The Initial Benefactor: Noble Hurley
Noble Hurley, a devout Baptist, spent his life as a businessman serving Christ. He moved to Dallas from Sulphur Springs, Texas, in 1935 to attend business college. After working in the brick and tile business for a number of years he established the Noble Hurley and Company in 1948, serving as president for thirty two years. The company supplied bricks for many of the structures in Dallas such as the Truett Hospital at Baylor University Medical Center. Hurley co-founded the Swiss Avenue Bank and served as chairman of the bank’s board of directors for over twenty years. When the bank was sold, he donated the assets that he received to the Baptist Foundation of Texas to benefit many charitable and educational causes.
In addition to service in his church he constantly endeavored to help people through numerous Baptist ministries and organizations as well as other community and national organizations. He served as a trustee of and gave generously to Baylor University, Baylor College of Dentistry, Dallas Baptist University, and Baylor University Medical Center, demonstrating his concern for education and health care. His interest in children was expressed in various ways, such as by his support of Buckner Baptist Benevolences (now Buckner International). He was especially grateful for the joint effort of Dallas Baptist University, Dallas Baptist Association, and his couples Sunday School class to assist churches and Christian ministries in meeting the needs of the homeless and street people in Dallas.He and his wife Jane were actively involved as members of the Gaston Avenue Baptist Church in Dallas (now Gaston Oaks Baptist Church). As a member of the church, he served in a number of ways over six decades, including trustee, deacon, Sunday School teacher, and chairman and member of numerous committees.
Hurley’s interest in the Baptist denomination was expressed in numerous ways, serving on the Executive Board of the Baptist General Convention of Texas, the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention, and numerous denominational committees. In recognition of his creative involvement in the life of Texas Baptists, the Independence Association of Texas honored him with the Elder Statesman Award in 2002.
Because of his deep interest in Baptist life and his concern for persons to understand Baptist beliefs and practices, shortly before his death in 2004 he established the Jane and Noble Hurley Baptist Identity Fund with the Baptist Foundation of Texas for the purpose of distributing information on Baptist beliefs and asked William M. Pinson, Jr. and Doris Ann Tinker to prepare the materials for distribution.