Brookhaven is home for this Chunky writer
So far, so good.
I’ve always wanted to be a working writer, not just a writer who works.
My wife pointed out to me this week that my dream has come true. As the new news editor of The Daily Leader, I get paid to write.
After my first week here, I remain excited at the opportunity that God has put before me and I hope you’ll enjoy what I have to offer.
But first things first. Who am I?
I am a native Mississippian. I was born and raised in this great state, and have only lived in one other state my entire life. That was Louisiana, and — depending on your perspective — that’s either like not leaving Mississippi or like living in a foreign country.
I have lived in every major region of the state except for the Delta, but the place I consider my hometown is the little town of Chunky in Newton County, where my parents live, as well as my sister and her family.
When I was in high school, one of our classes had the opportunity to create and publish a school newspaper. About six of us jumped on board and ran with the idea. We conducted impromptu interviews with students and teachers, ran polls, sold ads (in the form of song dedications), shot and developed our own photos, publicized upcoming events and included cartoons drawn by some of us on The Bulldog “staff.”
What started in our sophomore year as a weekly four-to-six-page issue with a six or so person staff gradually became, by the second semester of our senior year, a two-page biweekly paper with its entire content produced by one individual — me.
A few of those issues survived the past couple of decades, and as I look back at them I can tell you without bias that they were terrible. But we had fun.
As I pursued a bachelor’s degree in graphic design and English, then through my master’s degree in apologetics, philosophy and history, I was able to build on my interest in editing and writing. I worked in both part-time and full-time Christian ministry for years, and also spent several years in retail sales.
I wrote and edited academic papers; edited some books and co-authored two with Dr. Dave Moore, a pastor and psychologist who is also my children’s grandfather; maintained an online blog; and have had the pleasure of writing a community column for my hometown in the local weekly newspaper over the last few years.
I first moved to this area in 2001, when I became pastor of Mars Hill Baptist Church in Summit. I spent a good bit of time in and around Brookhaven, and have loved the area since I was introduced to it.
When we had the opportunity to move here last year for my wife to assume duties as managing editor of The Daily Leader, we knew God was opening doors for us.
I transferred to Ridgeland with the retail company for which I already worked, and through an unusual series of events came to be offered the job of news editor here at The Daily Leader.
Working under the direct supervision of the managing editor, who is my wife, you ask? Yes. We are both, however, ultimately under the supervision of our publisher, Luke Horton.
Donna and I both know how to be professional. Although she is the love of my life, a great mom and stepmom to our five children, and a fantastic cook, she is also a very intelligent, talented and experienced journalist and editor.
We live here at The Inez, we work here at the newspaper, we go to church here at Southway Baptist Church and we plan to stay here as long as you all will have us.
I’m excited about this job, and look forward to spending more time in our community and hearing your stories.
News editor Brett Campbell can be reached at 601-265-5307.