Campbell Washington Bradley
Life Of C.W. Bradley
C.W. Bradley was born
in Trenton, Tennessee on January 14, 1922. His parents were the late
James Elton and Addie Lou Bradley. He was married to Roberta Brandon
Bradley in 1945. To him and Roberta were born three daughters, Louan, Susan and Patti,
and a son James Brandon.
He was baptized into Christ
by John P. Lewis in 1935.
He was a graduate of both
David Lipscomb University in Nashville and Harding University in Searcy, AR. He
also attended Syracuse University, in Syracuse, New York. He also was graduated
from Harding Graduate School of Religion with a M.A. degree in New Testament in
1970. Four years later he was awarded Outstanding Alumnus of the Year from Harding
Graduate School of Religion.
C.W. Bradley began preaching in Hickman County,
Tennessee in 1942. He later moved to Syracuse, N.Y.
in 1944 and worked with the church there. In 1945 he moved to North Carolina and preached for the next eighteen
years, working in the cities of Rockingham (1946-1950), Statesville (Broad
Street church from 1951-1957), and in Winston-Salem (Broad Street church from
1957-1963). While in the Carolinas he wrote articles for the Carolina
Christian Magazine, helped establish Carolina Bible Camp, and spoke on the
radio for eleven years.
In 1963 the Bradleys moved to Memphis, Tennessee where they would spend the rest of their
lives. He preached for the Whitehaven church until 1970, then for the Wooddale Church of Christ from 1970 to 1984.
It was during this time at Wooddale that he was
thrust onto the national front when rock-n-roll superstar, Elvis Presley, died.
As Presley’s father Vernon was a member at Wooddale, it fell the duty of C.W.
Bradley to preach Elvis’ funeral.
the funeral he spoke of Elvis’s love for his family. He expressed that the
superstar was a “frail human being.” He also expressed that Elvis would “be the
first to admit his weakness. Perhaps because of his rapid rise to fame and
fortune he was thrown into temptations that some never experience. Elvis would
not want anyone to think that he had no flaws or faults. But now that he's gone,
I find it more helpful to remember his good qualities, and I hope you do too."
C.W. Bradley began working with the Olive Branch church of Christ in Olive
Branch, Mississippi, just out of Memphis. He worked there until he retired from
preaching in 1996. He continued to preach on lectureships, in meetings and other
special occasions. The Bradleys placed their membership with the Germantown
Church where they stayed for the rest of their time here on earth. C.W. Bradley
preached the gospel for over sixty years.
He was much loved and
respected by those who knew him. Roberta preceded him in death only a few months
on January 3, 2005. He later passed from this life August 18, 2005. Visitation
and the funeral took place at the Germantown Church of Christ. Jim Bill McInteer
and Dave Phillips officiated during the memorial service. Then his body was laid
to rest next to that of his wife in the Memorial Park-Southwoods, in south
Memphis, Tennessee, to await the coming of the Lord.
A scholarship was set up at
the Harding University Graduate School of Religion in the honor of C.W. and
Roberta Bradley. Much good was done in their lives, and only eternity knows the
extent of how their kindness and Christian faithfulness touched this world.
—Sources: Various websites
including Harding Graduate School Of Religion, Preachers of Today, Volumes 1-5;
Presley funeral information from
C.W. Bradley, beloved former minister for
this church passed from this life last Thursday evening at the age of 83. His
life as a Gospel Preacher spanned six decades and four states, New York, North
Carolina, Tennessee, and Mississippi. He preached for the Whitehaven
congregation and then by several years at the Olive Branch church. In recent
times C.W. has taught at Freed-Hardeman University
and has maintained a full schedule of speaking for Gospel Meetings.
C.W. was preceded in death by his wife,
Roberta, who passed away just seven months ago. He is remembered by many who
heard him preach, were baptized by him and considered him as a trusted friend.
My in-laws have known the Bradley's for almost fifty years going back to his
ministry in my mother-in-law's hometown of Rockingham, NC. He is survived by his
daughter, of Boliver, TN, Patti, of Colorado and a son, Jimmy, of Winston-Salem,
Funeral services were conducted Monday
morning at the Germantown Church of Christ by David Phillips and Jim Bill
McInteer, who eloquently reminded those present of the wonderful love and
devotion that characterized this Godly man. Smith Howell, Sr., led the assembly
in a prayers of thanksgiving for C.W., Roberta and their family. As David said
upon learning of Abner's death many years ago, "a prince and a great man has
fallen in Israel" (2 Sam. 3:28).
I cannot remember a time in my life when
I didn't know C.W. Bradley. I saw him as a respected leader in our community. In
my teen and college years I had the opportunity to know him personally through
his close association with my future in-laws.
As a college student on one occasion I
stopped by his office and asked him what advice he would give to a beginning
preacher like myself. Without hesitation he looked at me with those piercing
eyes and said, "Steve, love the brethren, If you love them they will love you."
In twenty-five+ years I believe that's the best advice I've ever had. The love
C.W. had for the church was evident. Nothing was more important to him than the
unity and growth of God's kingdom.
During the years I was preaching in
Arkansas and Tennessee, C.W. was a constant source of encouragement. Whenever we
would meet he would always take time to inquire about my family and share a word
of admonition. When I came to Goodman Oaks several years ago he called to say
how glad he was I had come here. Since that occasion he has never ceased to be
an encourager of our work among this church.
At the memorial service a quartet
comprised of Leon Sanderson, Jim Chester, Michael Seymore and Greg Foster sang,
"The Lord Has Been Mindful of Me," written by
L.O. Sanderson, who for many years worked alongside C.W. at Wooddale. C.W.
had said it was the one songthat he thought described his life better than any
I couldn't help but think how God has
been mindful of me by allowing me to know and be mentored by such a great gospel
preacher as C.W. Bradley, and by allowing me to work with a church filled with
such wonderful people as you. . . "around the Oaks."
-By Steve Reeves, minister of
the Goodman Oaks Church of Christ. The article appeared in Around The Oaks,
a publication of that church. Vol. XXXIII, No. 34, August 23, 2005.
Directions To Grave
C.W. Bradley was buried in Memphis,
Tennessee in a fairly new cemetery, Memorial Park South Woods. It is located at
5485 Hacks Cross Road, Memphis, TN 38125. Take I-240 to Nonconnah Parkway and go
east 5 miles to Hack's Cross Rd. Exit. At the exit turn right (South) about 2
1/2 miles. The road will narrow to two lanes. You will pass a pet cemetery on
your right. Very soon you will come to Memorial Park South Woods Cemetery. Turn
into the entrance and bear to the left past the office. Then as you bear around
the section on your right you will turn left between the Annesdale Section and
The Chapel Hill Section. Proceed to the top of the hill and turn right.
Go to the left of the Belvedere sign and go above 15 rows toward the side
street. The grave will be near the side street. Each section
has a little silver round plate with the number of the section. When I was there
in January, 2002 there was still no permanent marker in place. While visiting
the grave of C.W. Bradley be sure to visit the grave of another gospel
preacher, I.Y. Rice, Jr. buried very near in the
35° 00.006' N x 089° 47.934' W
Acc. 22ft. Grave Faces East
My Hope Is In Christ
Aug. 21, 1923
Jan. 3, 2005
Jan. 14, 1922
Aug. 18, 2005