Campbell, Robert Douglas (1870–1955)

By: R. Douglas Brackenridge

Type: Biography

Published: December 1, 1994

Robert D. Campbell, Presbyterian clergyman, was born in Rogersville, Tennessee, in January 1870. His family moved to Texas when he was fifteen and settled in Lancaster. Campbell attended Austin College in Sherman (B.A., 1894), and Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, Virginia (B.D., 1897); he was ordained by the Fort Worth Presbytery in 1898. While in the seminary he met Minnie Gunn, a missionary to Mexico, whom he married in 1899. Through her influence Campbell became interested in a ministry to the Spanish-speaking population of Texas. When a position opened in Laredo the following year, he accepted a call as missionary pastor. With the help of his wife Campbell learned enough Spanish to communicate effectively with his constituents. With Walter S. Scott, he organized a number of small churches in South Texas. He was a charter member of the Texas-Mexican Presbytery when it was organized in 1908. When Scott left the presbytery to start new work, Campbell assumed leadership in Mexican-American missionary work. As a permanent member of the Home Missions Committee and the treasurer of the Texas Mexican Presbytery, Campbell distributed all the funds authorized by the denomination. Few questioned his decisions regarding the placement of ministers and the locations of new churches. He also functioned as liaison between the Texas Mexican Presbytery and the Synod of Texas and as spokesman for the cause of Mexican-American missions throughout the state. In addition to his pastoral and administrative responsibilities, Campbell served as a part-time instructor in Spanish at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary from 1932 until his retirement in 1946. He died in 1955.

Robert Douglas Brackenridge and Francisco O. GarcĂ­a-Treto, Iglesia Presbiteriana: A History of Presbyterians and Mexican Americans in the Southwest (San Antonio: Trinity University Press, 1974; 2d ed. 1987).
  • Religion
  • Presbyterian

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

R. Douglas Brackenridge, “Campbell, Robert Douglas,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 17, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

December 1, 1994