County Courthouse in 1903
White County Historical Society
White County, Arkansas

John Goad Found Greener Pastures at Denmark


White County Historical Society 1981 White County Heritage

John Goad, pioneer Baptist preacher in north central Arkansas, was born on September 6, 1806 in Kentucky. He was living in Graves County when he married Elizabeth Hardin, the daughter of Benjamin Hardin, in 1826. From 1838 until 1841 his name appears in the minutes of the West Union Baptist Association of Kentucky as a messenger from the Concord Baptist Church. Here he came under the influence of Eld. James P. Edwards, who had made a preaching tour of Arkansas in the Summer of 1817. Sometime during this period Goad was ordained to the Gospel Ministry, though a copy of his credentials has not been located.

The increasing controversies which rocked the West Union Association after 1844 might well have persuaded him to seek greener and more peaceful pastures elsewhere. Whatever the cause, he left Graves County late in 1845, and emigrated to White County, Arkansas, where he became the first settler at Denmark, arriving on February 3, 1846.

On September 12, 1846, he and his wife became members of the Independence Baptist Church near their home. In 1850 this congregation called him as pastor, a position he continued to hold until near his death. He pastored widely over southern Independence County and the whole of White County.

On October 4, 1848, he organized the Cedar Grove Church in Independence County. In 1850 he organized Searcy’s First Baptist Church. He no doubt helped organize the Union Baptist Association in the early 1850s and served as its moderator for a number of years.

His wife died on October 3, 1875. He then married Mrs. Clarissa Pinegar. In 1885, at the age of 79, he was still active in the ministry, pastoring that year a total of three different churches. He died on December 3, 1887, and is buried beside his first wife in the Goad Cemetery at Denmark. He and his first wife became the parents of the following children: Susan, John, George W., James J., Mary, Elizabeth, Nancy, Eliza, Sarah Ann and Louisa.

Research Project #80-029

November 20, 1980