander Campbell › Hymnals

Short Name: Alexander Campbell
Full Name: Campbell, Alexander, 1788-1866
Birth Year: 1788
Death Year: 1866

Campbell, Alexander. (Ballymena, County Antrim, Ireland, September 12, 1788--March 4, 1866, Bethany, West Virginai). Disciple. Grew up in the Irish branch of the splinter-group off of the Church of Scotland (Anti-burgher Seceder Church); studied a year at the University at Glasgow, while en route to the U.S. to join his father, Thomas Campbell. Both men having individually left the Seceder group (1809), and subsequently having accepted the necessity of immersion as the proper mode of baptism, they and their growing group of "Reformers" were accepted into membership in a Baptist association in the (West) Virginia-Pennsylvania-Ohio area in 1813; they were separated from the Baptists in 1830; in 1832, the Campbell group merged with a Kentucky group known simply as "Christians;" out of the Campbell-Stone merger came the mid-twentieth-century denomination know as the International Convention of Christian Churches (Disciples of Christ) as well as the non-instrumental-music Churches of Christ. Campbell compiled Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs for his followers in 1828; after the merger mentioned above he helped combine the various existing books, contributing six original hymns to the resulting Christian Hymn Book of 1835. (None of these original hymns has survived in 20th-century Disciple collections.) Elected president of the first national Disciple convention, 1849. He maintained direct control over the Brotherhood's official hymnal until 1864, when he turned it over to the Convention, with the understanding that the committee to revise the next edition (dated 1865) be approved by him and the convention. Although as a hymn-writer he seems to have had little permanent success, he must have exerted a strong stabilizing influence on the hymnody of the Disciples well beyond his own lifetime.

--George Brandon, DNAH Archives

Featured Article:
Alexander Campbell's Contributions to Hymnody by Jim Mankin (from "The Hymn")

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