Marvin Thuriel Nobles, 91, died on Saturday Sept. 5, 2020. Born in 1929 in Bosque County, Texas, Marvin grew up in rural Texas with his parents and four brothers. In the 8th grade, he quit school and became a working cowboy on a nearby cattle ranch. After serving in the Army, he earned his GED and enrolled at Decatur Baptist College in 1954, where he met Juanita Wier. They married six months after they met, and their marriage lasted 65 years.
He is survived by his wife Juanita, their children Steve, Debbie, David, and Cindy and three spouses, 13 grandchildren and five spouses, and seven great grandchildren. He is also survived by the eldest and youngest of his five brothers, Ed and Melvin.
Better known as "Charlie" since childhood, he had quite a few different jobs while he completed college and then Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, MO. Charlie's life work was as a Southern Baptist pastor, a position he held in 12 churches in Missouri and Texas. He integrated Calvary Baptist Church in Hannibal, MO in the early 1970s. His final pastorate was First Baptist Church in DeSoto, MO. On leaving there he became Director of Missions for the Jefferson County Baptist Association where he served for 11 years before retiring. After retirement he and others formed BUDD Builders, a volunteer group that traveled across the country helping churches build buildings. He served with BUDD Builders for 10 years. Charlie and Juanita moved to DeSoto in 1979 and lived there until 2018 when they moved to Dallas, TX to be closer to their children and other family members.
As a pastor, God sent Charlie to churches that were struggling. Congregations rediscovered their purpose under his leadership, and when they were growing again, God moved Charlie to the next church that needed him. He never pastored a large church; he was never famous, he never wrote books, hosted a radio program, or had a TV show. However, he had a bone-deep commitment to personal evangelism and several decades ago he estimated that he led over 2000 people to salvation in Jesus Christ. God used his personal ministry and his churches to change the lives of thousands more. No one can know how many people are in heaven (or are headed there) because of Marvin Nobles, but we do know the number is well into five figures.
He taught his children to serve God and seek His will, to love their families, to work hard, and to enjoy learning. He never made much money and his homes were never fancy or large but they were filled with love and laughter. He challenged his kids to do well in school, somehow got them through college with a minimal debt load, and saw them all successfully launch into the world. He didn't set them up with big bank accounts, houses, or wealth of any kind, but he made sure they knew they could always believe in themselves because their parents believed in them and he made sure they knew their worth came from their status as deeply loved children of God, not because of any job or accomplishment.
Charlie loved camping, good meals with family and friends, fishing, and traveling. He could do anything that needed doing at home—plumbing, electrical, drywall, woodworking, HVAC, you name it he could fix it—and he was a fair car mechanic until they started putting computers in cars. He followed the Kansas City Chiefs (your reigning Super Bowl Champs!) and the Dallas Cowboys.
While he is sorely missed, his family has have smiled through the tears these past few weeks imagining our precious Dad in heaven, praising Jesus, preaching a sermon, being totally healthy and absolutely joyful. His whole family agrees with Juanita: "I would not trade my life with Charlie Nobles for all the treasures in the world."
The world is a better place because Marvin Nobles was here.