Alexander Campbell


Born in 1788 in County Antrim, Ireland, this Scots-Irish immigrant joined his beloved father, Thomas, a noted Presbyterian minister, in Western Pennsylvania in 1809. Campbell moved to Brooke County when he married Margaret Brown in 1811.

A prominent 19th century figure, Campbell was the leading influence in America’s largest indigenous religious movement, known variously as the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), churches of Christ, and the Christian Church.

He was an innovative educator. Founder of Bethany College in 1840, Campbell was a leader in childhood and adolescent education and championed universal female education.

Henry Clay introduced him to foreign visitors as one of “the most eminent citizens of the United States.” James Madison said Campbell was “the ablest and most original expounder of the Scriptures I have ever heard.”

Guests in the Campbell home included Jefferson Davis, future president of the Confederacy; James A. Garfield, trustee of Bethany College, president of Bethany’s daughter institution, Hiram College, and future president of the United States; and Judge Jeremiah Black, U.S. attorney general under President James Buchanan.