SBTC founding board member Roy Baxley dies

Roy Spurgeon Baxley, layman and outspoken supporter of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention, died March 1. He was 92.

Baxley, a businessman, served as a founding board member of the SBTC in 1998. He went on to serve as the Business and Finance Committee chairman for four years and was elected in 2000 as the second vice-president of the convention.

“Roy Baxley was one of God’s choicest servants. He was a personal friend, denominational leader, loving husband and father and above all a disciple of Jesus,” SBTC Executive Director Jim Richards said. “Without his leadership the SBTC would not be where it is today.”

Baxley was born in San Antonio but grew up in East Dallas and graduated from Pleasant Grove High School, later known as W.W. Samuel High School. During World War II, he served in the Army Air Force as an aerial photographer.

He married his wife Lynn in the summer of 1944. She died in 2010 after more than 66 years of marriage.

A longtime member and deacon at First Baptist Church in Dallas, Baxley contributed to various Southern Baptist causes over the years. The Baxleys were significant supporters of theological education, with strong ties to both Criswell College in Dallas and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth.

At Southwestern, Baxley was instrumental in supporting the Dead Sea Scrolls & the Bible exhibit the seminary presented in 2012 and 2013. The Qumran dig site that served as part of the exhibit has been named Baxley Archaeological Park and is currently undergoing renovation to be further utilized by school groups.

Baxley and his late wife were honored by Southwestern in 2013 with the B.H. Carroll Award as a result of their support of the seminary. When presenting Baxley with the award, President Paige Patterson noted their contributions to the school’s Anabaptist Study Tour and the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit.

“You know it’s just great when you find a man that God has blessed who wants to turn around and bless God in return,” Patterson said of Baxley. “There will be a whole bunch of people in heaven someday that are there through the witness of these students that [he has] made possible.”

When accepting the award last March, Baxley expressed his gratitude.

“We decided many years ago that what the Lord had blessed us with, we needed to return as much as we possibly could to help spread the gospel,” Baxley said. “We both felt all down through the years that one of the best ways to do it was to back the educational facilities that turn out our people who are willing to go all over the world to spread the gospel.”

In the week following his death, all flags on the Southwestern campus were flown at half-staff “in honor and memory of this great patriarch of the faith,” Patterson said.

Baxley is survived by his daughter Barbara and her husband Brown Adkins III; son Jim Baxley and his wife Debbie; seven grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and one great-great-granddaughter.

Funeral services will be on Saturday (March 8) at First Baptist Church in Dallas.


TEXAN Correspondent
Rob Collingsworth
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