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"Primitive Baptist leader & for 50 years editor of Zion's Landmark. Office & home was 1/2 blk. NE."A prominent publisher and religious leader, Pleasant Daniel Gold was born in 1833 to Milton and Martha Fortune Gold in what in now Cleveland County, North Carolina. An ambitious young man, P. D. Gold sought to attend school and move beyond his agrarian upbringing. As such, he borrowed money and went to school, studied law, and received his license in 1856. He began to practice law in Shelby as a partner with future governor John W. Ellis. Soon after establishing himself in Shelby, Gold decided to enter the ministry. He then attended Furman University and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. His educational pursuits were interrupted by the Civil War when he enlisted in the Confederate army, serving as a chaplain and nurse until a fever ended his military service.
In the late 1860s, Gold decided to change his church affiliation and switched from the Missionary Baptist Church, or “New School,” to the Primitive Baptist Church, or the “Old School.” He joined the Kehukee Primitive Baptist Church of Halifax, home of the state’s most active Primitive Baptist organization. Gold was such a dynamic personality in his new calling that he joined the church, was baptized, ordained, and preached a sermon all in the same day. As part of his new mission, he co-founded a newspaper called Zion’s Landmark in 1867 with L. I. Bodenheimer. Gold became associate editor in 1871 and served as editor from 1872 until 1920. The paper became the leading publication of the Primitive Baptist Church.
Gold also served the Primitive Baptist Church as a pastor throughout the state and was seen by contemporaries as a leading figure in the North Carolina church. His home on Maplewood Avenue in Wilson served as his base of operations, where he published Zion’s Landmark and also founded the P. D. Gold Publishing Company in 1902. His publishing company issued the Daily Times and the Semi-Weekly Times and was later incorporated as The Wilson Daily Times Publishing Company.
In 1863, while Gold served as a missionary Baptist pastor in Goldsboro, he met and married his first wife, Julia Pipkin. The couple had eleven children before Julia’s death in 1913. Gold later married Eugenia Burton of Winston-Salem, who died in 1940. P. D. Gold died in 1920 and is buried at Maplewood Cemetery in Wilson.
William S. Powell, ed., Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, II, 313—sketch by Alice R. Cotten
Samuel A. Ashe, ed., Biographical History of North Carolina, III (1905)
R.H. Pittman, ed., Biographical History of Primitive or Old School Baptist Ministers of the United States (1909)
R. D. W. Connor, ed., History of North Carolina: North Carolina Biography, VI (1919)
Pleasant Daniel Gold Papers, University of North Carolina, online finding aid: http://www.lib.unc.edu/mss/inv/g/Gold,Pleasant_Daniel.html
Related Themes: C.S.A., Confederate States of America, Confederacy
North Carolina Civil War Historical Markers.