NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Rev. Will Campbell, a white minister who drew acclaim for his involvement in the civil rights movement, has died at the age of 88.
John Egerton, a close friend of Campbell’s for nearly 50 years, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that Campbell died Monday night from complications following a stroke he had about two years ago. Egerton said he was contacted by Campbell’s son, who was at the minister’s bedside in Nashville when he died.
“He never really recovered from it,” Egerton said of the stroke.
Campbell was born in 1924 in Amite County, Miss.
After a stint in the military, he attended Yale, where he got a divinity degree in 1952 and then headed to Taylor, La., to preach at Taylor Southern Baptist Church.
He later came to Nashville, where he was described as a staunch leader for civil rights, and was well respected by others in the movement.
CINCINNATI (AP) — John McGlone went to the University of Tennessee campus in Knoxville intent on preaching God’s word to college students but found himself tangled up with university administrators over a policy requiring student sponsorship to speak at the school.
After seeing his request denied, McGlone, a traveling evangelist from Breeding, Ky., sued the university, but lost. Now, a three-judge panel from the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati is weighing whether the university’s restrictions pass constitutional muster.
Judges Boyce Martin, John M. Rogers and John Tarnow quizzed attorneys for McGlone and the school Tuesday, pressing each side on whether there are permissible restrictions for on-campus speech and if the ones at Tennessee go too far.
“What about going to a football game?” Martin asked the school’s attorney. “Is everyone there an invitee? What if you don’t have a ticket? What if you just want to tailgate?”
A street preacher has emerged victorious in his battle against a Maryville ordinance requiring he and fellow proselytizers apply for a permit to spread their message, reports the News Sentinel.
In an opinion released late Tuesday, the Tennessee Court of Appeals struck down as unconstitutional a Maryville ordinance that makes it “unlawful for any club, organization or similar group to hold any meeting, parade, demonstration or exhibition on public streets without some responsible representative first securing a permit.”
“We fully acknowledge Maryville’s legitimate interest in preserving order and safety on its streets,” the court opined in a decision delivered by Appellate Judge D. Michael Swiney. “Nothing in this opinion diminishes the right of municipalities to protect people on roadways. However, the particular measure at issue in this case fails to pass constitutional muster as it is vague, overly broad and affords too much discretion to the officials charged with issuing permits.”
The case began in November 2008 when street preacher Wallace Scott Langford, his adult stepson and his stepson’s friend “were screaming and shouting at passing motorists” their gospel message at one of Maryville’s busiest intersections — U.S. Highway 321 and Broadway, the opinion stated.
A video showed the trio “were holding signs and that, at times, the two adults other than (Langford) were passing back and forth through the crosswalk to and from the median,” the opinion noted. Langford was positioned at the Maryville Municipal Building at the same intersection.
Maryville Police Department officers asked the trio to leave, but they refused. Langford was then cited for failing to secure a permit to demonstrate. Langford was ultimately convicted, and attorney William Gribble appealed on his behalf.
Maryville attorneys argued it wasn’t the preaching that was an issue but the dangerousness of doing so at one of the city’s busiest intersections and contended the ordinance requiring a permit was constitutionally sound.
In its ruling, the appellate court agreed the ordinance and the enforcement of it was not targeted at street preaching. However, the court opined the ordinance cast too wide a net to pass constitutional muster.