Meet the Pastor




Affectionately known as 'Dr. Sam', Rev. Sam Wright, Ph.D. has served the United Methodist churches of Florida since 1994.  He was appointed to First Church in July 2016.

In addition to serving as pastor, Dr. Sam has a passion for both teaching and writing. He has taught in universities and seminaries in Indiana, Kentucky, Florida, and Brazil - mostly in the field of Biblical Studies. He has written Sunday School curriculum and articles for theological journals.

In 2013, he and his wife, Yvonne, suffered the tragic loss of their son. Their personal journey through the grieving process is the basis for his book Heartbreak to Hope: Overcoming the Anguish of Grief. This 2016 publication has helped many people find their way through the grieving process . It is available for purchase at the church office or on  

Dr. Sam and Yvonne have a beautiful daughter who lives and works in Sarasota. She has a cat named Max that is quite affectionate, especially to those who dislike cats.

When Dr. Sam is not tending to the needs of our congregation, you can find him busily typing at his desk, sailing, or simply relaxing in the great outodoors.

He is currently working on the second volume of a series entitled Smart Aleck's Guide to the Bible, a humorous look at the stories of the Bible.  The first volume is due out soon.


Feel free to say hello after a service!