Graduated at Yale College in 1783; pursued a regular theological course of study; ordained and installed pastor of the Congregational church at Ridgefield, Conn., July 6, 1786. His father preached the sermon, gave the charge to both his son and the church; continued in the pastorate twenty-five years; dismissed Jan. 22, 1811, at his own request; settled in Worthington, May 29 following; his last sermon was preached at Woodbury, Conn.; his last sickness was short, he died in Berlin, Conn., April 29, 1835. (Case, Lafayette Wallace. "The Goodrich family : a genealogy..." Chicago : Fergus Pub. Co., 1889, pg. 129).
His tombstone says he was in the 49th year of his ministry; twenty-five years he was Pastor of the church at Ridgefield and twenty four Pastor of the church in Berlin.
Following is a brief recollection of Samuel by his son Samuel Griswold Goodrich (1793-1860):
... my father not only prayed in his family night and morning; but before breakfast, and immediately after the household was assembled, he always read a chapter in the sacred volume. In our family Bible it is recorded that he thus read the holy book through, in course, thirteen times, in the space of about five and twenty years. He was an excellent reader, having a remarkably clear, frank, hearty voice, so that I was deeply interested, and thus became familiar with almost every portion of the Old and New Testament.
(Goodrich, Samuel. "Recollections of a lifetime, or, men and things I have seen : in a series of familiar letters to a friend, historical, biographical, anecdotal, and descriptive." -- New York : Miller, Orton & Co., 1857, page 157). Owned by New York State Library, Albany, N.Y.
Following is the text of a letter written by Samuel Goodrich to his son Samuel Griswold Goodrich as Samuel Jr. left for military service in 1812 or 1813:
"We hope you will pay very exact attention to your conduct and behavior, while you are a soldier. You have our prayers for your welfare and that of your comrades. Study to ingratiate yourself with them, by your kindness, and especially with your officers, by your cheerful obedience to their orders. We hear that there is an additional British force arrived within a few days. How long they will think it worth while to keep up the blockade at New London, is uncertain; they will not, at any rate, consult our convenience. We are in hopes the British will make no attack upon New London, and that you wil not be called into a conflict with them. But we must leave this to the overruling of a merciful God, as also the issue, should he permit such an event. Should you be called to engage with them, I hope and trust that you will do your duty, and defend your country, which is just and right, though it may not be so to engage in offensive war.
I wish to remind you, my dear son, of the necessity of being prepared for death, at all times, and by all persons. This is specially important to a soldier. This will arm you with courage to meet whatever God shall call you to experience. It is no evidence of courage for persons to rush into danger in a thoughtless or wicked manner; it is better and surer courage which rests upon a deep sense of duty, and which always keeps the soldier ready to die at any moment - even at the beat of the drum" (Goodrich, Samuel Griswold. "Recollections of a lifetime," NY : Miller, Orton & Co., 1856, v.1., pg. 470-471.)
From Professor Fowler's notes as cited in "Recollections of a lifetime":
Samuel Goodrich, the third son (of Elizur Goodrich, 1734-1797) was born on the 12th of January, 1763. He graduated at Yale, in 1783, and after a course of theological study, was ordained at Ridgefield, Conn., on the 6th of July, 1786. Under his pastoral care the church and society of Ridgefield flourished, and he became an instrument of extensive good. He was often called to aid in the settlement of ecclesiastical difficulties, for which he was a peculiarly fitted by his extensive knowledge of mankind, and by his plain practical sense. On the 22d of January, 1811, he was dismissed from his charge at Ridgefield, at his own request, and on the 29th of May following he was installed at Worthington, a parish of Berlin.
In 1784, Mr. Goodrich married Elizabeth Ely, daughter of Col. John Ely of Saybrook. She survived him about two years. Their children were ten in number. For several years Mr. Goodrich had been occasionally afflicted with gout, which in its attacks were more frequent and more serious as he advanced in life. His last sickness was short, and as the disease early affected his brain, he was favored but few lucid intervals. But during these he manifested a full knowledge of his danger, and a willingness to depart. A short period before his death, he revived so considerably as to distinguish his friends, and to express his strong confidence in God. "My soul," said he, "is on the Rock of Ages, and my confidence in God is as firm as the everlasting mountains. Yet," he continued, after a short pause, "in myself I am a poor creature." On Sabbath evening, April 19th, 1835, he expired.
Mr. Goodrich lived and died a Christian. As a pastor he was greatly beloved; as a minister of Jesus Christ he was eminently successful. Several seasons of revival occurred under his ministry, both during his residence at Ridgefield and Worthington. Many still live to whom he was a spiritual father, and who cherish his memory as "a good man," and a kind and faithful shepherd. In the language of one who knew him well - "He possessed many excellent qualities as a man and a minister. His judgment was accurate, being founded on an extensive acquaintance with men and manners, and a long study of the human heart. He readily discerned the springs of action, and knew well how to approach his fellow-men in regard to objects which he wished to accomplish. He did not midjudge in respect to means or ends. He was remarkable for his practical good sense, and an acquaintance with common and therefore useful things. His understanding was rather solid than brilliant, and his knowledge seemed to be in wide and diversified surveys, and was gathered from many a field, rather than contracted to a point, or derived from prolonged investigation of particular subjects. Hence his sermons were plain, instructive exhibitions of truth, and shared his varied information and practical good sense." During the last years of his life he preached with increased frequency, spirit, and solemnity.
How highly he prized the scriptures may be gathered from a memorandum in his family Bible, as follows: "1806, began to read the Bible in course in the family, and completed it the thirteenth time, October 29, 1833." The years are specified in which he each time completed the reading" "1809, 1812, 1814, 1816, 1821, 1823, 1825, 1827, 1828, 1830, 1832, 1833." Such a man we might well expect to hear say, as he said on the eve of his departure - adopting the language of the Psalmist - "Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me thy rod and thy staff they comfort me."