His Church at Sanders will conduct a special memorial dedication to the deceased Reverend James W. Goode, June 16.

The Rev. Goode served as pastor of the church in 1908-09 and was involved with the congregation until his death in 1966.

“He only was assigned as pastor a couple years directly here, but was readily available to substitute most all those years,” granddaughter, Rosetta Leach, wrote in a church brief.

The reverend traveled extensively, ministering in churches in Boise, ID; Chewelah, WA; Denver, CO and on the streets in Texas and Mexico, according to Ms. Leach.

“After being a widower, he joined an adopted daughter in Mac Allen Texas, and street ministered in that area several years,” Ms. Leach wrote. “Followed later by five to six years as a street minister in Mexico.”

According to Ms. Leach, the Rev. Goode would make do with what he had or could find while ministering in Mexico.

“[He] never had a home, slept with others when invited, slept in cardboard boxes on the streets, and on park benches. I vaguely remember him saying some of the bus drivers got to know him, and would let him ride around their routes, and he could witness to fellow riders. He did a lot of tavern ministry too, wherever he was at the time,” she wrote.

The Rev. Goode got started in ministry early.

He was anointed and blessed at the age of 12, by B.T. Roberts, the founder of the Free Methodist Denomination, who visited their family home for a Sunday dinner. According to Ms. Leach, her grandfather gave a sermon after the meal.

According to a 1968 article, by Thelma Gray, that appeared in The Free Methodist, the Rev. Roberts prayed to make the twelve-year-old John W. Goode a preacher.

According to Ms. Gray it would be “some years later” that the Rev. Goode would become a preacher.

According to a 1939 article, Pioneering, written by the Rev. Goode, set out for Salem, Oregon in 1892. There he found work chopping firewood, 12-hours per day, for 50-cents. During that time met his wife, 1894, and had two girls, and one boy, by the year 1900.

From there the family traveled from Portland, to Dalles, to Pendleton, Oregon; Weiser, Idaho and then to Denver, Colorado.

In Denver, the Rev. Goode worked in a city mission every night and earned a salary of 35 cents and eight pounds of homemade cheese. While there he took up preaching near a rodeo to attract crowds.

When he called on the rodeo men to join his sermon, the rodeo manager challenged him to ride an untamed horse, in exchange for their attendance.

The Rev. Goode obliged.

“That wild, untamed horse stuck out his nose, walked over to the schoolhouse where the meeting was being held, and I stepped off unharmed,” the Rev. Goode said to Ms. Gray. “The surprised men were following close behind.”

Six years later, approximately 1900, they returned to Idaho. In Boise, the Rev. Goode preached in the streets, in schoolhouses and at cow camps. In Pioneering he writes that he stood on cook-house wagon tongues for a makeshift pulpit.

He would be appointed pastor of His Church at Sanders in 1908.

In Pioneer, the Rev. Goode writes that, at the age of 65, he held four services at the church, in Sanders, per week.

He would call Sanders home until his death in 1965. He lived to be 92-years old.

The dedication of his memorial will be during the 11 a.m. worship service, June 16.

Following the sermon, there will be a baptismal service in Little Gem Lake at Camp Sanders. All are welcome.  For further information, contact Pastor Dan Willms at (208) 691-0884 or minister@hischurchsanders.org.

(1) comment


Thank you Lloyd Huff for a well-written article!

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