Who We Are

David W. Good – Founder

David William Good, 74, died peacefully in his home in Lyme, Connecticut on April 2, 2024, from complications of advanced leukemia. He was born on April 26,1949 in Indianapolis, Indiana to Edward Albin Good and Gladys Mae Cissna Good. He received a bachelor’s degree in literature and philosophy from Purdue University in 1971 and a M. Divinity from Yale Divinity School in 1975. He married Corinne Hogg on March 27, 1973, in Liverpool, England, in Corinne’s home church.

In December of 1975, David began to serve as Senior Minister at The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, a position he would hold for 37 years. The breadth of his ministry is astonishing, both for its prescience and for its imaginative sweep. Prescient in that David anticipated many of the justice issues that we are still contending with today. Imaginative in that he used the symbols of the Christian tradition to connect with those of other peoples and cultures, demonstrating that as human beings, we all belong to the same common family.

In 1985, David led the first visit to Green Grass, South Dakota, initiating a partnership with the Lakota people of the Cheyenne River Reservation that continues to exist some 40 years later. A few years after that, prompted by the struggle against apartheid in South Africa, David journeyed to that country to foster another set of relationships with those in the Township of Soweto, and with the Methodist Churches of Southern Africa. Later still, he forged a bond with the Koinonia community outside of Americus, Georgia, an anti-racist experiment in communal living that helped to birth Habitat for Humanity.

One of David’s greatest contributions, however, emerged in the days and months following the

9/11 attacks. Almost immediately, he reached out to the Muslim community and the Jewish Federation of Southeastern Connecticut, doing whatever he could to counter the fear and paranoia generated by that event, while also helping everyone within his orbit to both appreciate and celebrate the vast wisdom of the three Abrahamic faith traditions. An interfaith journey to the Holy Land with Christian, Muslim and Jewish participants soon followed. That first trip led to the formation of the Tree of Life ministry, dedicated to the pursuit of human rights in Palestine and in Israel. For more than twenty years, groups of travelers from FCCOL, the Berlin Mosque, and many other places of origin have journeyed together to the Middle East to learn about the profound human rights challenges facing Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, in East Jerusalem, the Golan Heights, and in Israel proper, while also learning from many Israeli voices of conscience who are seeking to build just and humane alternatives in that region. Even as US based travelers journeyed to the Middle East, David organized groups of Palestinian and Israeli justice advocates to visit the United States every year, to educate US audiences on the realities faced by Palestinians every day. The importance of that work becomes more evident with each passing day. It is a legacy that will continue to grow, as we find new ways to support the work of that Tree, “whose branches shall be for the healing of the nations.”

David’s global outreach scarcely touches all the ways he gave of himself to individuals within the FCCOL community and to Old Lyme and the Connecticut Shoreline more broadly. Week after week, he delivered learned, impassioned, and inspiring sermons. He accompanied many people through their final days, and he helped family members to come to terms with their own losses. He steered committees and task forces. Through his leadership, the Fellowship Hall and Sunday School wing was added to FCCOL. A Food Pantry was housed at FCCOL because of David’s vision, and in his later years, he organized PARJE (Public Art for Racial Justice and Equality). He married countless people, counseled countless people, and helped everyone, each in their own way, to trust that there was a gracious and loving Presence in the world on whom they could depend. He inspired and impacted many lives, and his memory will endure for many years to come.

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