“Will Davis Campbell, who died earlier this month at age 88,” says Timothy George in today’s column , “was one of the last surviving icons of the civil rights movement.”

Wherever violence erupted or trouble threatened—at lunch counters, boycotts, voting lines, in county jails and federal courthouses—Campbell was somewhere in the neighborhood. But he did not lust for the limelight and had an uncanny knack for avoiding press and media types. This made him all the more effective as an agent of dialogue and reconciliation.

My favorite Will Campbell story is about a Baptist pastor he once knew in Louisiana named Thad Garner. Despite his affable smile and trips to the Holy Land, Reverend Garner was not a model pastor. One day Campbell cornered him with a question, “Thad, why did you ever decide to be a Baptist preacher?” “’Cause I was  called , you fool!” he thundered.

Read the full column here .

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