GODDEN, Sarah W. 1815-1892
Posted By: Tammy (email)
Date: 2/21/2011 at 22:45:43
One Home Missionary Woman
There died recently in Morrison, Iowa, one whose name has perhaps hardly ever been mentioned in newspapers, so quiet and unpretentious was her life. Yet for more than half a century she had been a faithful, earnest missionary worker. The day of her death was the 44th anniversary of her wedding day, but she had been a widow for more than thirty years.
Mrs. S. W. Godden was married November, 1848, to Rev. H. L. Godden of the Presbytery of Madison. As the wife of a Home Missionary she learned those lessons of patient self denial which became a part of her very life. Wherever the Providence of God placed her lot in her widowhood she became an earnest missionary worker. She was able to give but little, but her leadership was worth far more than money. She knew how to interest others in missionary work, and to organize them to do it in the most effective way. When she became president of the missionary society of Morrison it appeared as if she was engaged in an almost helpless task. The church had neither building or pastor and only an occasional afternoon service. But Mrs. Godden found a few goodly women willing to help, for her sake at first but afterward for the love of the work of Christ. Her daughter-in-law, Mrs. D. Godden, was always willing to help. So they pressed on. After a time the society grew so strong that the Methodists, who partly composed it, organized separately; but there was no dimunishing of gifts. They sewed for missions, they economized for missions; yes, they practiced self denial for missions. Boxes have gone forth from that little society that contained gifts of genuine sacrifice from homes that only gave for Christ's sake. That society was a marvel to the whole Presbytery; but to those who knew the goodly widow of over three score years and ten it ceased to be a marvel.
Gradually the church grew. Several interesting revival seasons added to the membership. A beautiful church was built, furnished and paid for. Then a pastor was called and settled; and now they are planning a parsonage. Would it not be safe to say that God rewarded their self-sacrifice for missions by giving them such prosperity? As they grew from a handful to a church of nearly one hundred members and to self support, so grew their missionary work. If they had waited until they reached self support before working for missions, would they ever reached self support? That we cannot answer. But we do know that a faithful band of missionary women led by the mother in Israel, led the way by stern self denial and stamped the missionary idea upon the whole church.
"She being dead yet speaketh." Rest came in her sleep. After 77 years of earthly life, quietly and painlessly "she was not, for God took her." Shall not our missionary women draw new courage and life from her example?
--The Grundy County Republican (Grundy Center, Iowa), 17 November 1892
Grundy Obituaries maintained by Tammy D. Mount.
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