Controversial pastor Alan Campbell dies aged 67

A former religious studies teacher who had been condemned for his racist and sectarian views has died.

Thursday, 15th June 2017, 6:25 pm
Updated Friday, 16th June 2017, 12:18 pm
Pastor Alan Campbell was condemned for his racist and sectarian views

Pastor Alan Campbell, founder of the now-defunct Open Bible Ministries, passed away suddenly in hospital on Sunday at the age of 67.

A fringe figure in loyalism for decades, Pastor Campbell was frequently at the centre of controversy for his extreme anti-Catholic views, which he often spread on his website.

An adherent of the British Israelism movement, Pastor Campbell believed that Celto-Anglo-Saxon people – including Ulster Protestants and the whites of South Africa – were lost tribes of Israel, given their own homelands by God.

During his tenure as head of religious studies at Newtownabbey Community High School, he reportedly sold tapes peddling white supremist views and lamenting the end of the apartheid regime in South Africa.

On one tape he claimed that “black heathens have taken over” what he described as “the once beautiful, white, Christian-Israelite South Africa”.

He also slammed UUP and DUP politicians for meeting Nelson Mandela, and described Archbishop Desmond Tutu as a “little black man”.

A biography on his Facebook page states that he was “born in Belfast on 7 August 1949 into a staunchly Presbyterian home, in a Roman Catholic area”.

It added that his grandmother was a “very firm adherent of the doctrine of British Israelism, and thus he was exposed to this teaching from a very early age”.

However, he did not truly convert to Christianity until 1965, when he heard Rev Ian Paisley preach at Ravenhill Free Presbyterian Church.

Following his conversion to Pentecostalism, Pastor Campbell left the Free Presbyterian Church and stopped promoting Paisley and his literature, due to what he described as Paisley’s “compromise and sell out to Irish republicanism”.

According to his biography, in a lecture he gave in the US, Pastor Campbell stated that the white race is superior and that black people are the “beasts of the field” referred to in the Bible.

His extreme views attracted criticism from the Free Presbyterian Church, which once accused him of distributing racist and blasphemous literature.

Pastor Campbell was the author of a number of Bible study books, and lectured on Protestant and Prophetic platforms throughout the UK, the United States, Canada, and Australia.

A funeral service will be held at 10.30am today at Houston and Williamson Funeral Church on the Crumlin Road, Belfast.

This will be followed by burial at Roselawn Cemetery.