Pilot to pastor
A former airline pilot has become the pastor of a congregational church in West Yorkshire.
Captain Stephen Wright was ordained into the Christian ministry and inducted as pastor of Morley Community Church, near Wakefield.
A large congregation representing 19 different churches gathered for the welcome service in this former textile town. Church secretary Andy Dalton recounted during the service that the church’s search for a pastor saw an unusual series of events, spanning three continents, to bring them into contact with Captain Wright.
During an extended visit to the UK, Captain Wright visited the Morley church. Church leaders and members quickly recognised his pastoral gifts and felt the Lord’s leading to approach him with a call to ministry.
In reply, Captain Wright explained that two years ago he was taken critically ill and nearly died. He was convinced the Lord spared him for a purpose, and wanted to serve the Lord in a full-time capacity. So he responded in obedience to the call to pastor God’s flock.
Rev. Mike Plant, general secretary of the Evangelical Fellowship of Congregational Churches, and David Williams, EFCC committee chairman, were assisted by church leaders in the laying-on of hands on Captain Wright, as they ordained him to Christian ministry and the pastorate of Morley Community Church.
Mike Plant preached from Colossians 1:26-27 on the privileges of a minister to make the mystery of the gospel known to unbelievers.
Pastor Wright originates from South Africa, but lived for two decades on the island of Mauritius. As a pilot, he flew passengers on B747 and Airbus long-haul aircraft for international airlines, and helped to plant two Baptist churches in Mauritius.
Before coming to Morley, he was domiciled in the US for 18 months. The church at Morley was started ten years ago by local Christian couples living in this 28,000-strong town, who were anxious to start a gospel witness in an area that has few evangelical churches.