History of the Restoration Movement

Richard Campbell White


Richard Campbell White

Another of the old soldiers of the cross has laid aside his armor. Richard Campbell White departed this life August 12, after an illness of four weeks, beisg eighty-eight years of age.

Brother White was born September 17, 1872, near Unionville, Bedford County, Tenn., the son of W. G. and Mary Tabitha White. He was the oldest child, and only son; he had five sisters, one of whom survives, Mrs. Minnie Harris, of Nashville, Tenn. He was reared on a farm. As a boy, he worked seven months and went to school five months each year, until he finished Unionville High School. Being the son of devout parents, he was well trained. His father was a faithful gospel  preacher, as was also his father's brother, Mark. Brother White was baptized by E. A. Elam on August 21, 1886. He began teaching in 1892 and taught three months. He entered the Nashville Bible School October 25, 1892, the second term of the school, which is now David Lipscomb College. On May 26, 1896, he received his diploma on which David Lipscomb inscribed: "Brother White has attended my Bible class three sessions, has been a diligent student of the Bible, and is above the average in his knowledge of the Bible." The other members of that first graduating class were J. N. Armstrong, John E. Dunn, L. K. Harding and G. W. McQuiddy. J. A. Harding was also one of his teachers. The last year there Brother White had an average grade of one hundred in Brother Harding's class in Bible, an excellent record, especially considering the amount of memory work required. Brethren Lipscomb and Harding had untold influence upon the life of Brother White.

On November 26, 1892, he preached his first sermon at "Perry's Hall," now Jo Johnston Avenue, Nashville, on the subject "Christian Warfare." He continued preaching while in school, and upon graduation he taught school and preached on Sundays and in meetings.

In 1906 he entered George Peabody College, Nashville, and graduated in June, 1909, receiving the Dudley Medal for the highest scholarship, the greatest leadership, and the best moral character; he was president of his graduating class. Then he resumed his teaching, teaching in all seventeen terms. The last school he taught was at Glass, Tenn., in 1913. During his school teaching, he taught the Bible every day. All of the students in one class he taught later obeyed the gospel At the close of his teaching at Glass, he did evangelistic work entirely for more than twenty-one years.

The first "local work" he did was with the Cowart Street church in Chattanooga, Tenn.; he began there January 19, 1936, and remained for nine years. Then he preached for the Central church, Cleveland, Tenn., for three years. In October, 1948, he moved to Greenville, Ala., to work with the Walnut Street church and continued there until January, 1950, when he moved to Montgomery, Ala., to teach at the Alabama Christian College and to preach in the Montgomery area. After retiring from teaching, he continued to live here and to preach at various places.

Brother White preached about 15,000 sermons and baptized about 2,000 people during the almost sixtynine years of his work for the Lord. His last sermon was at the Hunter Station church on June 11, 1961, after which he wrote, "This ends, for the present at least, my full-time work at Hunter Station ... The doctor has ordered me to limit my preaching to one sermon Lord's days and one class during the week. I shall try to observe as best I can, hoping to improve so I can do more." On June 14 he taught a class at the Panama Street church. He had planned to attend the Lipscomb lectures the following week, but he became ill and soon was confined to his bed until his passing.

Brother White married Virginia Johnson, of Peytonville, Tenn., on December 19, 1894, and she died on January 23, 1935. And on September 21, 1937, he was married to Mrs. Katherine Lawson of Nashville, who survives him. Sister White has been a faithful wife, a wonderful helper, seeing that his every need was supplied. She has prayed continuously that she might live to care for him as long as he lived. And God granted her petition.

R. C. White was a devout Christian, a humble man, a good Bible student, and a sacrificing preacher who endured many hardships. S. P. Pittman, who was in the Nashville Bible School with him in 1892, and a close friend through the years, said of him: "He was one of the most conscientious men that I have ever known." H. Leo Boles wrote in the Gospel Advocate a number of years ago: "R. C. White is ever zealous for 'what is written' wherever he goes." He was a remarkable person, with an extraordinary memory, abundant energy, a strong will, and a determination to be faithful, even as he so often prayed, "to my last conscious moment." Even almost to the very last, he spent hours daily studying his Bible, sitting at his desk, carrying on his work. His eyesight had been impaired for years, as the result of an unsuccessful operation, but it did not keep him from his work. He kept full records of his work, his sermons, his lessons, and his activities.

Brother White was very conservative in his thinking, firm in his convictions, endeavoring to express himself as scripturally correct as possible at all times. He was charitable toward those with whom he differed, remembering, "We be brethren."

Funeral services were conducted at the Capitol Heights church on Monday, August 14, 1961, by A. C. Moore, Rex Turner, and the writer. Burial was in Greenwood Cemetery, Montgomery. Sister White plans to continue to reside at their home at 1578 East Ann Street, here in Montgomery.

Now his labors are ended and he has gone to his reward, you read these words in the paper of which he was a devoted reader from his youth. His father subscribed to the Gospel Advocate and he subscribed from the time he left home. He read each issue thoroughly, often making notes in the margins. He quoted it often and appreciated its work. It seems so fitting that these final words should now be found in its columns.

-Clyde E. Fulmer, Gospel Advocate, September 28, 1961, page 615

Meditations On My
Eightieth Birthday Anniversary

At my present age ans after a life of good health and activity, I am reminded of a statement by the word's of Psalm 90:10 with reference to the span of life as seventy or "by the reason of strength fourscore"—I have now reached this latter age after the abundantly blessed life through the Lord's grace. I passed this milestone on September 17, 1952. I was born September 17, 1872, near Unionville, Tennessee, first-born and only son of six children. Only one sister, Mrs. Jas. R. Harris, Nashville, Tennessee, and contributor to "The Christian Woman," Austin, Texas, survives. I was baptized by E. A. Elam, August 21, 1886. After finishing high school I entered the Nashville Bible School, Oct. 25, 1892. In May, 1896, I received the "Four Years Diploma" in the first graduating dass of the school—a class of five men. I am now the only living member. After some years of teaching and preaching as I had opportunity, I entered the "George Peabody College" from which I graduated with the present B.A. degree. I was president of the senior class, Dudley Medalist—a medal given to the man in the class with the highest scholarship, the best leadership, and highest moral character. I then taught and preached four years till May, 1913. I then gave up teaching to devote my life to evangelistic work. I have traveled in twenty-two states and Canada, and preached in eighteen states.

I was married to Virginia (Jennie) Johnson, December 19, 1894. She was a faithful wife, sharing with me the joys and hardships of life jor over forty years, passing from earth to her reward, February 23, 1935. Then, January 19, 1936, I began my first regular local work with Cowart St., Chattanooga, Tennesse, and continued there till June, 1945-nine and one-half years. This work was quite profitable. During this time, Septemper 21, 1937, I married Katherine L. Lawson, widow of my long-time friend, J. C. Lawson, Nashville, Tennessee. She still lives to help keep the home fires burning, has been faithful and helpful in all my local work. We moved to Cleveland, September 29, 1948, to Greenville, Alabama, where we labored with considerable success for fifteen months. In January, 1950, we moved to Montgomery, and I began work as an instructor in Bible in the Montgomery Bible College where I still am so engaged. I feel I am doing a great work in helping to train many young people for the duties of life and especially duties in the church by helping to instill Bible principles and truths into their hearts to be practiced in their lives. My training under D. Lipscomb, Jas. A. Harding, and those associated with them has had a most wholesome influence on my life and work. These men were giants as men, Christians, Bible teachers in pulpit and class room, and their great work still lives in the lives of many men and women in the church today. What a blessing to have sat at their feet and studied the Bible!

I have never failed to assist in a "mission meeting" or weak congregation because of little or no support. I have done much of such work in brush arbors, tents, and with congregations when asked to assist in the work. I have baptized fewer people the many, but of one thing I am proud—Few I have taught have turned back to "the weak and beggarly elements of the world." Some of our oustanding preachers today I have baptized or assisted in becoming preachers. I am proud of them, and hope they will stay the tide of worldliness that is filling the churches today. Worldliness among Christians is the major hindrance to progress today. Preachers and all others need fo watch more closely, "denying ungodliness and worldly lusts."

I never aspired to enter the literary field, but have been content to report some of my meetings, wrote a popular tract —"Can One Be Saved Ouvside the Church ?"—and prepared the "Sermons of R. C. White," a popular work in the second edition of 3,000, and ,ca-d be pur~hase.d from me at 1578 E. Ann St., Montgomery 7, Alabama.

I shall greatly appreciate a card from any of my friends "scattered abroad," and covet the prayers of all faithful Christians. Let us all strive to be faithful to the end.

-Firm Foundation, 21 October 1952, page 5.

Directions To The Grave of R.C. White

Richard C. White was buried in the Greenwood Cemetery in Montgomery, Alabama. Besides being the final resting place for many of Alabama's great historical figures included Governors George Wallace and Lurlene B. Wallace; many gospel preachers are now buried there as well. Just east of central Montgomery, take I-85 to Exit 3, Ann St. Exit, and go north. Go five streets to Highland and turn right. Go to the stop sign and you will be facing the entrance to Greenwood Cemetery. The cemetery is rather large. See GPS below for exact location in cemetery. Other preachers of note buried at Greenwood are Rex Turner, Sr., Rex Turner, Jr., J.M. Barnes and Clyde E. Fulmer.

GPS Location
32.373778, -86.258184

Raymond Elliott at the grave of his old professor R.C. White - March 3, 2014

Richard C. - September 17, 1872 - August 12, 1961 - Gospel Minister 69 Years
Katherine L. - September 21, 1882 - November 15, 1968 - Faithful Companion

Richard C.
September 17, 1872
August 12, 1961
Gospel Preacher 69 Years

Photos Taken 03.03.2014
Webpage Produced 10.31.2014
Courtesy of Scott Harp

Special thanks to Raymond Elliott for assisting in the location of R.C. White's grave. He traveled with your webeditor to the Greenview Cemetery in Montgomery, Alabama to locate the grave March 3, 2014.

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