Golden awarded honorary doctorate

Golden awarded honorary doctorate

Craig Golden=
Veteran ministry leader Craig Golden was awarded a honorary Doctor of Divinity degree at Baptist Bible College & Seminary's 2010 commencement program, an achievement he says would never have been accomplished without the support, encouragement, and involvement of his wife, Shirley.

"Any honor given to me is equally shared by my wife of 47 years, Shirley," Craig said. "Everything we do we work together on. She is behind the scenes. She is deserving of recognition and honor, too."

Preparing for service
Craig and Shirley married in March 1963. Shirley is a native of Norwich, NY, and a 1961 graduate of Baptist Bible Seminary. Craig was born and raised on a farm in Pine Valley, NY, near Elmira. A graduate of Horseheads High School, he served for a short time in the U.S. Army Reserve. Prior to going to Baptist Bible he worked at Schweizer Aircraft Company.

As church members, they were actively serving at Pine Valley Baptist. Craig began attending BBS in Johnson City, NY, in 1964, and he graduated from the first BBC class in Clarks Summit in 1969. The degree he earned was the five-year Bachelor of Theology, a course of study that combined Bible college with the biblical languages and some seminary courses.

"Shirley was a graduate of BBS at that time," Craig said. "Our pastor was a graduate and promoted it. It was definitely the call of God. God wanted me to be a pastor. You work at a factory and there's nothing wrong with it. But it is not what I wanted my life to be about."

As a student, Craig was vice president of his junior class and president of his senior class. The Goldens also served as resident supervisors in a men's dorm.

A lifetime of leadership
After graduation, Craig served as pastor of three churches in New York State for a total of 20 years -- Dresserville Bible Baptist Church, Breesport Baptist Church, First Baptist Church in Newark Valley near Binghamton. He served on numerous committees in New York, on mission and camp boards, on the Council of Eighteen of the GARBC, and as a trustee of Baptist Bible College from 1994 through 2005. He also earned a Master of Ministry degree from BBS in 2001.

"Baptist Bible was foundational to everything I did," Craig said. "It got me doctrinally solid. I can't imagine doing ministry without it. I spent every summer at Camp Bayouca north of Binghamton."

Since 1988, Craig has served as representative for the Empire State Fellowship of Regular Baptist Churches. In that role, he encourages pastors and churches, and plans events for learning God's Word and for fellowship. Craig is known for his administrative ability and organizational skill.

"As a pastor in New York state, I am so grateful Craig is available to me when I have questions," said Don Shirk, Senior Pastor at Grace Baptist Church in Batavia, NY, and a member of the BBC&S Board of Trustees. "I have run things by him, and his perspective has helped me make a better decision. He is truly a pastor's pastor, and I have appreciated that."

A special honor
Craig was selected by a special committee for the awarding of an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree. The committee cited his demonstrated faithfulness to the Lord and His work.

"It's like any honor someone gives you, to be thought worthy of it is special," Craig said. "Especially as it was done by the college Shirley and I graduated from. In a thousand years you don't think about someone giving you a honorary degree."

The Goldens have two sons: Paul is Director of Admissions at Baptist Bible Seminary in Clarks Summit, PA. Peter lives in Robbinsville, NJ, and is a project manager.

Baptist Bible College & Seminary offers an outstanding Christian education through on-campus, online, and other distance learning options. Students learn to serve and lead as they gain critical leadership and life skills. To learn more, go to or call 570.586.2400.

Posted on: 6/1/2010 11:03:16 AM

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