Charles Goldberg … Wasted Testimony

The truth of my bibliophile nature has already been confessed in the last entry.  One could find a book in almost any room in my home that is dog-eared with the corner of the page turned down so that I can know where I left off the next time I pick up the tome.

One of the more interesting books I am reading right now is by Hollace Ava Weiner and is entitled Jewish Stars in Texas:  Rabbis and Their Work.  Weiner considers some of the earliest Texas rabbis and their legacy upon this amazing state.  In reading through Weiner’s work, I was struck by the story of an accidental rabbi that she mentions almost in passing … Charles Goldberg (page 7).

In the late 1800s, Charles Goldberg was a Jewish believer in Jesus who came to faith after being treated for an illness by a Christian minister.  Goldberg served in churches in the Texarkana area and was also known to tutor Bar Mitzvah students and lead the Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services for anyone who would attend.  However, it is the content for footnote 14 that is shocking “… and never proselytized among Jews.”

What a waste!  Here is a man who had come to faith in Messiah Jesus and failed to share this testimony of spiritual transformation with His own people.

I and Tzedakah Ministries will never be guilty of this charge.  This ministry will share the truth of Messiah Jesus wherever God leads us and to whatever Jewish person might cross our path.  Tzedakah Ministries will also share the truth of Jesus the Messiah with anyone who God provides opportunity.

The life of Charles Goldberg can be summed up in three words “a wasted testimony”.  Heaven forgive him for this sin.


  1. Amy,

    This is an interesting comment, but I would say that footnote 14 is not likely true. Consider what he did do: continued to tutor Bar Mitzvah students, lead the Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services, etc. I can’t imagine that he would not have helped others to see the lines connecting the testaments…

    (Do not allow yourself to be too rash in your judgement.) You know how historians are biased in their writings. Or, perhaps she meant that he was careful enough in his ministries to welcome other Jews with open arms in an effort to draw them in, rather than confront them in… ? 🙂 He apparently didn’t stop being Jewish, or acting Jewish, or being available to them as a Jewish leader, so they must have known he was a Messianic Jew. Conduct of that time was expected to be much more formal, wasn’t it? (at least in the “learned” circles…) 🙂

  2. Charles Goldberg published the following with the American Tract Society: “The Veil Removed: A Narrative of the Conversion of a Jew.” This documented “proselytized” then and still does today.

  3. A life well-lived, in devotion to God, with love for his fellowmen, stands brightly as a worthy testimony to his witness. Jealousies existed then, as now, among “spritual” leaders. Rabbi (and Rev.) Goldberg bore these indignities (as did our Savior) when these were heaped upon him from all sides.

    Rev. Goldberg, I am proud to say, was my wife’s g-g-grandfather and one ot the most brilliant scholars and pioneers of early Texas.

    1. This is my great great grandfather. I believe he tried to fill a void in worship since there were only a limited number of the Jewish faith in this area during the early development of the state. It may have been wrong in the eyes of man but feel it was right in the eyes of God.

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