Story by Tiffany Doss
After 53 years of ministerial service, Pastor Henry Wright recently preached his final sermon before entering into retirement to a standing room only crowd at the historic Takoma Park (Md.) church. Wright accepted his call to the Potomac Conference in 1993, and became the pastor of Community Praise Center (CPC)—a small, struggling church in Alexandria, Va.
“There were so few people that you could lay on the pews and not touch anybody,” Wright joked. “After the service, I knelt in front of the altar and prayed a very simple prayer: ‘Lord, do not make me a success here; defend your name.’” After developing a five-year plan and quickly involving all attendees into the church program, one year later, CPC averaged 200 worshipers each Sabbath.* The fruit of Wright’s ministry is evidenced when 20 years later attendance at CPC holds steady at over 1,000, over 60 ministries are active, annual tithe totals over $2 million and several churches have been planted through CPC.
In May 2014, Wright passed the bustling church to Bron Jacobs, the current pastor, and took on a new congregation as senior pastor of the Takoma Park (Md.) church. During his last sermon, Wright called the youth and young adults to the front of the church to encourage them to remember their spiritual roots. He admonished that young adults aren’t the future of the church, but are the church. Wright offered counsel to become more involved as the church needs their ideas, energy and enthusiasm.
Wright’s legacy far exceeds the borders of the Potomac Conference, as he had touched the lives of many around the globe. Through the blessing of God, Wright is leaving a legacy of transformational leadership and pastoral excellence, says Bill Miller, Potomac Conference president.