Louis R. Cobbs of Tyler, a former campus minister who was instrumental in developing Southern Baptists’ Missionary Journeyman program, died Feb. 2 in Tyler. He was 94. Cobbs was born on Nov. 8, 1925, in Dallas to Leo David Cobbs and Georgia Ann Swindell Cobbs. Upon graduating from high school, he entered the U.S. Navy V-12 Officer Training Program during World War II in preparation for service as a Navy chaplain. He attended Louisiana Tech University in Ruston and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and he graduated from Howard College in Birmingham, Ala., with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1945. He graduated from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth with a Master of Divinity degree in 1950 and from Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, Va., with a Doctor of Ministry degree in 1978. He did post-graduate study at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. Cobbs held student pastorates in Rains County and Lamar County, and he taught Bible and directed Baptist Student Ministries at the University of Texas in El Paso and Texas Tech University in Lubbock. He worked on the Texas Baptist Executive Board staff in Dallas as associate director of the department of student work from 1959 to 1964. He served 27 years on the staff of the Foreign Mission Board in Richmond, Va. In addition to his involvement in developing the Missionary Journeyman program, Cobbs served 20 years at the mission board as director of the personnel selection department, overseeing the appointment of more than 7,200 missionaries traveling to more than 55 countries. From 1989 to 1991, he served as a member of the staff of the president’s office and was liaison to six Southern Baptist seminaries. He also was a member of the Coordinating Committee of the Inter-Agency Council of the Southern Baptist Convention, working with chief executives of 20 boards and agencies. Following retirement in 1991, Cobbs remained actively involved in Baptist work as a member of First Baptist Church in Tyler and a volunteer with Smith County Baptist Association and the Baptist General Convention of Texas. He also served on the board of the T.B. Maston Foundation. Cobbs was preceded in death by his wife Mary Vic Cobbs; two daughters Becky Cobbs Fanning and Libby Gowin; grandson Justin Fanning; and brother George Cobbs. He is survived by wife Berta Seitz Cobbs; two sons, Bobby Cobbs and wife Cheryl, and David Cobbs and wife Tammy; eight grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren. A memorial service is scheduled at 2 p.m. on Feb. 15 at First Baptist Church in Tyler. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to the Louis R. Cobbs Endowed Scholarship Fund at Hardin-Simmons University’s Logsdon School of Theology.
Obituary: Louis R. Cobbs
February 5, 2020