January 19, 2007
Director of Media Relations
AMHERST, Mass.—The Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, the pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, will lead the annual interfaith service in celebration of the life of civil rights leader the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 9, in Johnson Chapel at Amherst College. The service will include music performed by Amherst College students, readings from King’s writings and an address by Wright, known as a stirring speaker. The public is invited to arrive early to listen to recorded speeches of King at 7:00 p.m. in Johnson Chapel.
Wright holds a Doctor of Ministry degree from United Theological Seminary, M.A. degrees from Howard University and the University of Chicago Divinity School, and seven honorary doctorate degrees. He has lectured at seminaries and universities and has represented Trinity and The United Church of Christ around the world.
Under Wright’s leadership, Trinity United Church of Christ adopted the motto “Unashamedly Black and Unapologetically Christian” and has set out since 1972 to make activism within and on behalf of the African-American community its mission. An outspoken community leader, Wright has been vocal in making once-taboo issues, such as AIDS, priorities in the African-American church. He combines political activism with dedication to the tradition of African-American sermonizing.
Wright has received many awards, including three presidential commendations. An accomplished musician and author, Wright has written three books: What Makes You So Strong? (1993), Africans Who Shaped Our Faith (1995) and What Can Happen When We Pray (2002). He is a co-author of When Black Men Stand Up for God: Reflections on the Million Man March (1996). He was once named one of Ebony’s top 15 preachers. In addition to national and international ministry, Wright serves on several boards of directors and committees. Married to the Rev. Ramah Reed Wright, Wright has five children and three grandchildren.