Huntersville couple ventures out on a mission
by Staff Writer
HUNTERSVILLE – Doug and Debbie Campbell packed up their life here in Huntersville to live in Nauvoo, Ill., for six months, teaching the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its founder, Joseph Smith.
Smith established Nauvoo, situated on the banks of the Mississippi River, in 1839 as a village for church members. After Smith’s assassination by a mob in 1844, church members headed west and settled in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The village serves as a historic landmark, an educational site for the church and a home to a new Nauvoo temple.
For six months, the Campbells will live and work in this community, re-enacting what life was like in the 1840s and teaching visitors about the beginnings of their church.
“The mission is to bring people closer to Christ,” Doug Campbell said. “It’s an opportunity to preach Christ and the history of Joseph Smith. We’ll bring people close to Christ through displays.”
This is the couple’s first mission trip, though their children went on some when they were younger.
“Not everyone goes on a mission,” Doug Campbell said. “But they need senior missions that have the finances and ability to go because the church doesn’t fund the expenses, we do.”
The Campbells have lived in Huntersville since 1981. Doug Campbell retired from Colgate University in 2004 after 30 years and will take this six-month sabbatical from The Griffin Insurance Agency in Mooresville. Debbie Campbell has been a substitute teacher at several north Mecklenburg area elementary schools.
The Campbells have been volunteering with their church and community for years.
“This is just another way for us to serve,” Debbie Campbell said.
Doug Campbell has served in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in many capacities, including young men’s president, high priest group leader, ward mission leader and stake high councilman. Debbie Campbell recently served as the president of the primary program, which serves children 18 months to 11 years.
Doug Campbell said when he thinks about the goal of the mission trip, he thinks of a specific bit of scripture from the Book of Mormon that reads, “And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.”