Dr. Eugene Dobbs
Dr. Eugene Dobbs
Friends remembered Dr. Eugene Dobbs, former pastor of First Baptist Church of Philadelphia, this week as an honorable family man and a spiritual leader.

He died Friday at his home in Philadelphia.

Services were held Monday at 2 p.m. from First Baptist Church. Dr. Dan Howard, Dr. Matt Buckles and the Rev. Marcus Peagler officiated. Burial was in Eastlawn Cemetery.  McClain-Hays Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements. 

 Dr. Dobbs was born on May 11, 1932, the youngest child of Wiley and Evie Dobbs of Mathiston.  He attended Mathiston High School, Wood Junior College, Mississippi College, Mississippi State University, and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary where he received the Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry.

 He married his wife of 54 years, Betty Gladney, in 1954 while serving in the U.S. Air Force.  They served in ministry together pastoring churches in Louisville, Yazoo City, Pearl and Philadelphia. 

He came to First Baptist Church in Philadelphia as pastor in the late 1970s, serving for about 15 years.

Church member and longtime friend Max Loper said Dr. Dobbs was a very honorable man who led a life of deep spiritual thought.

"He was a very deep thinker and a very good teacher," Loper said. "He had a knack for explaining things in a way you could understand."

In 1991, Dr. Dobbs' ministry took them to the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board where he served as Associate Executive Director until his retirement in 1999.

 A treasured part of his ministry was his involvement in volunteer missions. 

Loper recalled Dr. Dobbs traveling to many different parts of the world doing mission work.

"He was very dedicated to his mission work," he said.

This passion took him on more than two  dozen volunteer projects on five continents. 

Dr. Dobbs was an active amateur radio operator for more than 45 years. This love began with a desire to help missionaries on the field communicate with their families in the U.S. 

He was also passionate about hunting.  He hunted in many areas of the U.S., but was most at home in the woods of his farm in Choctaw County.

Loper accompanied him on numerous trips.

"He was a great friend and always very caring about us. When we went hunting he wanted to make sure I had a good experience," he said.

Dr. Dobbs was admired by many across the state as evident by the number in attendance at his funeral.

"There were preachers there from all parts of the state," Loper said. "He had either preached a revival for them, went on mission trips together, etc.

"He touched their lives."

Dr. Dobbs was preceded in death by his wife Betty; his parents, Wiley and Evie Dobbs, and two sisters, Iris Hawkins and Jerrie Garland.

He is survived by his children, Janice Kinard of Spanish Fort, Ala., Rita Goldman of Prattville, Ala.; two grandchildren; a brother, Dennis Dobbs of Ackerman, and several nieces and nephews.

The family requests memorials be made to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for international missions through any local Baptist church or to the Children's Village of the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board.