Country music icon Glen Campbell passed away yesterday, August 8th, after a six years' bout with Alzheimer's disease. Despite his struggles with alcoholism and cocaine addiction, Campbell was a firm Christian. He once proclaimed: "Christ has delivered me from all the evil I was in. I'm happier now than ever in my life."
In an interview with Guideposts, Campbell tells of his baptism "I grew up in a Christian home back in Delight, Ark. Even though Daddy and Mama got us to church regularly, I had never been baptized. So in December of 1981, about a year before Kim and I were married, we flew to Arkansas, where I asked my brother Lindell, a Church of Christ preacher, to baptize us.
It was freezing cold, four days before Christmas, but I wanted to be baptized like the Christians of old-fully immersed. I stripped down to my blue jeans and waded into Saline Creek, my childhood swimming hole.
Once, when I was two, I fell into a slough and nearly drowned. It was Lindell who resuscitated me on the muddy red bank.
When the baptism was over, Kim and I sat in Lindell's truck, shivering under a mound of blankets as I sang "Oh Happy Day." I couldn't help thinking back to when Lindell had saved my life as a little boy. Now, so many years later, I was hoping to be saved again."
In fact, Campbell has even recorded a number of Gospel albums throughout his career. In 1991, Campbell partnered with New Haven Records to release the Christian album "Show Me You Way." A year later, he returned with "Wings of Victory." Then in 2004 he released "Love is the Answer," where the Rhinestone Cowboy cut 24 hymns and inspirational songs. "I love singing gospel music and hymns. Being a Christian I love to tell people about Christ and what he's done for me and can do for them," he said of the album.
Campbell's expression of his Christian faith stems from both an evolutionary progress in his life and also a sudden dramatic experience. "I quit drinking years ago. Everything's been marvelous since. Jesus Christ promised that his yoke would be easy and light, and it is. He's taken all the burden of my guilt and worry off my shoulders. Those things drag me down."
More than just a Christian on stage and in the studio, faith was an integral part in Campbell's home and marriage. While Campbell was sick, his wife Kim testified. "Faith has always been the central part of our relationship," Kim Campbell tells the Toronto Star. "I'm so pleased that as Glen has entered the later stages of this illness, it's evident that he has retained his awareness of God."