Copyright notice

This article is from the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, 6 volumes, edited by William S. Powell. Copyright ©1979-1996 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

Printer-friendly page

Gold, Pleasant Daniel

by Alice R. Cotten, 1986

25 Mar. 1833–6 June 1920

Pleasant Daniel Gold, Primitive Baptist leader and publisher, was born in Rutherford County, now Cleveland County, to Milton and Martha Fortune Gold. His grandfather, Daniel Gold, had moved to North Carolina from Virginia about 1798. Young Gold worked on his family's farm until he was about twenty years old, when he borrowed money to go to school. Soon he began studying law. He received his license in 1856 and started practicing in Shelby. About two years later Gold decided to enter the ministry. With little money and still in debt from previous schooling, he attended Furman University in Greenville, S.C., and later the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. His formal education ended with his enlistment in the Confederate Army, where he was both chaplain and nurse until a fever ended his military career.

In 1863, while serving as a missionary Baptist pastor in Goldsboro, Gold married Julia Pipkin, the daughter of Willis Pipkin of Lenoir County. They had eleven children: Cora, Paul, John Daniel, Mary Virginia, Joseph Milton, Charles Willis, Pleasant Daniel II, Martha, William, Julia Ruth, and Elizabeth Bynum. Cora, Paul, Martha, and William all died in infancy.

In the late 1860s Gold switched from the "New School" or Missionary Baptists to the "Old School" or Primitive Baptists, joining the Kehukee association. Elder Gold (as he was then known) and Elder L. I. Bodenheimer in 1867 established Zion's Landmark as an organ of the Primitive Baptist church. Gold became associate editor in 1871 and editor in 1872; he held the latter post until May 1920.

As a minister in the Primitive Baptist church, Gold served pastorates in Wilson, Falls of the Tar, Rocky Mount, Tarboro, and Durham and was a leading figure of the Primitive Baptist religion in North Carolina for half a century. In addition to his pastoral duties, he founded the P.D. Gold Publishing Company in Wilson, wrote extensively for Zion's Landmark, and published A Treatise on the Book of Joshua.

Gold's first wife died in 1913. He later married Eugenia Burton, of Winston-Salem, who died in 1940. There were no children from the second marriage. Gold was buried in Maplewood Cemetery, Wilson.


Samuel A. Ashe, ed., Biographical History of North Carolina, vol. 3 (1905).

Pleasant D. Gold, Gold Generations in England and America (1946).

North Carolina Biography, vol. 6 (1919).

R. H. Pittman, ed., Biographical History of Primitive or Old School Baptist Ministers of the United States (1909).

Additional Resources:

View, Old Wilson Daily Times Building, Wilson, North Carolina. Gold, Pleasant Daniel Publishing Company (Wilson, N.C.).Historic Architecture Research. Project Records (UA110.041). North Carolina State University:

P.D. Gold Papers, 1776-1896 (collection no. 01595-z). The Southern Historical Collection. Louis Round Wilson Special Collections Library. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.,P.D.html (accessed July 29, 2013).