Campbellites, meet the Campbells: Utah conference mixes sights, food, dialogue

At Brigham Young University, diverse panel discusses media coverage of religion — and what to do if a reporter calls.

By Bobby Ross Jr. | The Christian Chronicle

PROVO, Utah — This is definitely not Church of Christ country.

Utah boasts fewer than 1,100 adherents of Churches of Christ — to go along with, oh, 2 million or so Mormons.

Suffice it to say that my wife, Tamie, and I were outnumbered during a recent visit to Brigham Young University, the flagship university of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Nonetheless, we had a terrific time and got to know kind people with different beliefs from our own.

“I understand Campbell is a pretty important name in Churches of Christ,” Joel Campbell said, smiling, as handshakes and introductions were made. “No relation that I know of, though.” His comment was a reference to Alexander Campbell’s role in the Restoration Movement.

Joel and Jolene Campbell hosted us for a night and showed us sights such as the Bridal Veil Falls waterfall in the scenic Provo Canyon. In the quaint tourist town of Park City, the Campbells and Rosses browsed bookstore shelves and souvenir shops and discussed politics and religion over pizza.

As we talked about our respective faiths and current events, we discovered shared convictions. Our time together became more than a meal — it evolved into a forum to ask, answer and better understand.

Read the full column.

This column appears in the August 2018 edition of The Christian Chronicle.