George Wright, pastor of Shandon Baptist Church, Columbia, South Carolina, has been unanimously recommended by the pastor search committee as the new senior pastor of Shades Mountain Baptist Church, Vestavia Hills, and will be preaching in view of a call June 27. The announcement was made June 21 by Shades Mountain.
Steve Foster, chairman of the pastor search committee, said the committee started with around 100 names, which were narrowed to seven who met all the criteria and then trimmed down to four. “After prayerful consideration of these four men, it became very clear that God was leading us to one man. … Our committee was unanimous in this decision.”
Wright will be meeting with the church leadership council, deacons and executive team June 23, all staff June 24 and church members June 27. The vote will be taken during an evening service.
In a video message to the Shandon congregation June 21, Wright said, “This is not something that we were looking for, not something we planned on, certainly not something we expected, but as the Lord often does as we seek to follow His leading and live out the calling He has placed on our lives, He has redirected our steps. We are very excited and very confident in this calling that God has laid before us as we make this transition.”
Born in Houston, Texas, Wright grew up in Marietta, Georgia where his father, Bryant Wright, was the longtime pastor of Johnson Ferry Baptist Church before his retirement in 2019. Bryant Wright currently serves as president of Send Relief.
George Wright served a stint as teaching pastor at Johnson Ferry following earning his master of divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, and before planting Cedarcrest Church in Acworth, Georgia. He was pastor at Cedarcrest from 2006 through 2017 and then became pastor at Shandon, where he and his wife Megan had both attended while they were students at the University of South Carolina (and also the church where they were married). The Wrights married at 21 and 20 and now have four children.
While Wright’s final day at Shandon is July 11, he will officially begin his ministry at Shades in mid-September, assuming the congregation votes in favor of Wright on June 27. Wood’s final day at Shades is Aug. 15 and a month-long transition period is scheduled between the two pastors.
Editor’s Note (June 28) — Members of Shades attending the June 27 evening service voted overwhelmingly to affirm the pastor search committee’s recommendation of George Wright and call him as the church’s next pastor. He officially begins his duties as pastor Aug. 16 and then will be in the pulpit on Sunday mornings starting in mid-September.