George Wayne Golson

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On January 27, 2023, George “Wayne” Golson beloved husband, father, grandfather and Pastor entered the presence of his Saviourat the age of 81. Wayne was born to Carl and Elizabeth Golson (nee Eubanks) in Mobile, Alabama, with the notoriety of being “Baby of the Year” – first baby born on January 1, 1942. Wayne first met Jesus at 16 years of age when he realized his sin and need of a Savior–and he never got over it. Ever since that day it has been Wayne’s passion to share with others the love and forgiveness he experienced through Christ. 

Wayne was called to preach shortly after his relationship with Jesus began and jumped into ministry while at Bob Jones University, preaching on the weekends and during the summers. After graduation, he represented Word of Life Ministries, then became a youth pastor in Panama City Florida. He went on to be assistant pastor in Kentucky and associate pastor at Southside Baptist Church in Greenville. The family moved to Florida in 1980 to Community Baptist Church and Christian School where Wayne and Helen ministered for 29 years. 

Upon “retiring” to South Carolina in 2009, Wayne and Helen continued to serve in churches as interim minister and advisor in multiple church families on the East Coast. Each church family became “family” to Wayne and Helen, and they loved each church dearly. Most recently he was a member of Summit View Baptist Church in Travelers Rest where he was a deacon so he could assist the church body and support the pastors.

Wayne also was known for his sharp wit, sense of humor, and practical jokes that left nearly every person he encountered with a laugh or a lighter heart, because a merry heart is better than medicine. More than that, he was a behind-the-scenes encourager, mentor, discipler, a pastor’s pastor. There are myriads of calls and texts he sent to people unbeknownst to anyone else to bolster their faith, encourage their gifts, or to seek forgiveness if he’d wronged them. He never sought attention or notoriety. In fact, he eschewed it because he understood anything good in him was the grace of God. 

Who resigns his church of 29 years because he doesn’t want a 30-year anniversary party full of praise and testimony about a man? Wayne Golson did. Because his very heartbeat was “not I but Christ.” His favorite verse beginning as a young believer was, “He must increase, but I must decrease,” and he spent his life honing that skill. He longed to be sinless and was acutely aware of his shortcomings.  He was a student of God’s word and never stopped learning but rather was willing to humbly change as the Holy Spirit directed. 

He was a man of integrity and service. In matters of integrity, blameless. If giving away earthly resources lays that treasure in heaven, his storehouse of treasure in heaven is beyond massive. He loved to tinker with small engines and couldn’t pass a broken lawnmower that had put out on someone’s curb without stopping to throw it in the back of his vehicle, diagnose the problem, fix it up, and give it away. If he tried to sell something, he would end up just giving to whoever was interested in purchasing. He wasn’t beyond the dirty work of people service – helping them move, mowing their lawn, early transportation to the airport, visiting in the hospital at all hours of the day or night. He never turned off his phone or left one to ring, because someone might need help. And his family never heard him complain about doing so. It was an honor and calling. 

Wayne leaves behind a devoted wife, best friend, and supporter, Helen (nee Pardue); daughter Elizabeth Park and grandchildren Andrew, David, Bailey, and Chloe; son Philip Golson (Kristen Jones) and granddaughters Reyna, Bryn, and Erin; son Bradley (Joy McCarnan); daughter Anna Grace McGonigal (Kerry) and granddaughters Erika, Charisse, and Keira; brother John Golson (Eleanor), and nieces Kimberly Grant (Randy) and Carla Johnson (Steve), grandnephews Cooper and Ty Grant and grandnieces Ellisyn and Emery Johnson; and beloved sister-in-law who was more like a sister, Nancy Pardue.

Wayne has fought the good fight, finished the course, and kept the faith. He will be so deeply missed on this side, but we are thrilled for his abundant entrance into the other.

Visitation with the family will be on Friday, February 3, from 12:30 – 1:45 pm at Faith Baptist Church in Taylors, SC, with a Celebration of Life service to follow at 2:00 pm. The family will be available after the service also to greet friends. A private graveside for the family will take place on Saturday at Coleman Memorial Cemetery in Travelers Rest.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to 1) GRACE, Inc(Garden Route Arts Communication and Education) in South Africa, www.graceknysna.org/donate.html, stateside address: 17607 Willow Creek Boulevard, Lutz, FL 33549, or 2) Avant Ministries – http://www.avantministries.org/give, Project #71952. This fund helps refugees and displaced bi-vocational believers start up their own businesses so they can support their own families and outreach efforts, eventually without any reliance on foreign aid. Dad gave to others his whole life. Gifts to these ministries would be something he would do—but no one would know.

Condolences to the family of George Wayne Golson

  • We knew Helen and Wayne through Freedom that Lasts-Faith Baptist Church. Wayne was a faithful worker there, and a very pleasant person to know and communicate with. So many will miss him. From Phil and Charlotta Pace

  • Milton Wilson
    10 months ago

    I knew Wayne for just a brief time while he and Helen served here in New Jersey! What wonderful servant of God! Will miss his humor and dad jokes on Facebook!

    • Lois Fox
      10 months ago

      So sorry for your loss, Helen, but rejoicing that my father is fellowshipping with Wayne in heaven. Wayne meant so much to my dad. I know his Godly counsel brought him through at least one very difficult time. I will also remember the many times he preached at Southside and what a refreshing time in God’s Word was had by all. Prayers for you in the days ahead. You are a such a blessing to so many! May the Lord surround you with the comforting embrace of so many who love you!

  • Madell Price
    10 months ago

    Oh, dear Helen and family,
    So many memories of Beth Haven days and late Sunday night fellowships with our dearest friends! I know that Brad welcomed his buddy Wayne to our eternal home, where we will be together forever! May God comfort your hearts as only He can. Know that I’m praying for you, and sharing your heart pain as one who has also known great loss. What a great guy! What a godly legacy! What an eternal reward! My love and prayers, Madell Price

  • Helen you and Wayne were such a blessing to us at Freedom That Lasts. I appreciated so much his insight, enthusiasm and encouragement. I’m sorry that I wasn’t able to spend more time getting to know him better. But we have eternity for that. Tracy and I are praying for you and your family.

  • Bob L Gay
    10 months ago

    Dear Helen, Phil, Beth, Anna Grace and Brad, our feelings toward you are as though you were family. We were your neighbor and watched you “kids” grow up, leave home and spread out all over the world. We love you; pray for you and encourage you to look to our burden bearer and draw close to Him as you walk through this valley of the shadow of death; however, he is more alive today than he has ever been. Even so, come Lord Jesus!

  • I remember Wayne as a contemporary at BJU, later when he served as Associate Pastor at Southside Baptist Church. I remember one of his sermons in which he explained why he wouldn’t make a good choice as a quarterback: “Hike! Hike! Hike!” he boomed into the microphone in a high tenor voice (which brings Barney Fife to mind), and the laughter that followed would have been respectable at a Clemson game — all to make a point that would honor the Lord. Funny. I forget the point, but I’ll never forget the illustration.

    I more recently remember him as a personal friend (and Facebook friend). After his years away, it was good to connect with him by way of a medium where he could share his humor — especially well-contrived puns — and spiritual wisdom, and I shared my thoughts on government and economics. Wayne is genuine. He never had need of any pretense. He lived to honor the Lord in his life out of gratitude for the great price that was paid to secure his own salvation. Prayers for Helen and the family as you all anticipate the next reunion with Wayne — in heaven.

  • So sorry, Helen!! Praying for you sweet Helen and your family! So glad to have known you both in Wilson, NC!! You both were great servants at Tabernacle that loved the Lord with all your heart, soul and strength!! Love you, Helen!!

  • Dr. Susan Kindall
    10 months ago

    I have loved and respected Wayne Golson for 40+ years as a fellow-laborer in God’s vineyard. His keen Scriptural insights, soulwinning efforts, and wisdom were always seasoned with humility, wit, and good-natured humor. Heaven has just become a little bit sweeter. Our lives truly are a vapor. Wayne Golson consistently pointed people to Christ. His children and grandchildren are now following in his footsteps, serving the Lord.
    ~ Dr. Susan Kindall 1.29.23

  • Jon and Lisa Campbell
    10 months ago

    Helen, We very much enjoyed and treasured Wayne. He was truly an example of what a pastor should be. I pondered and valued everything he said to me. I will never forget when he jumped at the opportunity to visit a wonderful Christian shut in down in Pensacola and saw it as part of his calling rather than a burden or inconvenience. No matter how prepared we feel we are and how much hope and assurance we have of salvation, grief is very real and slow process. You and your family will be in our prayers in the coming days and months ahead.

  • Prayers to you Helen and your family. You both were such a blessing to us at Tabernacle Baptist Church back in 2015 when the church was going through a “transition”. You both were so encouraging and compassionate in our time of need. I remember when you first came and we had a dinner after church. I saw Helen and
    Wayne pitching in to help clean up as if you were always part of our fellowship when you were really our guests. I remember, I really love these people, so genuine!!!

  • Nancy G. Smith
    10 months ago

    Wayne was the third grandchild of our grandparents, Dora and Goss Golson. His brother John is the oldest; then there are 10 more of us cousins. Lisa, my brother Bill, and I heard Wayne preach his first sermon in Pensacola, FL. It has been wonderful to reconnect with him in the recent past. Our prayers are with the whole family and his many friends.

  • Fred Crump
    10 months ago

    Dear Helen, I was surprised and saddened to hear of Wayne’s passing. He was my FTL leader for over a year as I went through the curriculum. I enjoyed his personality, leadership and encouragement. I will see him again! Prayers for your family.

  • Gerald Peek
    10 months ago

    Helen,Beth, Phil, and Anna Grace,
    I remember the first time I met Wayne. You were living on Jones Avenue. The year was 1970 and I think Wayne was still with Word of Life, I had come to Greenville to attend Bob Jones and you introduced us to Nicky and Sherry Chavers who had just started Academy of Arts. We all connected immediately and formed a friendship for a lifetime. We raised our families together during the years we served on staff at Southside. When Wayne was called to pastor Community Baptist Church I was personally saddened, but was assured it was God’s perfect plan as his years of service has borne out.
    When you returned to Greenville we were able to renew our friendship. I now look forward to our renewal once again, but this time it will be eternal.
    As for the family going forward, I am confident that God will not only meet your needs but will also supply the closeness and comfort that only He can provide.
    Psalms 34:18
    Gerald Peek

  • Kristi Poole-Loomis
    10 months ago

    Mrs. Golson,
    I remember Pastor Golson from my young years at Southside as he worked by my Dads (Bill Poole) side in the bus ministry. He was such a fun loving guy always with a laugh or a smile. When Dad passed you were both so kind and loving to our family. My thoughts and prayers are with your family at this time.
    Kristi Poole-Loomis

  • Dan and Ellen Sweatt
    10 months ago

    Dan and Ellen Sweatt
    Wayne Golson had such an important part in my life in the early days of my preparation for ministry as well as my early efforts. When we were students at BJU many week ends would find us in travelling to a near-by town to hold a youth rally. He and I would sing and Wayne would preach.
    Wayne was the Best man at our wedding. One week later we began a summer of evangelistic meetings, the three of us.
    Wayne was a good preacher, a quick wit, and wonderful to work with, but terrible with directions. His father on his wedding day said to me ” I had hoped that Hellen could take care of him, but now I think I need to hire someone to care of them both” I think all worked out fine.
    Not good by, see you soon.

  • I met Wayne and Helen at Summit View Baptist about 3 years ago and he became my deacon. What a blessing to me with his practical counsel, rich Bible teaching, encouragement, and wit. He prayed for me before surgery and mission trips, and he and Helen took me to the hospital and airport in the early morning hours.

    I especially was blessed by his series on how to Share Jesus Without Fear by William Fay.

    He will be sorely missed but I’m so thankful we will meet again soon at our dear Savior’s throne.

    Praying for you, dear Helen, and family to be comforted by our precious Savior who is “a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.” Is. 53:3 May you have joy even in the midst of your sorrow.

  • Alison Smith
    10 months ago

    Dear Helen- So happy to have met and served with you while you were filling in at Trinity Baptist at Williston Vermont. Regards to all the family and hugs for you. In Christ- Alison Smith

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