Doris Campbell was born in 1931 at her grandparent's rural home in Covington. She was the class president and salutatorian from the last graduating class of Porterdale High School. Born to Harry and Era Mae Peacock Reynolds, she lost her mother at age 11.
Doris accepted Christ when she was 14 during a revival at Porterdale Baptist Church and served in the choir and taught Sunday school. A member of the East Metro Atlanta Christian Writers, she has a gift in writing and story telling and was chosen for inclusion in a national anthology.
Wanting to become reacquainted with her mother's side of the family, Doris drove to Slocomb, Ala. where she last visited by bus at age ten.
"I knew my mother's maiden name was Peacock, and I randomly called until I reached Moulton Peacock," said Doris.
She learned this was her first cousin and he lived seven miles from the payphone. He insisted that she come to his home and was reunited with many cousins.
"When you find family, although they are perfect strangers, you love them," she said. Doris learned that her talent for writing and music stemmed from a heritage of preachers, songwriters, and singers.
Doris attended Mercer after completing two years at Bessie Tift College. She and her husband, Pat Hord were transferred to Anchorage, Alaska, before she could complete her degree. Hord was accidentally killed on a hunting trip weeks before they were to return to Covington.
"Before he left that morning, I asked if I could read him a story by Catherine Marshall in Guideposts Magazine called 'Death is Not Final,'" she said. "He was my first soul mate, and ten years ago at age 65, the Lord sent me another soul mate that is so precious, my husband, B.F. Campbell."
Members of the Central Community Church, Doris and B.F. Campbell enjoy spending time with their combined families of six children and many grandchildren. They are avid members and walkers at the Senior Center and were previously voted Mr. and Mrs. Newton County Senior.
The couple tells a miraculous story where God sent help at every turn and opened doors in search of his father, Leonard Campbell. They were looking at old family pictures, mostly unmarked except for one that had the name Needham Campbell written on the back. B.F. suspected the picture may be of his father's brother and felt compelled to find him. After enlisting the help of library volunteer Jane Williams, they found the uncle's death certificate from Florida.
Born in 1928, B.F. said he was four years old when he remembered the last time he saw his father.
"He came to our home and asked my mother if she would go to New York with him, and she refused," he said.
After finding his parent's marriage license at the Fulton County courthouse, further investigation proved that the father had moved from New York to California.
"We discovered he had remarried and had two daughters," said Doris. "We found that the uncle lived in Florida and visited there to learn the married names and locations of the sisters."
Unable to locate their phone numbers, Jane Williams advised them that there was nothing else they could do because the privacy law had just gone into effect.
Through many impromptu calls, they learned where his father had attended church and the name of the cemetery that handled the arrangements of his stepmother's burial service. A representative inadvertently told them that one of the sisters lived in Arizona. Within two hours time, Jane Williams' son found the phone number.
The couple quickly called the sister and left a message on her answering machine.
"I told her we were so excited to get their number and I was positive that my husband is her half brother," said Doris.
Five days later, there was a returned message on the recorder from Georgia Campbell saying she was delighted that she had a brother. His sister further explained that their father had never told his wife or daughters that he had a son. B.F. later learned that their father had confided in an aunt that he was going to find his boy someday.
An album arrived in the mail from their newly found family with pictures of his dad dating back to when he was nine years old. B.F. was pleased in seeing so many similarities.
"Tall and lanky in stature, we even have the same finger missing, but on the other hand," he said. "I used to raise beagle dogs and there was a picture in the album of my father holding his beagle dog."
The couple also made contact with the sister, Cathy, in Texas and enjoyed visiting and going to church with her. B.F. reflected on the search that began in early 2003 and in finding his two sisters around Thanksgiving that year. He described the meeting as wonderful.
"When we all finally met, we just couldn't quit hugging each other," he said.
From both their experiences in finding family, B.F. and Doris agreed that there is no adequate way to describe it.
"There is a bond that was always there and you didn't know it, but when you find it, it is such a feeling that you can not explain," she said.