Cover photo for Dr. Macklyn Ward Hubbell's Obituary
Dr. Macklyn Ward Hubbell Profile Photo

Dr. Macklyn Ward Hubbell

December 22, 1930 — May 31, 2023

Cleveland, MS

Dr. Macklyn Ward Hubbell

 

Dr. Macklyn Ward Hubbell closed the final chapter on a life filled with faith, charity, service, travel and a love for family which will live for generations to come.  Raised in the Texas dustbowl by his widowed mother during the depths of the Depression, Brother Hubbell, as he is widely known, sought education as his way out of the extreme poverty in which he was born.

He earned a bachelor’s degree from Baylor University in 1952, a Master’s degree from the University of Houston in 1955, a Master’s degree from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky in 1957, and a Ph.D. from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1970. He shared his knowledge through a two-decade tenure as pastoral counseling professor at the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and years of volunteer instruction at Eastside High School in Cleveland and the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman. He has written more than 20 books on pastoral care and counseling and until his final days, shared his wisdom through a weekly column in the Bolivar Bullet.

While his education was very meaningful to him, it pales in comparison to a love affair which began in 1949 in the student cafeteria at Baylor University.  Mickey Hubbell met a most beautiful and elegant young Delta woman – the former Elizabeth Ann Melton from Inverness, MS – and together they built a life so rich as to make it impossible to adequately describe within the confines of this tribute. 

They graduated Baylor in 1952 and moved to Ruschlikon, Switzerland to continue his theological education. They served churches in Texas, Kentucky and South Carolina prior to his becoming pastor of the First Baptist Church in Cleveland for 18 years. While pastor, he took courageous and principled stands on the racial and political turmoil that characterized the 1960s and 70s and served as a trusted bridge builder in the church and the community.

During his “retirement,” Hubbell traveled the world providing counseling to missionary families overseas, provided support to Cleveland’s Temple Adath Israel and pastored the First Baptist Church in Duncan Mississippi until reaching his goal of preaching until he was 90. The Hubbells raised three children – Lisa Houston (Tommy Toler), Ward (Polly) and Floyd (Stephanie) -- who love them dearly and are loving grandparents to eight and great-grandparents to eight more.

Besides faith and family, service defined Dr. Macklyn Hubbell more than anything else. Over the years, the Hubbells provided shelter to the homeless, food for the hungry and community for the lonely. Brother Hubbell touched thousands of Deltans through his regular visits to local hospitals and nursing homes, pastoral counseling and by presiding over untold numbers of marriages and funerals. He inspired the establishment of a group home in Cleveland enabling juveniles charged with minor crimes to avoid serving in adult jails, and more recently established and single-handedly staffed an adult work release program for similar purposes. Perhaps most memorable for those of a certain age, Hubbell created life-long memories for a generation of Cleveland teenagers who eagerly traveled with him and Brother Burd on that iconic green and white church bus to exotic locations across North America.

The Hubbells have visited all 50 U.S. states, stepped foot on all seven continents and traveled to more than 130 countries. Their walls are adorned with keepsakes which tell the story of a fearless and adventurous life well-lived. Together they have co-written and published several books about their travels, the most recent of which was based on a road trip from the southernmost point of US Highway 61 in New Orleans to the US/Canadian border in which they told the stories of people they met along the way.

Dr. Hubbell led a most rich and meaningful life, touched many and will be missed by all.  Theodor Geisel (aka Dr. Suess) once wrote, “don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”  Such was the life of Dr. Macklyn Ward Hubbell.

Donations can be made in memory of Dr. Macklyn W Hubbell to The Cleveland Development Foundation for City Beautification, P.O. Box 490, Cleveland, MS 38732.  

 

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