By Campbell, Robert John | Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, March 2000 | Go to article overview


Campbell, Robert John, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society

Robert John Campbell was born on November 17, 1924 in Fort Wayne, Indiana, the first of five children to grace the family of Dwight and Evelyn (Pseisser) Campbell. Reared in a Christian home, Robert was saved at the age of eight at a Sunday School rally and was active in the youth activities of the Temple Baptist Church. After the family moved to Decatur, Illinois, Robert graduated from high school, then entered Wheaton College. During his first semester at Wheaton, Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. Robert enlisted and became a P47 fighter pilot with the 9th Air Force in Central Europe.

He re-entered Wheaton in the fall of 1945. Two years later, on August 22, 1947, he married Mary Jena Herzog at the First Baptist Church of Passaic, New Jersey. They met during his first class at Wheaton in 1941, After receiving the B.A. from Wheaton in 1948, the Campbells moved to Pasadena where Robert attended Fuller Theological Seminary. He was in the second graduating class in 1951 (B.D), and then received his Th.M. degree in 1952.

During their time in Pasadena, Robert and Mary worked with the nearby Eagle Rock Baptist Church where Don was later ordained, and the Campbells were commissioned for missionary service. The Campbells were the first missionaries appointed with Greater European Mission and, after deputation, arrived to teach at the European Bible Institute an the outskirts of Paris, France in August, 1953. Robert taught New Testament and doctrinal studies, and during the 1960s became dean of the faculty. He furthered his education with a D.Theol. from Strasbourg Theological Seminary in Strasbourg, France (1970), and later a D.Miss. from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois (1988).

In 1981, Robert was assigned to the GEM home office in Wheaton and worked in the personnel department and as director of training for the next fourteen years. When GEM's offices were moved to Colorado Springs in 1995, the Campbells remained in Wheaton. Robert traveled around the world several times, taking Mary with him, even though she was developing Alzheimer's. Robert was known to say that he was not retired, but retreaded. He became chaplain in the Tabor Hills Retirement Village in Naperville, Illinois in 1997. Just after Thanksgiving, Robert went to the hospital for bronchitis, and died one week later on December 4, 1999 due to a weak heart, a condition unknown until that time. Robert lived for seventy-five years and seventeen days. Mary joined Robert around the throne in heaven five weeks later on January 12, 2000.

Robert was a member of the Evangelical Theological Society for more than thirty years. He is survived by his brother Donald K. Campbell of Dallas, TX (President Emeritus of Dallas Theological Seminary) who preached Robert's funeral; his sister Betty Ruth Burdick of Glendale, CA; his sister Marilyn Oelze of Warsaw, IN; his sister Barbara Hopp of Vilonia, AR; briefly by his wife Mary of Naperville; his daughter Janice and her husband Stephen Schooling, missionaries in Noumea, New Caladonia, South Pacific, and their two daughters Joanna, 19, and Andrea, 15; his daughter Judith Campbell, a teacher in Naperville, IL; and by his daughter Maryline and her husband Andrew Perrett who are with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship in Vancouver, B.C.; along with their two children Daniel, S, and Lisa 51/. Each of the Campbell's children are Wheaton College graduates.


Wilber Thomas Dayton was born in Hadley, Saratoga County, New York, on October 29, 1916 to Christian parents, Wither Thomas Dayton, Sr., and Jessie Belle (White). He was carried to church from infancy, but submitted his life to Christ in a surrender to full-time service while working in a field at the age of seventeen. Not certain of his college abilities, Wilber waited for a year after high school before entering Houghton College. He received his A.B. degree in 1938 and a B.D. in 1939, then took a position as head of the department of religion at Wessington Springs College in South Dakota from 1939-41. …

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