Published on December 18, 2014 by Mary Wimberley  
Howard Golden

Samford University honored longtime Alabama Baptist pastor and educator Howard Golden of Wetumpka, Alabama, for his distinguished service to the school and to the Kingdom of God at a luncheon on Dec. 15.

Golden recently retired after teaching for almost 60 years in the Samford Extension Division, now known as the Ministry Training Institute.

Samford president Andrew Westmoreland read a proclamation citing Golden’s long tenure with the program, during which the honoree provided theological education to many persons.

“He was the pioneer in expanding the teaching ministry into state and federal prisons,” noted Westmoreland.

Golden has long taught certificate level courses to inmates at Staton and Draper correctional facilities in Elmore County.

The Shawmut, Alabama, native has been a pastor of churches throughout the state and held leadership roles in the Alabama Baptist Convention. Samford named him an Alabama Minister of the Year in 1996.

Golden served in the U.S. Navy during World War II before earning degrees at Samford, where he met his wife, the former Johnnie Garrett, and at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his wife have three children, Angela, Steven and Amelia.


Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford 1st nationally for student engagement and U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 37th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 97th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,758 students from 48 states and 22 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference, and ranks 3rd nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.