The City of Moundsville |The Restoration Movement | Restoration History of the Ohio Valley | Alexander Campbell and His Work
Campbell was a native of Bally Mena, in the County of Antrim, Northern Ireland born in 1788. He came from Scot stock. He was educated at Glasgow University and there came into contact with the Haldane brothers and other Scots who attempted to begin a movement to restore the New Testament church as found in the Bible. The Scotch Baptists had moved remarkably in that direction, but fell short. What is today the Kirkaldy church, which was originally a Scotch Baptist Church, descends from the time of Campbell’s visit to that city in 1847. Unfortunately, some of these churches, such as the Glasites, though they enjoyed hearty growth at first, simply stagnated into little denominations that passed away not long after the deaths of their leaders. Today they are remembered more for what they wanted to do than what they did.
In 1809 Campbell arrived in the US having severed his relationship with the Seceder Presbyterian Church in which His father Thomas had served as a “Pastor.” After rejoining his father who had come to America some two years before the rest of the family, Alexander found that his thinking and biblical interpretation were very close to that of his father. Both hoped to “restore” the apostolic church, believing that when that was done all denominations would flow into her and unity would prevail in Christendom once again. However, they failed to properly evaluate human nature in this endeavor. Campbell settled in what is now Bethany, WV, some thirty-three miles north of Moundsville, and there he established Bethany College. For Campbell, separated from education, there could be no Christianity. Campbell never visited what is present-day Moundsville, but he did preach on occasion in Elizabethtown, VA which was the south end of the present Moundsville. He also preached in Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee.
Campbell hoped to restore the “ancient order of things” bringing back to the world Christianity as it existed in the days when the New Testament was being written. The Hillview Terrace church of Christ, with the voluntary aid of several other churches of Christ in several states, is once more attempting to make the same impact on our country through educating men to go out and preach that which is revealed in the Bible and to organize churches according to the New Testament Pattern.