Wednesday, August 21, 2013

RPPC Helen Campbell, Girl Evangelist, 1927

This is a Real Photo Postcard (RPPC) of Helen Campbell.   The inscription on front says "Yours in His service" the Evangelist Helen Campbell.  Someone has written a date on back, "October 27, 1927".   It has an AZO stampbox on back with 4 shaded in squares in each corner, which lends a little credence to the date written on back.  This was a formal portrait, there were probably many, many copies made, and some were made into postcards.

This is a girl who definitely had her 15 minutes of fame.  There is a site called, and Helen Campbell is listed there along with 100s of others.  Apparently child evangelism was a big thing in the 1920s.  There is a short article about her - she was born in 1915, started preaching at age 9, was associated with the Pentecostal movement, was active in the San Francisco & Oakland, CA areas at least, and apparently drew large crowds.  I also found a couple of news articles and advertisements about her.  When this picture was made she would have been 12 years old, and more or less at the height of her fame.

I have no idea what happened to her.  I had never heard of her before I came across this postcard, and I don't know what she did in later life.

You're only a child prodigy when you're a child.  At a certain age, you're not much different than anyone else who may be gifted in whatever area you're a prodigy in.  I have a feeling this is what happened to Helen Campbell - at some point she was no longer a child evangelist, she was just an evangelist.

I could find nothing about her personal life, other than she traveled with her grandmother.  It is even possible that she's still living, she'd be in her late 90s now.

Update: Sold!

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