Interview with Reverend Will Campbell
QUESTION 1
INTERVIEWER:

OK, REVEREND CAMPBELL, I'D LIKE TO TALK FIRST ABOUT THE SOUTH AND IN PARTICULAR NASHVILLE AND THE TWO CHURCHES: THE BLACK CHURCH AND THE WHITE CHURCH, AND WHERE THEY WERE AT SAY IN 1960, BETWEEN FIFTIES AND SIXTIES. JUST GIVE ME AN IDENTITY FOR THE SOUTH AT THAT TIME.

Rev. Will D. Campbell:

Well, of course, the churches were like the rest of society, rigidly segregated so that you had a First Baptist Church, which was white, on Broadway. Then you had a First Baptist Church, which is now called the First Baptist Capitol Hill, which was black—hundred years earlier, they had been one. And one of the great tragedies, I think, for the, for the institutional church was that, that they did split following the Civil War, they were one church then. And the Pastor of the First Baptist Church in 1960, Reverend Kelly Miller Smith, First Baptist Church of Capitol Hill, which was the black church, just a few blocks from the white First Baptist Church—both of them were in a massive building campaign so the Pastor Reverend Smith wrote to the Pastor of the white church and said, look, it hasn't been that long ago by God's time, a hundred years, that we were one church. Now we find ourselves a few blocks apart we're both in a massive building campaign. Why don't we at least talk in terms of building one church? And the response was our people feel there are too few good churches in downtown Nashville, not too many—very evasive things. So the structured church was, there was this breach that black people didn't go to church with white people and vice versa.