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“Well done, thy good and faithful servant,” are undoubtably the words Bobby heard as his spirit slipped from his earthly body into the loving arms of his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ… To God Be the Glory!
Bobby was born in his hometown of Meridian, Mississippi on October 24, 1930, to Louis Sylvester Covington and Annie Merle Simmons Covington. While attending Meridian Junior High and Meridian High School, Bobby enjoyed and participated in several sports including football, tennis, track and boxing and of the latter, awarded a Golden Glove. Following graduation from MHS in 1949, Bobby enrolled in the United States Army and served in the 31st Infantry Division as Sergeant at Camp Mackall, North Carolina, until receiving an Honorable discharge in ‘52.
Returning to his hometown of Meridian, Bobby enrolled in Meridian Junior College and married the love of his life, the late Joyce Adrian Cox Covington, also from Meridian. It was at this point in his formal education that Bobby worked for an attorney which sparked his interest in the legal profession. Just weeks before graduation in May of ‘55, Bobby and Joyce’s first child, Joye Lynn, was born. After graduating with honors, Bobby and his family moved to Jackson, MS, in 1956, and there he entered the Jackson School of Law. Bobby worked at First Federal
Savings and Loan Association as the Assistant Treasurer while attending night classes. Upon graduating from Law School in 1958, Bobby began working at Mississippi Valley Title Insurance Company as Head of the Escrow Department, Director and Vice President. In June of 1961, Bobby and Joyce’s second child, Caroline, was born.
Even though his job was very demanding, his faithful love, devotion and service to God, family and community never wavered. He considered his responsibility as the spiritual leader of his home an honor and joy. What a loving and gracious husband and father he was to his wife and daughters! Bobby and Joyce raised their daughters in the church, teaching them the truth of God’s Word, leading and guiding them in every area of their lives and encouraging them to live for Christ and lead others to a saving knowledge of God’s perfect love and grace.
Bobby had many talents and abilities and enjoyed using them to serve in several professional and local community organizations. For several years in the early 1960’s Bobby coached the Standard Oil Little League baseball team in Jackson, MS, where he spent hours leading them not only in play, but also in good sportsmanship. He was a member of the Downtown Kiwanis Club, also serving as President; the Jackson Chamber of Commerce; the Mortgage Lenders Association of Jackson, also serving as President; and the Home Builders Association of Jackson; all of which he received a number of awards for outstanding achievement and leadership.
Bobby and Joyce were members of Hillcrest Baptist Church where he served for many years as a devoted Sunday School Teacher to high school boys, Deacon and Youth Leader. He also served as Chairman of Deacons and President of the Board of Trustees. Bobby’s heart for young people prompted his desire to become an enthusiastic leader and role model in the organization, Youth for Christ, during the 1970’s and ‘80’s. There he served on the Board of Directors and as Chairman of the same. Through this ministry thousands of young men and women gave their lives to Christ.
In 1972, Bobby and Joyce moved to Clinton, MS, and a few years later joined Wildwood Baptist Church. There Bobby served as deacon and was Chairman of the Board of Trustees, leading several successful building campaigns.
Bobby’s love for God and fervent desire to share the good news of Jesus Christ with everyone, led him to join The Gideons International in 1975. He served the Lord as a Gideon with all his heart for almost 50 years and during those years was elected and served as the MS State Vice President (1980-1983) and MS State President (1983-1986). As a Gideon, he personally witnessed and distributed God’s Word to police, fire and medical personnel; students in the fifth grade and above; and with those he interacted with on a daily basis. He also placed bibles in hotels, motels, prisons, jails, and detention centers.
Early every Saturday morning, Bobby joined a group of other Gideons and together they handed out bibles and witnessed to the young boys at the local and surrounding detention centers, as well as the men in the local and surrounding jails and prisons, sharing God’s love. He also spoke in local churches, as well as all throughout the U.S. and in many other countries, preaching the gospel and presenting the amazing personal testimonies of those individuals who in their time of desperation found, picked up or were given a Gideon Bible and through the power of God’s Word and the leading of the Holy Spirit, opened their hearts to receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and thus changing the direction and purposes of their lives.
After working many years for MVT, Bobby, along with several other dedicated and hardworking attorneys formed their own law firm, Taylor, Covington, Smith, Mattrick and Gibson in the early ‘70’s and was a much sought after Corporate Real Estate Attorney.
In the late ‘90’s, Taylor, Covington and Smith merged with the law firm, Watkins and Eager, and Bobby continued practicing until semi-retiring a few years later and then served as Counsel in that firm until full retirement. Bobby worked with such integrity for over 40 years and his reputation was one of excellence. From 1987-2008 he was awarded and named as one of the Best Lawyers in America.
Bobby had a heart for missions, traveling to many countries, speaking and preaching not only with the Gideons, but also with many organizations, churches and ministries. His trips included Taiwan, Burma, Cambodia, Viet Nam, Mexico, South Korea, Hong Kong, Mozambique, Nepal, India, Brazil, Zambia and Malawi. In all these countries he witnessed God demonstrate many signs, wonders and miracles through His magnificent power. As a Director of Here’s Life Mission to Africa, Bobby organized and led seven medical mission trips to Malawi where the teams were used greatly by God to minister healing and deliverance and lead many to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. Many churches and ministries were birthed in Malawi as a result of all the eternal seeds sown, along with his influence, support and leadership in many communities. God is good all the time; All the time God is Good… Praise His Holy Name!
In 2003, Joyce and Bobby built a home in Macon, Georgia, next door to their daughter, Caroline, and her family. Bobby continued to work with several of his clients and served as Counsel even after moving to GA, making trips back to Jackson whenever necessary until completely retiring in 2010.
While living in Macon they attended several churches, including Vineville North, Ingleside Baptist, High Point, and New Heights. Not long after settling down in Georgia, Bobby and Joyce helped start a Bible study which was held in their home every Tuesday night for over 10 years. Bobby always had a big smile and happy heart as he graciously and lovingly welcomed the people attending into their warm, beautiful and inviting home. What a cherished blessing it was for Bobby and Joyce to witness the lives of many undergo amazing spiritual transformations through God’s love and the infilling presence and power of the Holy Spirit!
Bobby’s compassion for the lost led him to lead a weekly mens’ bible study through the Gideon Ministry for the inmates at Central State Prison in Macon from 2016-2018 and was awarded for his service by the Prison Clergy in association with the GA Dept of Corrections.
Bobby was an amazing and godly granddaddy to his four grandsons, Bobby, Joel, Christopher and Joshua. He made many wonderful and funny memories with them throughout their childhood and early adult years. Bobby and his grandsons had so much fun golfing, fishing, riding four wheelers, target shooting, swimming, attending and watching sporting events, going on excursions and just being silly. He also loved going and taking the boys on vacations, carrying them to many Gideon Conferences and Malawi mission trips. It was always an adventure. He was laidback, easy going and fun. His grandsons will forever cherish the memory of their sweet and beloved granddaddy and hold dear all the precious memories and priceless time they spent together. Bobby loved and respected his grandsons and they loved and respected him. He was so happy and proud to be their granddaddy!
Bobby honored the life he was given and the desire to give his all and give his best came directly as a result of his love for God and others. What an amazing legacy of love and grace he’s imparted to his family, friends and all the countless lives he’s come in contact with throughout his time on this earth. His godly character and influence will continue to bear much good fruit for the Kingdom of God and bringing Him honor and glory for all eternity… Praise the Lord!
Bobby is preceded in death by his father, Louis Sylvester Covington; his step father, Dudley Stinson; his mother, Annie Merle Simmons Covington Stinson; step mother, Marie Covington; half brother, Howard Covington (Patricia), and his beloved wife, Joyce Adrian Cox Covington.
Bobby is survived by his daughters, Joye Lynn Covington Thompson (Tony) and Caroline Covington Harvey (Rick); half-brother, John Covington; grandchildren, Bobby Thompson (Natalee), Joel Thompson, Christopher Harvey and Joshua Harvey.
A Celebration of a Life in Christ service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 10, 2024 at Hart’s at the Cupola, with visitation beginning at 1:00 p.m. The graveside service will immediately follow at Riverside Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers the family request that Gideon Memorial Bibles be given in honor of Bobby L. Covington by going to www.sendtheword.org.
If you’re not familiar with The Gideons International, here’s a short description of what they do and why.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations”… Matthew 28:19
The Gideons are a body of believers dedicated to making the Word of God available to everyone and, together with the local church, reaching souls for Christ.
The Gideons International is the result of a meeting between two men who wished to band commercial travelers together for evangelism. What began in 1908 as an Association of Christian businessmen placing Bibles in hotel rooms has evolved into an expanding mission to provide Scriptures to all people in nearly every facet of life. Today, they have taken more than 2 billion Scriptures in more than 95 languages to 200 countries, territories, and possessions across the globe.
For more information, please click the link below and visit The Gideons International website.
Please visit www.hartsmort.com to express condolences.
Hart’s at the Cupola, Hart's Mortuary and Cremation Center, 6324 Peake Rd, Macon, GA 31210 has charge of the arrangements