Jack David Goodson was born on August 31, 1930, in Gastonia, North Carolina, to Ferrie Bess Goodson. His only sibling, James, passed away in 1985.
Unlike most of his ministerial peers, who were saved in a local church, Jack accepted Christ at the age of 14 as he walked between two mill houses in Gastonia. He had not been reared in church, nor had he been taught about God, but occasionally, he attended a small church in town. When he was 18, a neighbor invited him to visit the Pentecostal Holiness Church in Gastonia, where he heard for the first time a message on being sanctified and baptized in the Holy Spirit.
That night, when he couldn’t sleep, Jack slipped out of bed and asked the Lord to sanctify him. He describes that occasion as the only time in his life when he heard the audible voice of God. “He spoke over my left shoulder: ‘You are sanctified.’” From that day to this, Jack has been devoted to the Lord and to advancement of the kingdom through the International Pentecostal Holiness Church.
Jack married Frankie Wilson on December 25, 1950. To that union was born three children: David Bruce Goodson (deceased on July 5, 2003), Rhonda Karen Tate, and Chris Goodson.
Jack Goodson served in leadership at every level of ministry, from the local church to the denomination’s Global Ministries Center. And, regardless the position he was chosen to fill, he served with excellence. “Wherever I minister,” he says, “I try to do my best for the glory of God.” Jack bases his life on 1 Corinthians 10:31: “So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
Jack joined the Cornerstone Conference (formerly the Western North Carolina Conference) in 1959 and devoted himself to ministry. From the time he joined the Conference to the early 1980’s, Jack and Frankie pastored a number of congregations in Cornerstone including churches in Shelby, Concord, Yadkinville, Mt. Airy, South Henderson and High Point. These congregations flourished under his leadership, care and pastoral ministry.
After serving in a number of leadership capacities in youth ministry on the District and Conference level, Jack was elected to the Cornerstone Conference Board and served from 1972 – 1985 with four years as a board member and over six years as Assistant Superintendent. During that time, Jack served as Conference World Missions Director. He was elected as Conference Superintendent in 1982 and served three and a half years until his election to General Secretary and Treasurer for the Pentecostal Holiness Church in 1985.
He served a total of 12 years in that role and as a member of General Executive Board. He was a member of the World Missions Board for eight years (1977-1985) and served as chairman of the Falcon Children’s Home Board for two years (1984-1985).
While still in his teens, Jack dropped out of school in order to support his ailing mother. Though he only completed the eighth grade, he overcame his limited formal education and became an avid student of the Scriptures. He persevered to achieve an impressive resume of service in both the church he loves and the community. Simultaneous with his role as General Secretary and Treasurer, he was also a member of the First Fidelity Bank Board of Directors for 12 years (1985-1993; 1997-2001); a member of the Met-Life Advisory Board (1989-1993). Jack was awarded honorary doctorate degrees from Southwestern Christian University and Pacific Coast Bible College. Southwestern Christian University acknowledge his leadership ability by bestowing on him its Lifetime Achievement Award.
Following his retirement in 2001 as executive director of Stewardship Ministries, Jack served for four years as U.S. Field director for World Missions. Then, in 2001, he and Frankie relocated from Oklahoma City back to North Carolina, where he administered the Cornerstone Conference’s archives and continued to minister whenever and wherever an opportunity arose.
Presiding Bishop Doug Beacham remembers Goodson’s years of faithful service well. “I first met Rev. Jack Goodson at the 1985 General Conference,” Beacham said, “where he was elected to serve the IPHC as General Secretary-Treasurer. Over the following years, I discovered that this man had a deep and strong commitment to Christ and people. In particular, he was a man of great vision. Through his vision and efforts, the IPHC developed the graduate school and the IPH Foundation. He and his beloved wife Frankie represented Christ and the church with dignity and grace. The IPHC family is thankful for Brother Goodson’s life and service.”
Bishop Mike Ainsworth described Goodson’s 90 years as a truly exemplary life. “Those who knew Jack well would describe him as kindhearted and very capable. He was a mentor, an encourager and a true servant leader who used his strong administrative gifts not simply to manage, but to prepare and provide for the vision God had given for the future. In this he gave himself unselfishly. His gentle, unassuming ways greatly enhanced his ministry and his ability to work with others to overcome obstacles helped him accomplish many great things for the Lord.”
Rev. Goodson’s visitation and funeral service was held on Saturday, January 30, 2021 at North Pointe Pentecostal Holiness Church with Rev. Darrell Greene, Presiding Bishop Doug Beacham, Vice-Chair of the IPHC, Bishop Tommy McGhee and Cornerstone Conference Superintendent, Bishop Mike Ainsworth officiating.
Special thanks to Shirley Spencer and Presiding Bishop Doug Beacham for the tribute and bibliography for this article about Rev. Jack D. Goodson.