Memories of Duncan Campbell
The name Duncan Campbell is always associated with the remarkable revival that occurred in the Isle of Lewis, off the west coast of Scotland, from 1949 to 1952.
Those truly were glorious and wonderful days, when the community was saturated with the presence and power of God. There are scores of amazing stories that you can read for yourself in the books that are available.
Many people were saved through the ministry of Duncan Campbell — not only during the revival, but also during the years beforehand and those that followed. Duncan was an evangelist. He preached and people were saved … again and again!
He was not a trained theologian; he didn’t have any degrees; he was not a man of outstanding intellectual ability. In some ways, that’s an encouragement to many of us.
What more can I say about him? Well, quite simply that he was first and foremost a man of God. He was principal of the Faith Mission Bible College when I was there in the early 1960s. He was a man of prayer — up in the morning, very rarely after 6.00am.
At the college we used to have what was simply called ‘the Friday morning prayer meeting’. The students were assembled and Duncan Campbell walked into the room. If I can say it reverently, he brought God into the room with him. He was a man in whom heaven dwelt! You could feel that God was there.
Duncan had probably been two hours in prayer before he came. There was a kind of aura about him — a heavenly glow in his face. The anointing or the enduement of power was upon him — unction, some call it — the outpouring of the Spirit upon an individual, rather than a whole community.
Consequently his preaching was not in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance! Duncan was gripped by the reality of the things of which he spoke. When he preached he didn’t just say it, he nailed it and it stuck.
‘Oh students!’ he would say, ‘Get to know God!’
I once asked him about a matter of personal guidance. He looked at me and said, ‘Are you near enough for God to speak?’
For him that was it. Get so close to the heart of God that you will know what he wants you to do. That was how he lived.
What does all this teach us for here and now? Well, may God use the past to increase our longing for a fresh outpouring from heaven, in these days in which we live.