If anyone had told Pastor John Goldman, four years ago, that he would become a Methodist minister in 2017 and be assigned as lead pastor for two churches, he would have told them they had lost their mind. John never saw this transformation coming. He came to the Panama City Rescue Mission in 2013 for vocational training following an on-the-job back injury from a fall off a power pole, that prevented him from continuing his work as a communications technician.
“I didn’t want to go to the mission because I thought the mission was a place for people with hangovers to sleep it off, and a soup kitchen,” he said. “After a short time, around 2 weeks, my heart started to change. I found myself wanting to read the bible. I never read the bible before.”
The accident and inability to work had left John in a state of depression. “What I once thought was a curse has become one of the biggest blessings my family and I have received,” he said. “I went to the mission to learn administration skills. I left as the Men’s Recovery Manager, and the mission is a big part of where God has lead me now.”
Where he is now is certified and licensed as a pastor for the United Methodist Church, a path he never could have predicted he would be following. “I will say the PCRM helped rescue me,” he said. “It was where I started to discover who God truly is.”
Pastor John and his family recently moved to Ozark, Ala. where he will lead two congregations. “The mission is part of the path that God put me on,” he said. To discover Him, and to rescue me. Ever since my accident in 2011, and really before, I never really knew God. There is something spiritual about the Mission. But you’ve got to look for it. For me it was watching people who were broken coming to the mission looking for help. Watching what God is doing in their lives, helped me in mine. I was broken too, but I was broken in a different way. Brokenness is brokenness, it doesn’t matter how you look at it.”
“By helping others, God was restoring me,” Pastor John added. “This was God’s plan. I had to become broken to get restored. The Mission is a huge part of it. Not only did it restore me. It also restored my family. I was once one of the least, the last, and the lost. The PCRM is a place that really rescues people. I know, because it rescued me.”