Hinesville First United Methodist Church is on the move. The church is growing and new ministries have been implemented.
“Last year, we got a new youth minister, Patrick Heath, and we are doing some new things in the children’s ministry,” Pastor Rich Wright said.
Wright has served as the pastor of Hinesville First United Methodist Church for two years and has been in the ministry for 14 years.
“I spent 15 years in the military assigned to infantry and special forces,” he said. Wright also worked in logistics and was an entrepreneur.
The church’s slogan for 2011 is “A Foretaste of Heaven in 2011.”
“Our mission is to make and nurture disciples of Jesus Christ through the transformational pillars of loving, sharing, teaching, preaching and practicing. At Hinesville First United Methodist, the people are Christ-centered, military-friendly and a caring congregation,” Wright said. “This year, we have taken in 10 new members, and four were by profession of faith.”
“We have three services on Sundays. At 8:30 a.m., we have a praise service; 11 a.m. is a traditional service; and 6 p.m. is a teaching service. At each service, we have a mixture of people. The evening service allows me to do more teaching than preaching. At the 6 p.m. service, I can devote 30-40 minutes to a subject and laying out the scriptures,” he said.
“The church also has a 30-minute radio broadcast on Sunday mornings at 10:30 a.m. on 104.7 (The Hawk). It is a rock ’n’ roll station. The broadcast is called ‘Living the Rich Life.’ Right now, our broadcasts focus on looking at God’s promises.
“After Father’s Day, we will focus on the seven churches of revelation and then end-time prophecy. We also have two Bible studies on Tuesdays at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. They are video-based and the focus is on end-time prophecy,” Wright said.
Wright said he is a practical preacher.
“I take theology and the Bible and apply them to our lives today. God enables us to change because of someone loving us, sharing their faith — someone teaching us scripture and theology and helping us practice those things we have been taught. That is part of the transformational pillars. We all are a work in progress,” Wright said.
“At the end of the service, I challenge members to go out and share the good news of Jesus Christ beyond the walls of the church. A lot of people are in pain (emotional, marital, health, death and pain associated with deployment). It gives us a sense of urgency in sharing the word; we give people hope.”
“This year’s vacation Bible school theme is ‘PandaMania.’ It is scheduled for July 11-15 from 9 a.m.-noon, and all of our campuses will be used. On Sunday, July 17, we will have ‘PandaMania’ on Sunday, and the sanctuary will be decorated,” he said.
Hinesville First United Methodist also is active in mission.
“We supported the Haiti relief effort and also support the Manna House; Wesley Community Center; missionaries around the world; and local, national and international missions.
Wright serves with the United Ministerial Alliance of Liberty County and on several boards within his denomination. He has a Master of Divinity from Emory University and a Doctorate of Ministry from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary in evangelism and ministry.
He and his wife, Ruth, live in Hinesville. They have one daughter, and his wife works with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Columbus.