Linda Wright

Hamilton County

Rev. Rev. Linda Bird Wright passed away Thursday, April 5, 2012, after a nearly five-year struggle with lung cancer. The people of the Holston Conference suffered a great loss.Well-known for her optimism and her immense enthusiasm for ministry, she quickly made friends and disciples for Christ within all the congregations she served: St. Keverne, Lowertown, Helston, Debigna, and St. Johns Methodist Churches in Cornwall, England; Soddy-Daisy, Wesley, Unicoi First, Englewood, Mars Hill, Grace and First-Centenary United Methodist Churches within the Holston Conference.Rev. Wright loved art and music, and incorporated both in her pastoral work. Several of her churches have maintained their hand-bell choir ministries, which she organized within her various pastorates. She was an inveterate reader and student of theology, relishing the challenge of preaching and serving parishioners, particularly those in rural settings.Linda was a graduate of Covenant College, and operated her own certified public accounting firm in Chattanooga prior to attending seminary. She received her Master of Divinity degree from Emory Universitys Candler School of Theology and was ordained in 1997. She was a longtime member of the conferences Board of Pensions and for many years she ably served as Secretary of the Annual Conference.She was preceded in death by her beloved husband and partner in ministry, Walter Lee Wright III; his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Walter Lee Wright Jr; and her mother, Joyce Kelly Bird. She is survived by four cherished children who faithfully cared for her throughout her infirmity: Walter Lee (Margaret) Wright III, of Augusta, Ga., Meredith Wright (David) MaGuirk, of Thompsons Station, Stephanie Wright (David) Stanfield, of Medfield, Mass., and Emily Wright (Eric) Crawford, of Kalamazoo, Mich. Close to her heart were her exceptional grandchildren, Alexander Jefferson Wright; James and William Connor MaGuirk; Andrew and Claire Stanfield; Hannah and Seth Crawford.Also surviving are her father, John H. Bird, of Americus, Ga.; sister Ellen Bird, of Calera, Ala.; brother, Michael Bird (Sue Ann), of Americus, GA; niece Kelly Bird, of Athens, Ga.; nephew, Chris Bird, of Americus, Ga.; sister-in-law Mary Ann Wright (Frank) Harding, of Newport, Maine; niece Laura Harding (Richard) Brewer, of Newtonville, Mass.; nephew Frank "Turk" Harding, of Newport, Maine; and niece, Elizabeth Harding (Arthur) Levesque, of Waterville, Maine.Linda traveled extensively throughout her lifetime, and over the last two years she came to love and esteem the people of South Sudan. It was there in 2010 that she established a large private dwelling for lay workers and mission teams who labor to improve the living conditions and strengthen the faith of the local South Sudanese. She named this missionary home "Captains House," in memory of her late husband, as he was called "Captain" by his grandchildren.A Service of Worship and Celebration of Life for Rev. Wright will be held at 2 p.m. on Thursday, April 12, 2012 at First Centenary UMC; Chattanooga, with James Swanson, Presiding Bishop of the Holston Conference; Mary Virginia Taylor, Presiding Bishop of the South Carolina Conference; and Dr. Dwight Kilbourne officiating. A celebratory reception will immediately follow the service in the Cloister of First Centenary UMC.Memorial gifts may be directed to the Holston Conference Foundation, Attn: South Sudan Orphanage Fund, P.O. Box 900, South Rankin Road, Alcoa, TN 37701-0900.Please share your thoughts and Memories at Arrangements are by Chattanooga Funeral Home Crematory and Florist, North Chapel, 5401 Highway 153, Hixson, TN, 37343.

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