NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A North Nashville pastor known for his constant generosity to those around him is getting some help of his own after the pandemic took a big toll on his family.
Bishop Marcus Campbell runs Mt. Carmel Baptist Church. The church on Monroe Street, mainly due to Campbell and his wife, has helped hundreds if not thousands of people over the past 12 years.
Campbell is responsible for numerous programs to help children, former gang members and North Nashville families. He doesn't ask for any payment and operates mainly on donations, but also uses much of his own money.
Campbell's most recent good deed is taking in dozens of school-aged kids of essential workers for them to attend class virtually, but the task has come at a steep price.
"It's real expensive to feed 50 to 60 kids every day. Breakfast, lunch and then give them a snack, make sure they've got materials to write on, making sure that our internet was strong enough here to help them all get on at the same time. We had to boost our internet up here at the church," said Campbell.
The expenses and bills at both the church and at home with his family of seven have stacked up. Campbell is months behind on rent and bills because of his desire to take care of the kids.
"I haven't had a salary from the church in probably three maybe four years," said Campbell. "We got a young congregation. They don't tithe. A lot of them are still struggling themselves. We are just there to help them along the way and build them up so they can be able to provide for themselves and their family."
Campbell's friends Pat Brown and Mary Adair talked with Campbell over the weekend about the hardship his family was facing.
Campbell went to the hospital with heart issues last month. He said he believes it was stress-induced.
"I had to go in and get put to sleep, and they shocked my heart to get it back into Rhythm. Just not enough rest. Stressing on my bills at home. Making sure I could do this for these people help these kids," said Campbell.
Brown and Adair worked to create a GoFundMe page that quickly got traction. In just 24 hours it nearly reached $20,000.
"The money from the GoFundMe will be used to take care of their rental home, their NES bills, their water bills, groceries and for food here at the church for the children," said Brown.
Campbell's friends are having a mechanic come take a look at their truck. They're also setting something up for Campbell's youngest son, whose birthday was today.
Brown said she would help the family in the future for as long as she could. She's hoping donations for the church and Campbell will be continuous.
"It's a project that I intend to tackle for years to come," she said.