// history

8: Rev. Bernard Campbell 1970 – 1975

Onward Christian Soldiers
The Pastorate of Rev. Bernard Campbell 1970 – 1975
“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” Malachi 3:10

Rev. Bernard Campbell

North Cleveland called Rev. Bernard Campbell, the church’s sixth pastor, on June 29, 1970, after Glen Greene, chairman of the pulpit committee, recommended Campbell “s approval. Coming from the pastorate of the Georgian Hills Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee, Campbell had served in ; several Baptist pastorates in his years in the ministry. Beginning his pastoral duties on July 20, Campbell led North Cleveland in four years of active church growth and in a period of prominent community service. Campbell was also a skilled preacher who ha a profound knowledge of the Scriptures and used simple interpretation in their application. While serving as pastor at North Cleveland, Campbel served as president of the Tennessee Baptist Convention Pastor’s Conference, as well as president of the Bradley Baptist Pastor’s Conference, and chairman of the Bradley Baptist Evangelism Committee.
Early in his pastorate, Campbell actively sought the support of all of the church membership. While thanking each individual for past support, he reminded his congregation: “The days ahead for our churc] will be busy days. The fall months are upon us and we mus- be back into the swing of things for our church. These days will be challenging days for all of us and we need to determine beforehand that we are going to be faithful and diligent in the performing of all of our responsibilities.”

Mary & "Barney"
Campbell with Paul Phelps

Going further in this same plea, Campbell urged each person to take an active role in the Sunday School, and other church functions by their presence and through their efforts.
The church program at North Cleveland again experienced new avenues of growth. With church membership at 730 in 1970 to 875 in 1975, Sunday School enrollment also increased from 671 to 756. The Training Union Department, although growing at a slower rate than the Sunday School, also experienced a one hundred member increase during the same time period. While these two programs improved, the Mission Organizations and the Music Program fluctuated with church emphasis and member involvement. In an effort to enhance Sunday School and Training Union participation, the pastor and departmental leaders initiated the Annual Roll Call in October, 1970. During October of each year, classes contacted each inactive member and encouraged them to attend Sunday School and Training Union at least once during the month. In November, the class emphasis concerned new members who would also attend during the month. This program fostered growth in both departments, and church leaders decided to use the Roll Call as a part of the church program until 1974. During this program emphasis, North Cleveland also continued to express a profound interest in the spiritual well-being of her youth.

H. Lynn Blair

Although the church had a well- organized youth or intermediate department during Robinson and Byler pastorates, she experienced an apparent rebirth of interest in the youth program during Rev. Campbell’s tenure. The responsibility for such increased activity probably lies in the church’s decision to hire a music minister who would also plan and coordinate youth activities. Prior to this time, the church had delegated youth activities to the music minister or to the associate pastor, but did not have a youth minister per se on staff. Along with concern of his congregation, Rev. Campbell likewise felt the need of a dynamic music minister and also the pastor expressed a strong desire for an active, dynamic youth program. As a result, the church called H. Lynn Blair to serve in that capacity on October 25, 1970. Recommended by Music Committee Chairman Kenneth Russell, Blair was to begin his duties on November 18, at a salary fixed at $11,000.00. (Ill) Following the affirmative vote, the Evangel encouraged every member to take an active role in helping Blair coordinate the expanded music and youth ministry.
Under Blair’s leadership, the music and youth programs did prosper. In particular, the youth departments added new members, as youth became enthusiastic about the social and religious opportunities North Cleveland provided.

V.B.S. East Cleveland Mission

While Blair implemented many youth activities, a Mission Vacation Bible School, held in East Cleveland during July, 1971, proved to be the most prominent. Assisted by Blair and other teachers, twenty youth conducted a week-long V.B.S. for children from 4-16 years of age in East Cleveland, one of the city’s lower economic areas, and where an active church ministry was needed. Beginning with fifty-one children on the first day, the numbers grew dramatically. The faculty included:
Principal, Greg Eidson
Music Director, DeWayne Morrow
Libby McConnell, Director
Lisa Wallace
Donna Dantzler
Suzanne Brock
Mrs. Betty Oody, Advisor

North Cleveland Baptist Church Sunday School

Kathy Smith, Director
David Andrews
Marsha McConnell
Darryl Ownby
Mrs. Yvonne Blair, Advisor
Kenny Russell, Director
Tom Oody
Donna McConnell
Natalie Andrews
Debbie Davis, Director
Eddie Davis
DeWayne Morrow
Wayne Hill
Eugene Oody, Advisor
Mrs. June Cawood

Eugene and Betty Oody

Due to the successes of the first Mission V.B.S. also convinced not only the youth, but the entire church, of the need for a strong church ministry in the East Cleveland area. The need was especially recognized by Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Oody, former SBC missionaries to Liberia, who volunteered to spearhead North Cleveland’s efforts in the area. As a result, North Cleveland decided to sponsor a small Sunday School program in East Cleveland with the Oody’s in charge. Initially renting a small house in the area, the church eventually purchased a small tract of land, and constructed a small building in which to conduct its extension Sunday School program, before the church discontinued the Mission, and sold the property in March 1980.
Lynn Blair served as Music and Youth Minister until September, 1971. After his resignation, the church appointed T.J. Cawood, Buford Dantzler, Byron Eidson and Kenneth Russell as a music committee and delegated to them the responsibility of filling the vacancy. On November 28 committee submitted the name of Carlton McDowell for consideration as Music and Youth Director. During a secret ballot election, the church voted to call McDowell who served in the music and youth position from 1972 to March, 1976. Once upon the field, McDowell actively encouraged participation in the youth and music ministries.

Carlton McDowell

While reminding the church that the purpose of religious music is to provide praise and worship to God, he urged members not to ignore their God-given talents. In order to foster an active youth program, McDowell stated that the council would consider activities which would promote the spiritual well-being of the North Cleveland Youth Department. The Youth Council also considered activities that would promote the greatest amount of youth involvement.
Youth Councils from 1973-1975 planned many social and religious activities geared toward the growth of the youth department. Youth during these years attended numerous Evangelism Conferences, seminars and camps, as well as sponsoring both social and religious activities. They also participated actively in civic functions. During a local liquor referendum campaign in July 1973, North CLeveland youth exercised an active roll in the Youth Against Legalized Liquor, a religious-based organization, of which Rev. Campbell was chairman. Youth activities in this anti-liquor effort included attending rallies, circulating tracts in local shopping centesr and at the polls on election days, and participating in a march through downtown Cleveland held on July 14. Several of North CLeveland youth also submitted to a letter detailing their views to the Cleveland Daily Banner. In this letter, the youth encouraged voters to seriously consider the results of legalized liquor in Cleveland; “We cannot believe that the golden streets promised to us will ever become a reality; too much will be sacrificed for very little”. Anti-liquor forces achieved success in the 1973 referendum. North Cleveland youth involvement in this campaign, as well as other church-oriented projects, illustrate the active role the youth ministry has played on the life of the church.
The addition of a flourishing youth program increased the church’s financial responsibility. Even so, North Cleveland met the challenge of an expanded youth department, as well as changes in other church programs. Financially, North Cleveland’s budget has remained one of the most ambitious, even for a church comparable to the size of North Cleveland. When Campbell became pastor in 1970, the church budget was over $85,000 and growing rapidly due to economic fluctuations. In 1971, the budget increase ammounted to $5,436, from a $89,532 in 1970 to $94,968 in 1972. The deacons recognized the changes and the church remained faithful to it’s financial obligations.
In spite of the financial burden, the church also continued to provide services and programs considered necessary to a proper church ministry. One primary example of this concern remains North Cleveland’s mission gifts. In 1970, North Cleveland contributed fifteen percent of her budget to the Cooperative Program. At that time, the church gave $15,383.00 to missions including the Cooperative Program, Home Missions, State Missions, Associational Missions, and local benevolence. Such contributions, along with the increase in costs and expenses, remained consistent as the church began giving 15.5
percent to the Cooperative Program in 1973, and increased its overall mission giving to $22,496.00. North Cleveland has always been extremely diligent to participate actively in Southern Baptist Missions.
Locally, the church continued to improve its own facilities. In 1970, the church renovated and bricked the Annex. Although the church began this project during Byler’s pastorate. Rev. Campbell apparently urged its completion. In July, a committee of J.L. Haney, Roy Boring and T.J. Cawood supervised the work on the Annex, which also included constructing a large walkway between the Educational Building and the Annex. This project was completed within the year, but more work on the Annex has continued to be a major concern of the Building and Grounds Committee, as well as of the entire church.
During this time, the church also decided to purchase a pastorium. Having sold two previous parsonages the deacons recommended to the church on May 31, 1971, the purchase of a house located on Bow Street in the Bowman Hills section of Cleveland. After discussion, the church approved the purchase at a cost not to exceed $37,000.00. Ultimately, the church again sold the parsonage on July 11, 1979, to her pastor for $45,000.00
In addition, the church acquired more land near the church property. In August, 1970, the church purchased a tract of land,
including a house, from Jack Grubb. (126) The property was located just south of the Educational Building and the Annex on Franklin Avenue. At one time, there was considerable discussion to convert the house into a pastorium, but such action did not materialize. It eventually became the home of the Minister of Music and Education.
To finance the cost of this new property acquisition, to make necessary repairs on the church building, and to alleviate some of the church’s indebtedness, the deacons recommended that the church borrow needed funds from Merchants Bank. This met with church approval and several loans were secured, the most notable being $7,200.00 in January, 1973, and $7,000.00 in May, 1974. The church also received financial assistance from the Estates of Mrs. Cleo Simmonds ($6,000.00), and Mrs. Annie Montgomery ($3,534.88). These funds helped the church finance several renovation projects, among them the purchase and installation of a $2,692.00 sound system in the church sanctuary.
The years 1970-1975 witnessed a period of close Christian communion and of active brotherly kindness throughout the membership of North Cleveland Baptist. The church experienced growth and held a prominent place in the Cleveland community. North Cleveland also loved and appreciated her pastor.
One example of this appreciation came in September, 1972, when the church financed a trip to the Holy Land for Rev. and Mrs. Campbell. However, the church weathered Campbell’s sudden resignation on March 30, 1975. An editorial in the Cleveland Banner summarized his ministry: “Through his ministry, many people in Bradley County have been converted to Christianity; through his counsel, many people have found new purpose and meaning in an existence filled with uncertainty and strife”.
Once again. North Cleveland requested that Dr. Livingstone return as interim pastor. During this time as before, Livingstone served in the position admirably. Despite his age, he continued to preach the gospel honestly and faithfully. Livingstone filled North Cleveland’s pulpit as interim from April 23-September 7, 1975. Afterwards he preached on numerous occasions at North Cleveland until his death on November 16, 1979.

Carlton McDowell and the Children’s Choie