See for yourself if Rev. Will D. Campbell passes the test for the use of that most overused word, unique. He was the son of Mississippi cotton farmers who became a civil rights leader. He was an ordained preacher with a country style and an alum of Yale Divinity School. He drank with Klansmen and marched with Martin Luther King. He made moonshine. He could quote the Bible like a prophet and keep up cussin like a sailor. He gave up on organized religion but was still a believer.
Campbell, 88, died last week in Nashville, Tenn. He was a character, and Nashville was a fitting final stop, as Campbell was known to play guitar and hang out with music industry types. And he had a North Carolina connection: a degree from the former Wake Forest College, class of 1950.
Civil rights was his passion all his life. He sat in. He integrated churches and schools. And he believed in a God who saved bigots as well as the enlightened. Amen.