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'I hope it points to Christ' — Local pastor surprised, humbled by Citizen of the Year Award

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By MEGAN T. BLANEY, Magnet Freelancer
When a community pulls together, it can accomplish great things, and local pastor Chad Goodlett aims to lead this community to greatness in the Lord’s eyes.
“Our organization is truly a community effort,” he said about the Taylorsville Community Church and all the volunteers who help out with the many church outreach projects. “That’s what’s neat about Taylorsville – the churches and a lot of the different groups are so good about working together. And it’s all for Christ.”
The Chamber of Commerce recently recognized Goodlett with its annual Citizen of the Year award for many reasons including Goodlett’s involvement in the One Sole Purpose outreach where every public school student from 3-year-oldsto fifth-graders was given a new pair of sneakers. The award came as a complete surprise to Goodlett who was attending the meeting as the guest speaker. His family also attended under the guise of supporting him as guest speaker.
Spencer County-Taylorsville Chamber of Commerce President Jan Kehne presided over the meeting and began describing the recipient of this year’s Citizen of the Year award. Goodlett, unaware that he was the recipient, sat back to listen to Kehne. As she described the attributes that garnered him the award, realization began to dawn on Goodlett that she was describing him, and the Chamber erupted in pleased laughter at his facial expression.
“This person always looks at the glass as half full and never wavers in his beliefs,” Kehne said. “And that, like tennis shoes, is a series of small steps to go a long way in resolving big problems.”
The surprise award caught Goodlett off-guard.
“I thought ‘That’s neat – I wonder who that is,’” he said. “It was a surprise because with anything I am privileged to do there are so many people who are helping. I am completely humbled because there are so many names that aren’t mentioned.”
Despite the surprise, Goodlett graciously accepted his award – a clock plaque inscribed to him – and went on to give his speech as planned, where he spoke about the importance of serving the Lord and the community one lives in.
“I believe we are called to serve. I believe that each and every one of us – we have a duty and a calling to serve others,” Goodlett said.
Goodlett grew up in Spencer County and moved away for a few years. He moved back in 1998 to be a part of the First Assembly of God church, which now goes by the name Taylorsville Community Church. He has three children, and his wife Wendy is a bus driver for the Spencer County school district and also works with him on his many outreach projects.
Perhaps the largest project involved the partnership with One Sole Purpose and Dr. William Beasley, a podiatrist from Jefferson County who has grandchildren in the Spencer County school system. Together they raised more than $30,000 with the help of the community to buy sneakers for the schoolchildren.
“We didn’t want to leave anyone or single any child out,” Goodlett said. “It was important for every child to feel included.”
The community roundly pitched in – either by helping to measure the children’s feet or by donating to the cause, which cost approximately $32,500 for 1,250 pairs of new Converse sneakers – about $26 a pair.
Beasley and Goodlett partnered with Shoe Carnival, which provided volunteer staff members to measure the children’s feet as well as providing the shoes at a reduced cost.
Becky Wilson, Spencer County Family Resource and Youth Service Center director, said Goodlett threw himself into the project.
“The kids had fun and they all loved their shoes,” Wilson said. “We’ve never had anything that big happen before.”
Wilson said Goodlett’s positive attitude is why he is so successful.
“You know, it’s all from the heart, Wilson said. “He is always so positive and good attitude. There’s just nothing negative about him – he radiates.”
Goodlett also manages the store Love My Neighbor, which provides gently used clothes, appliances and other household items for low prices and regularly gives items away for free. Goodlett also started the “community grill,” a community outreach program that provides cooked meals to different areas of the community.
“We don’t charge anything or raise money for the grill because sometimes we just want to flat-out give back,” Goodlett said. “We’re always asking things of the community and this is one way it can just be a gift.”
In addition, Goodlett and the Taylorsville Community Church organize the Christmas Assistance Program, and try to help needy members of the community whenever possible, even assisting with rent and utility bills in some cases.
Goodlett believes that Taylorsville is lucky to have a number of alumni in the schools and as business owners around town.
“Great leaders are first servants. They serve others. It is the Lord Christ we are serving,” he said. “It’s one of the reasons I love Taylorsville. I love the people of Taylorsville.”
Taylorsville Police Chief Toby Lewis has known Goodlett since grade school and called him an “amazing individual.”
“He tries to help the needy and helps them see the light of good,” Lewis said. “He also listens to leaders of community and helps them make sure they’re on path.”
Lewis said when he hears Goodlett’s name he gets a smile on his face.
“He’s a very deserving individual,” he said “He’ll give whatever he can of himself.”
Goodlett, however, shrugs off the praise.
“I hope everything I do and my church does – I hope it points at Christ. That’s who we are and what we’re about.”