On May 2, 2021, Bishop James Gooden passed away surrounded by his loving family after an extended illness. He was 97. For half a century he served in pastoral ministry throughout South Florida along with his wife of 78 years, Dr. Evelyn Smith Gooden. He was an Ordained Bishop in The Church of God (Cleveland Tennessee) and a brilliant pulpiteer.
Bishop Gooden served in the United States Armed Forces from 1943 through 1946 and participated in the European Theater Operations during World War II. He earned and was awarded Good Conduct Medals, Sharpshooter Medals, an E.T.O. Medal with three battle stars. In addition, he has the Veteran of Foreign Wars Recognition. James was also a retired employee of the Ft. Lauderdale News and Sun Sentinel newspaper. He was an active citizen within the community, and honored as a Broward County Pioneer and Civic Leader, received the "Eminence Award" from AARLC, Recognition in the Broward County Senior Hall of Fame, The Sun Sentinel Journal of Black Leaders, and the Department of State American Legion.
Bishop Gooden is survived by his wife, Evelyn , daughters – Dr. Janie Greenleaf (Claude -Deceased), Cleo Stroud, Edith Gooden-Thompson (Maurice), Marva Gooden, Linda Smith (Rev. Charles), Rev. Kathy Flowers (Edsel), Faye Gooden Williams, their son Raymond Gooden, 17 grandchildren, 37 Great Grandchildren, and 4 Great Great Grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, donations could be made in his name to - The Area Agency on Aging of Broward County or the Aging and Disability Resource Center of Broward-5300 Hiatus Road, Sunrise, FL 33351; 954-745-9567.
Published in Sun-Sentinel on May 12, 2021.