The Expository Files



 Tribute To Robert Goodman

Robert Goodman had been preaching the gospel 45 years when he and his beloved wife Ruth began to labor with the saints of LaPorte, Texas. Robert wanted to “retire” (i.e. start drawing social security benefits) when our elders invited him to come and work in a two preacher arrangement. I must admit there was quite an incentive dangled before him, and I am not talking about the small supplemental income we offered, but he and Ruth were offered a chance to worship with their daughter, son-in-law and four precious grandchildren.

I had known of Robert Goodman all my life. I had heard of his previous works, his Bible knowledge, his abilities and his love for the Truth; but in the four years (1993-1997) we labored closely together I was truly enriched by his company and example. Brother Goodman preached weekly, taught classes, wrote articles for the bulletin and newspaper. He continued to hold meetings and write for brotherhood papers. I recall his love for computers and use of them to promote the cause of Christ. To me he was on the cutting edge; he generated overhead charts and composed Bible puzzles for the brethren. When I had computer troubles he was the man to go to! He was always busy in the work of the Lord. He may have “retired”, but I assure you he never quit.

Brother Goodman was a loving example of what a husband, father and grandfather should be. There was no doubt that he loved his family. I still have the memory of his grandchildren running up for a hug, both grandparent and grandchild wielding the broadest smiles of love. He was always humble, gentle, and caring. He was genuine. What you saw is what you got. He did not put on ‘airs’, he never pretended to be something that he was not. He was funny. He was serious. Only once did I ever see Robert visibly upset, and it was the result of another preacher’s unjust behavior. It was truly a ‘righteous indignation’. Robert was always fair, righteous and just.

He loved his fellow preachers. He used his wisdom and experience to strengthen me. He was always supportive and encouraging. Before he would preach a sermon he would hand me a copy of his notes. On occasion, he would hand me hand written notes concerning a sermon I had preached; not harsh or hyper critical – but rather an additional thought, point or illustration to help me do better in proclaiming the Gospel. His advice was always sound and scriptural. He generously shared his knowledge, materials and ideas with me. Our relationship was never a competition, but a mutual love and respect. It was a honor to work with him.

I know that it is selfish, but it saddens me to lose men like Robert Goodman. We need men of God like him today. “…Know ye not that there is a prince and a great man fallen this day in Israel?” (2 Sam. 3:38) There is a generation of preachers who have headed on to their eternal reward and joyful reunion; men like James Adams, Dean Bullock, W.R. Jones, Oliver Murray, and now Robert Goodman.
By Daniel S. Dow
From Expository Files 21.8;  August 2014