Meet the Pastor


Rev. Sam Wright, Ph.D.

It is my honor and privilege to serve as senior pastor of First Church, Sarasota.  Prior to being appointed to this congregation in 2016, I served United Methodist Churches in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Fort Myers, and Tallahassee.  One of my other passions is teaching.  In addition to teaching classes in churches, I have taught in universities and seminaries in Indiana, Kentucky, Florida and Brazil, mostly in the field of Biblical Studies.

I also enjoy writing, having written Sunday School curriculum and articles for theological journals.  Recently I published Heartbreak to Hope: Overcoming the Anguish of Grief to help people who are struggling with loss.  It’s based on the personal journey my wife Yvonne and I have endured since our son died in 2013.  We are blessed to have a daughter who teaches in the public schools in Sunrise, Florida.

One of my clergy friends described me as “having the mind of a scholar and the heart of a pastor, with a great sense of humor mixed in.”  I hope that is true.

My prayer is that I will continue to serve the church with the gifts God has given me and that together we will accomplish great things for God making a positive difference in our community and our world.