In memoriam: Emeritus missionary Morris Wright, 96

Morris Wright

Morris Wright

Morris Wright Jr., an emeritus International Mission Board missionary who shared the gospel among East Asian Peoples and through media ministry for more than 30 years, died April 2, 2019. He was 96.

Wright was born April 10, 1922, in Houston, Texas, to Morris and Jewel Peters Wright. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Rice University in 1944 and was ordained to the ministry in August 1947. He married Joyce Hickman Wright on July 17, 1948. He earned a master’s degree and a doctorate from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth in 1955 and 1961, respectively.

The Wrights were appointed as Southern Baptist missionaries to Japan in 1950. They retired from IMB service in 1985. He was a field evangelist in Urawa, Japan, from 1952-59. In 1959, the Wrights moved to Tokyo, where he worked with the national convention, as a pastor and as business manager of the Japan mission. In 1977, they transferred to Jamaica to work as the Caribbean Baptist curriculum administrator. In 1980, they transferred to the Baptist Spanish Publishing House in El Paso, Texas.

Japan hospital

Dr. J. P. Satterwhite operates at Kyoto Baptist Hospital, with Dr. Fontnote assisting. (IMB Photo by Morris Wright)

On a mortuary memoriam page, among other meaningful memories of Wright’s mission work, Takashi Hiroshima wrote: “Morris Sensei served the Lord here in Urawa Christ Church with his wife Mrs. Joyce. He trained the church members as he was an expert of disciple training. The mission spirit of Morris Sensei has been passed down to Urawa Church successfully.

“We know how hard Morris Sensei tried to purchase the land which our church is standing on now. He was so determined to own the land, but the landowner didn’t agree. Day after day he prayed and walked around the land. God heard his prayer, and the landowner finally gave in and agreed to sell it. We have been passing this story to the next generation as we see how the Lord worked through Morris Sensei. The history of Urawa Church cannot be told without the work of God through Morris Sensei.”

Japan labor

A Japanese labourer carries firewood on his makeshift backpack. (IMB Photo by Morris Wright)

Among his duties as an IMB missionary, Wright shot many photos in the IMB’s photo archives from the 1950s.

He is survived by his wife of 70 years, Joyce H. Wright; three children: Sara Butler and her husband Billy, Robert Wright and his wife Sandy, and John Wright and his wife Rhonda; grandchildren, Marc and Katie Krickbaum, Jesse and Valerie Wright, Debra and Nate Anding, Jon Marc and Hiromi Wright, Matt and Amberly Krickbaum and Mykah Wright; and 10 great-grandchildren.

Japan festival

Japanese celebrate a festival (omatsuri) in Tokyo. (IMB Photo by Morris Wright)

A memorial service was conducted April 6 at El Shaddai World Outreach Center in Fort Worth, Texas.


Read an obituary and memories here.

Japan relief

Clothing relief distribution in Japan, with coordination by Foreign Mission Board missionary Rex Ray. (IMB Photo by Morris Wright)