By trade, Bobby Hurd was an electrical contractor. But he was best known for the community television show that bears his name and the work he accomplished in the gospel music industry.
“You didn’t have to be a big name for Bobby to take interest,” said Bishop Quincy Lavelle Carswell, a friend of nearly 40 years and senior pastor of Covenant Cathedral in Decatur. “He saw promise in people. And he not only promoted gospel artists, but he also took the time to develop them too.”
Hurd, host of “The Bobby Hurd Show” since 1996, spent much of his time and money trying to help others, said his wife of 46 years, Sarah Hurd.
“He was a true people person,” she said. “All he wanted to do was help people.”
The same year Hurd began his gospel-themed talk show, he also decided to sponsor an Adopt-A-School program that would provide children with school supplies. The idea came to him while doing electrical work at the former Peterson Elementary School, he told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution at the time.
He said a child showed up at the school crying because his mother couldn’t afford his school supplies. That day Hurd bought $50 worth of supplies for the school, he told the newspaper.
“God has been good to me,” he said at the time. “I came from Mississippi and the cotton fields. He’s brought me a long way. I believe God has blessed me to bless others and I enjoy doing it.”
Sarah Hurd said her husband kept right on helping others until his health not sidelined him. Though cancer was ravaging his body, he still did what he could.
Hurd, who hosted his last talk show a few weeks ago, died Sunday at Northside Hospital from complications of cancer. He was 66.
A funeral is planned for noon Friday at Greater Travelers Rest Baptist Church, Decatur. Burial will follow at Hillandale Memorial Gardens. Gregory B. Levett & Sons Funeral Home, South DeKalb Chapel, is in charge of arrangements.
Hurd’s involvement in the gospel music industry came by way of his love for James Brown’s music and entertainment in general, his wife said.
“At first he just wanted to help somebody get started,” she said. “And he had a godson named Jimmy who had a band and Bobby got involved with them, taking them places and booking them and really was more like an agent.”
From there he transitioned to promoting gospel artists and never looked back, Hurd said.
Bobby Hurd has been a part of several gospel-themed events in Atlanta, including the Gospel Choice Awards, and he coordinated “Gospel Night” for the Atlanta Hawks for a decade, she said.
“He was a servant of the people and an instrument of God,” Carswell said. “The gospel music landscape will look very different, not just in Atlanta, but across this country, because Bobby is no longer with us.”
In addition to his wife, Hurd is survived by three daughters, Felisha Price of Lithonia, Kasand Green of Laurel, Md., and Shelitha Hurd of Decatur; and five grandchildren.