PALMETTO — Chris Gould filled many spaces at Palmetto Baptist Church. Most notably, he led songs as the congregation’s traditional worship leader while serving as assistant pastor for nearly 30 years. During that time, he also spearheaded a drive for missions involvement.
As of March 23, a notable gap was felt at PBC, as Gould died at Atlanta Medical Center from a brain cancer diagnosis, discovered after a fall at his home on Dec. 20. His last Sunday at the church had occurred Dec. 18.
Previously having served at Northside Church in Denham Springs, LA and Unity Church in Newnan, Gould arrived at Palmetto in 1988 with his wife, Bonnie, and their daughters, Frances and Kimberly.
Gould’s testimony began with a Sunday School teacher seeing him as a young boy playing basketball. The teacher invited the boy to church. The boy prayed to receive Christ, went to seminary, and ended up touching thousands of lives.
Heart for missions
Gould’s influence spread not just throughout his church. For 20 years he led Fairburn Baptist Association as music director. As participants in Georgia Baptist Disaster Relief, he and his wife served in New York as part of the wide-scale Southern Baptist response after the 9/11 attacks. A member of the Sons of Jubal and the Jubal Brass, Gould took part in the historic trip to North Korea for an outreach/concert tour in 2012. Locally, he infused missions into music groups for children and youth choirs, handbells, adult choir, and vocal and instrumental ensembles.
While at Palmetto, Gould oversaw or took part in approximately 30 summer mission trips including as many as 50 people of all ages. Work on those trips ranged from construction to Backyard Bible Clubs from Florida to New York.
“Chris Gould epitomized the very heart and soul of our church family,” said Palmetto pastor Jimmy Orr at Gould’s March 27th memorial service.
Added son-in-law Tim Stice: “All of us … should be motivated by the example Chris set for us – to be the most faithful servant we can be.”
In addition to his wife and daughters, Gould is survived by his brother, John; sister, Priscilla; three grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter.