J. G. Goodwin, Jr., Missionary to Korea

James Garland (J.G.) Goodwin was ordained by our church on Sunday May 11, 1952.  The ministers that examined and recommended him for ordination were Dr. Charles E. Maddry (pastor), J.E. Green, W.W. Abernathy, W. H. Rittenhouse, J.C. Rittenhouse and S.W. Oldham.  The ordination sermon was delivered by A. K. Cheek.  {Note: Green, Abernathy, Oldham and Cheek were all former pastors of First Baptist, Hillsborough.}  The laying on of hands included the ministers together with deacons and deaconesses of the church.1,2

Goodwin is the son of James Garland Goodwin, Sr. (1903-1964) and Esther Willington Goodwin (1901-1985).  Born in Fairmont, Robeson County, NC in 1928, Goodwin moved at an early age with his family to Hillsborough.  His parents became members of First Baptist in 1935.  In 1950, Goodwin graduated from Wake Forest College and in 1953 from the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Ft. Worth, TX.  At age 11, he dedicated his life to Christ during a revival held in 1939 at the church by Dr. Maddry, then Executive Director of the Foreign Mission Board.   He felt called to the ministry while in college and later to the mission field while in seminary.  Before being appointed as a missionary by the Southern Baptist Foreign Mission Board in 1956, Goodwin served as pastor of the First Baptist Church at Clyde, NC from 1953-1956.3  The church added a new education wing and grew in membership and programs during his pastorate.4,5

He married June Batson, a native of Greenville County, S.C., in 1952.  She graduated also from the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary with a degree in religious education and while in college felt led to become a missionary. Their son, James (Jimmy) Garland Goodwin, II was two years old when his parents were appointed as foreign missionaries to Korea.2  They left San Francisco, CA aboard the President Wilson on October 11, 1956 for Seoul, Korea and spent the first two years in Taejon learning the language and customs of the Korean people.  It was during this time that their second son, Johnny, was born.  In September 1958, they moved from Taejon to Pusan {now Busan} where Goodwin served as Business Director of the Wallace Memorial Hospital and as Director of the Joint Literature Department responsible for publishing Sunday School literature for a growing number of Baptist Churches.  In addition, he continued to serve as an evangelistic missionary – holding meetings and building new church congregations.6

A 1964 article appearing in the Biblical Recorder notes that Goodwin was involved in broadcasting the “Baptist Hour” in the Korean language over five stations throughout the nation.  In addition, he reported that the numbers of churches were growing rapidly and that he had recently baptized 37 converts in one of the newly organized churches.7  By 1967, Goodwin was head of the Mass Communications Department of the Korea Baptist Mission in Seoul producing both television and radio shows.8  Later he was elected Administrator of the Korea Baptist Mission, overseeing the work of 150 Baptist missionaries.  He held this position until leaving Seoul in 1995.  He retired after a one year furlough to the USA in 1996 spending 40 years on the mission field in Korea.9
J.G. and June currently live in Raleigh, NC.  They have seven grandchildren and three step-grandchildren.

  1. Ordination of Rev. James Garland Goodwin. Biblical Recorder, May 31, 1952, p. 23.
  2. Minutes of First Baptist Church Hillsborough, NC. May 11, 1952.
  3. Two North Carolina Pastors Among New Appointees of Foreign Mission Board.  Biblical Recorder, June, 2, 1956, p. 17.
  4. New Building at Clyde Church.  Biblical Recorder, February 18, 1956, p. 23.
  5. Minutes of First Baptist Church Hillsborough, NC. April 16, 1939.
  6. We like to hear from our missionaries.  Biblical Recorder, January 24, 1959, p. 22.
  7. Baptist Hour in Korea.  Biblical Recorder, October 03, 1964 p. 11.
  8. Missionary to Korea will address Baptist rally. Robesonian, Lumberton, North Carolina, September 15, 1972, p.2.  Available at: http://newspaperarchive.com/robesonian/1972-09-15/page-2.
  9. Personal Communication with June Batson Goodwin, January 3, 2014.
Acknowledgement:  The 1956 photograph was clipped from the Bible Recorder Article, Reference 3 above, and reformatted for clarity.
Photograph Collection:  June and Jim have been kind to scan and send us photographs of the family and J.G.’s work with Korean pastors and their congregation.


 J.G., John, June and Jim Goodwin
Photograph taken in Clyde, NC
while family was on Furlough, 1963




J.G. Goodwin with Korean pastors and deacons in 1959


 J.G. Goodwin with Ho Dong Korean Baptist Church congregation May 1959