Robert Calvin "Bob" Hampton
The Life Of R.C. Hampton
The subject of this sketch was born into the family of Robert Glen and Laura Bonner Brown Hampton. For generations, home for the Hamptons was Obion County, Tennessee. Robert's ancestry included the gospel preacher, Robert S. Lyon (1853-1913), featured in Boyd E. Morgan's book, Arkansas Angels. Both Robert Glen and Laura were from Troy, Tennessee. Around the time of the U.S. stock market crash in 1929, many southern families moved north to find work. Robert was one of them. He moved his family to Flint, Michigan where he found work at the General Motors plant. While in the area the family worked with the church of Christ near them where he would preach from time to time and taught the word of God. He served for years as the treasurer at the Lennon Road church of Christ. In later years he was an elder for the Camelback church of Christ in Phoenix, Arizona. But, it was while they lived in Flint that they gave birth to their son, Robert Calvin Hampton, January 19, 1931.
Young Robert, "Bob," as he was called, grew up like so many kids in the American Depression north. He learned the importance of enterprise and opportunity early. At the age of twelve he was able to get a job in a Kroger grocery store. He worked in different deparments there, and ended up in the butcher's shop as an apprentice, and made a pretty good butcher. He saved his money and purchased a hand-crank meat grinder that he used to make ham salad for the family.
At the age of fifteen, the spiritual awareness of sin had so arisen in him that he knew he needed a relationship with Christ. In November 1946, he put his Lord on in baptism.
Bob was an excellent athlete. He loved sports of all kinds. He played hockey, softball and baseball. It was in his blood, perhaps, as his mom had played sports when she was in high school, and had even won a Tennessee state championship in High School basketball. Continuing the family tradition, Bob played baseball in high school, and graduated at the end of his eleventh grade year. He tried out for the New York Yankees at the position of short stop, but was told to go home and gain about fifteen pounds and then report to training camp in Florida. He later decided to give up the idea of a life of sports as it would be hard on a family.
At the age of eighteen, Bob preached his first sermon at the little congregation at Polk Station on Illinois Central Railroad's main trunk line, in Obion County, Tennessee on May 1, 1949. The following week, Brother Hugo Allmond, at the Zimmerman church of Christ (later, Lennon Road) back in Flint, surmised in the church bulletin, "Good work Bob; and we have every confidence in you to make good in a fine way." On Sunday the 15th, he preached his second lesson at Troy, Michigan, where his parents were able to hear him preach for the first time. At the end of the year he entered Freed-Hardeman College (now University) in Henderson, Tennessee. The college was then only a two-year school, but offered a third year program for preacher students. Bob took advantage of this, earning the AA degree.
His arrival at F-HC coincided with the departure of long-time president N.B. Hardeman. H.A. Dixon became president at the end of the school year. He enjoyed his days at F-HC. Some of his favorite teachers were George Dehoff and E. Claude Gardner. In reflection, it was his belief that W. Claude Hall was one of the most knowledgeable men in Old Testament studies he ever knew. Among the many memories he had through the years, one that stood out was how that when he arrived at school, he was told he would have to turn in his car keys, as they considered it a waste of his parent's money to be freely moving about in their car. As he had learned independence at a young age, saving and buying his own car, this did not sit too well with the young student. He told them they could have the keys if they bought the car. With further explanation he said he had bought his car and paid for his own gas. Not trying to be disrespectful, he then asked brother Witt if he drove to school. Witt said he did. He quickly responded that he had to travel further than brother Witt did to get to school. Quick and reasonable thinking won in the end, and he was able to keep his car keys.
"One of the many blessings of attending a Christian college is the friendships that are developed there. During the years Bob was at F-HC many young men who later became well-known in the brotherhood attended. Being from the same area of the country, Robert Taylor rode back and forth with him to school from NW Tennessee. The first semester of school he lived in Paul Gray Hall, and his roomate was Hudson Nichols, the son of the great preacher from Jasper, Alabama, Gus Nichols. After the first quarter, both Bob and Hudson had all the dorm life they could stand, as the noise made it so difficult to study. The next quarter, the spring of 1950, they moved off campus, renting a room from Harold and Tillie Hogancamp. It was Hudson who introduced Bob to a girl from his home congregation, 6th Avenue, who was attending F-HC at the time. Mildred Falls was the daughter of William and Tiercie (Mullinax) Falls. For many years William was the song leader at 6th Avenue. He and his brother Ira conducted singing schools; Ira in south Alabama and William all over north Alabama. He even traveled on occasion with Gus Nichols, leading singing for him in gospel meetings. As with so many on the Henderson campus, romance budded between the two young students, resulting in their marriage July 28, 1951. While still at FH-C, he enjoyed his first church work preaching in Selmer, Tennessee.
Hampton moved to Plymouth, Michigan in 1952. A son, Gary Calvin Hampton, was born November 18, 1953. His next move was to Boliver, Tennessee in 1955. A daughter, Laura Tiercie Hampton, was born May 3, 1956. His next work began in 1957 with the Sunnyside Road church in Decatur, Illinois. Lisa Ann Hampton was born October 31, 1958.
Bob, Millie and their three children moved to Cahokia, Illinois to work with the Maplewood church of Christ in 1960. While there he was introduced to preaching on television, something he would engage in more in later years.
The call west was heard in 1963. The Candelaria congregation in Albuquergue, New Mexico invited the Hampton family to move there and work with the church. For four years he preached there and evangelized among the people of that state. While in Albuquerque he began a new weekly television program on local channel seven, KOAT-TV. He directed, produced and preached regularly for 106 consecutive broadcasts. The family still has some of the scripts of the broadcasts, where Bob had even entered ques and locations for cameras, etc. in the productions of each episode. During that time he received over 2000 requests for further understanding of the word of God.
In early August, 1967, he took a leadership role in an an area-wide Campaign for Christ to be held in the Civic Auditorium in Albuquerque. He drove all over the state visiting congregations and promoting the event. The weekly tv broadcasts encouraged the city to turn out to come and hear Willard Collins from Nashville, Tennessee. Collins later reported in the Gospel Advocate that the average attendance each evening was 2028. It was carried on a five-station television network, broadcasting to two-thirds of New Mexico, Eastern Arizona, and southern Utah. The results were 38 baptisms and 51 restorations (GA,1967,8.31.557), making it one of the most successful evangelistic efforts in over a generation.
Bob sent in reports from time to time to the Gospel Advocate and other religious papers of the success of his work. His evangelistic outreach included preaching regulary on five different radio stations. He was an avid student of the Bible. He even took further classes at Grand Canyon College, working toward an undergraduate degree. He wanted to prepare himself to help in the Lord's work the best he could.
In the fall of 1967 the family moved to the work at Northside in El Paso, Texas. He preached there on two occasions. In 1971 he moved to Mesa, Arizona and worked with the Dana Avenue church, but returned in 1976 for another two years. In 1978 the Hamptons moved to Fort Worth. He preached for the Ridgelea West congregation. While in the area he assisted five different congregations in a merger that formed the West Freeway church of Christ in Fort Worth. From there, they moved to work with the church in Chandler, Arizona. They continued in this work for about nine years. While there, Bob's mother moved into the preacher's home where they lived. While with her son's family she was diagnosed with cancer, and died a peaceful death under their loving care. After that, they returned to Ft. Worth to "retire." For a time he preached for the church at Tin Top, near Weatherford. As the couple were getting older, Mildred suggested that it would be nice to be a member's wife for a change. They decided to join with the brethren at the Las Vegas Trail congregation. His years of experience in church work and wisdom helped the congregation when he was made an elder in 1996.
Other works he did included helping churches begin their efforts. Two works, the Lyon, Michigan church and one in Monticello, Illinois looked to Bob Hampton to assist them by preaching the first sermons when their works were begun. He helped to plant at least two Christian Bible camps in both Michigan and in Illinois. For a time he served on the Board of Trustees at Lubbock Christian College.
Bob and Mildred had many great blessings in their lives together, but perhaps none any greater than the three precious children they gave to the world. They had one son, Gary C., and two daughters, Laura T. Osborne and Lisa A. Wilson.
Perhaps Gary will stand out to the readers of this sketch more than his sisters due to his leadership among churches of Christ during his years of preaching the gospel of Christ. Like his dad, Gary has preached from a young age. He attended his parent's alma-mater, Freed-Hardeman College. He has worked full-time with different congregations in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee and Mississippi; held gospel meetings all over the nation, written for numerous church publications.
Gary served as the Director of what is now the Southeast Institute of Biblical Studies for six years. He and his wife, Teresa, now work with the Siwell Road church of Christ in Jackson, Mississippi.
In preparation for this sketch, Gary revealed that while he was alive, that throughout all his preaching life, his dad would call him long-distance on Saturdays for a talk. He so much believed in what his son was doing for the cause of Christ. He further said that after his father's death, so many preachers and church leaders, young and old, have said that they appreciated Bob Hampton so very much, and that they had sought his personal counsel on many occasions through the years. It is plain to see that all who knew him loved and respected him. Robert Calvin Hampton passed from this life December 12, 2000 at the age of 69. Burial followed in Greenwood Memorial Park in Fort Worth, Texas. May his life for Christ be forever stamped upon the minds of those who were blessed by him."
-by Scott Harp, web editor
Sources: Preachers of Today, Volumes 1-5; Reports sent into the Gospel Advocate, and personal interviews with family members. Special Thanks to Gary Hampton for filling in some of the gaps of information needed to make this sketch more complete - 01.21.2019
Gospel Advocate Obituary
Robert C. (Bob) Hampton, elder of the Las Vegas Trail Church of Christ in Fort Worth, died Dec. 12, 2000.
Hampton began preaching in Polk, Tenn., in 1949 and had preached for churches in Tennessee, Michigan, Illinois, New Mexico, Texas and Arizona.
He helped start Christian camps in Michigan and Illinois and preached the first sermon to start works in Lyon, Mich., and Monticello, Ill. He produced, directed and preached regularly on television in Albuquerque, N.M., and directed a campaign for Christ that was carried on five radio stations and was televised live with Willard Collins preaching.
Hampton is survived by his wife of almost 50 years, Mildred; one son, Gary; two daughters, Laura Osborne and Lisa Wilson; and six grandchildren. Fort Worth, Texas.
Gospel Advocate, March, 2001, page 45.
Obituary Appearing In Christian Chronicle
Robert C. Hampton died Dec. 12, 2000, in Fort Worth, Texas, at the age of 69.
Hampton attended Freed-Hardeman College and Grand Canyon College. He later preached for churches in Michigan, Tennessee, Illinois, New Mexico, Texas and Arizona, and held numerous meetings in other states. Hampton helped to establish several churches and Christian camps in Michigan and Illinois, and was a regular speaker on television and radio programs in the Albuquerque, N.M., area. Hampton served as an elder at the Las Vegas Trail church, Fort Worth, from 1996 until his death.
He is survived by his wife, Mildred; a son, Gary, of Valdosta, Ga.; two daughters, Laura Osborne, Jackson, Tenn., and Lisa Wilson, Fort Worth; and six grandchildren.
-Christian Chronicle, submitted to this site by Gary C. Hampton, 06.05.2011
Directions To The Grave of Robert C. Hampton
The Hampton burial plot is located in Greenwood Memorial Park in Fort Worth, Texas. The cemetery is located at 3100 White Settlement Rd, Fort Worth, TX 76107. From the North/South freeway, I-35W, take the I-30 exit going west. Then, take the University Drive Exit. Go north on University 1.9 miles to White Settlement Road. The cemetery/funeral home is located on the corner. The Hampton plot is in the Live Oak Garden on the west side of the cemetery. Lot 2310, space 3. Stop by the office for directions and a map of the Cemetery. While in the cemetery, be sure to visit the grave of two other RM preachers, John Straiton and G.A. Lewellen.
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Robert C. Hampton
January 19, 1931
December 12, 2000
Photos Contributed by Gary C. Hampton, 06.2011
Courtesy of Scott Harp