A much deserved recognition of my big brother Harry

Marian Wright Edelman
Marian Wright Edelman

 

 

By MARIAN WRIGHT EDELMAN

Children’s Defense Fund

 

The Herald-Advocate in Bennettsville, S.C., recently published this wonderful tribute to my brother on his birthday, and I wanted to share it with you:

The Rev. Dr. Harry S. Wright celebrated his 90th birthday this week. The former pastor of the Shiloh Baptist Church on Cheraw Street (1957-1967), he was born on Feb. 23, 1931 in the family home at 119 Cheraw St. with the aid of a family friend and midwife.

Son of Rev. Arthur J. and Mrs. Maggie B. Wright, then pastor and first lady of the Shiloh Baptist Church, Wright grew up active in the church and in the community. “Most people in those days had a garden and raised animals, especially families with children like our own family of seven,” he says. They had daily chores before school which included feeding chickens, milking dairy cows and delivering milk, feeding pigs and the like.

Always an avid reader, Wright completed high school studies at Marlboro High on King Street in 1949. He later earned the BA degree in religion and philosophy from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia in 1953. He completed the M.Div. degree from Colgate Divinity School in Rochester, New York, and the Doctor of Ministry degree from Southern Methodist University in Dallas in 1976.

Wright and wife of 55 years, Mrs. Joan Chequeta Wright, raised their four children while pursuing educational and vocational pursuits. The Wrights relocated to Dallas, Texas in 1967 where Wright served as chair of the department of religion and philosophy and subsequently president of Bishop College (1967-1982).

The Wrights later relocated to Brooklyn, N.Y. in 1982. Wright succeeded Rev. Dr. Sandy Ray as pastor of the historic Cornerstone Baptist Church. It would be impossible to quantify Wright’s contribution over sixty years of ministry to former church members, former students, mentees – many of whom now hold seats of leadership in some of the nation’s top pulpits and anchor institutions.

In retirement, Wright enjoys his solitude: reading and recalling memories of the early years on Cheraw Street surrounded by siblings Olive, Arthur Jr., Julian and youngest sister Marian.

 

Marian Wright Edelman is founder and president emerita of the Children’s Defense Fund whose mission is “Leave No Child Behind.” For more information, visit https://www.childrensdefense.org.

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