London music minister retires after over 3 decades

By Myriah Snyder

Published: February 6, 2018

LONDON—Jerry Wright, minister of music at First Baptist Church of London, retired in January after nearly 35 years of ministry at the church.

Wright has, in addition to being a faithful servant at First Baptist, been active in Kentucky Baptist life as well as his community. He is an active member of the Kentucky Baptist Men's Chorale and a community chorus.

"I wish every KBC church could have someone on their staff like Jerry Wright," Jason Stewart, the KBC worship and music consultant, said. "Jerry has impacted thousands of lives through his talents and gifts and the ministry he has given through the years has an impact we'll never know until heaven."

His family came to London when he was 35 after his youngest child was born. Although he was a Kentucky native, he'd been working as a music and youth minister in Arkansas for 8 years prior to his accepting the call to First Baptist.

"Never in my wildest dreams did I realize I'd be here till I retired," Wright shared.

One of his biggest projects he's overseen during his time at First Baptist is their Passion Play. "I thought, we need to do something that takes the gifts and the message of our music ministry out to the community," he said. At the time, the pastor was thinking the same thing. "I think it was God thinking to both of us."

"The only way I can explain what happened was it was a God thing," Wright said of the Passion Play that is now a staple at First Baptist and in the community.

The church held a reception in his honor on Jan. 14. On a video interview shown at the reception, Wright recounted some of his wildest and favorite memories during his time at First Baptist and shared some of his favorite songs.

Stewart added, "If I could just bottle him up and sprinkle him across the state, our churches would be in better health. We need more staff people like Jerry Wright."

Wright said he plans to "take two or three months and just decompress." He also plans to stay active in choral music.

"The highest privilege I've had… is just to walk out there and challenge folks, 'engage with me and let's worship God together in this hour,'" he said.

"Thank you for the privilege to not be boxed in," he told his church, expressing his gratitude. (WR)