Craig and Shirley Golden (left) mark 50 years of ministry. At right are Pastor Patrick and Ruth Odle of First Baptist, Elyria, Ohio.

ELYRIA, Ohio—First Baptist Church honored Craig and Shirley Golden upon their 50th anniversary of ministry.

Craig and Shirley married in 1963. They were serving as faithful volunteers of ministries at Pine Valley Baptist Church, Millport, New York (the church Craig had attended since childhood), when they felt called to serve in vocational ministry. Craig began attending Baptist Bible College and Seminary, from which Shirley had graduated in 1961. He earned a ThB in 1969 and would later earn an MMin and a DDiv from the same school.

In their earliest years of vocational ministry, the Goldens served as pastor and wife in New York: at Dresserville Bible Church in Moravia, Breesport Baptist Church, and First Baptist Church in Newark Valley. Craig was then state representative of the Northeast Fellowship for 24 years. Since 2012 he has been associate pastor of senior ministries and pastoral care at First Baptist Church in Elyria, Ohio.

While ministering in New York, Craig and Shirley organized and hosted bus trips for seniors in Northeast Fellowship churches for 20 years. Now the the couple is happy to continue that tradition in Ohio. They plan monthly daylong trips to local attractions and overnight trips to farther destinations. Seniors from First Baptist in Wellington and First Baptist in LaGrange frequently join those from the Elyria church for these adventures.

One additional trip this month is called Destination Unknown, for widows attending the church. The free trip, with lunch included, aimed to be easy, stress-free, fun, encouraging, and full of surprises. “Pastor Craig and Shirley Golden do such a wonderful job of making certain our church family’s widows receive that special attention and care,” the church says.

Patrick Odle, pastor of First Baptist, says, “It is such a joy to serve with this amazing couple!”