In memoriam: Missionary emeritus John Byfield Wright, 89

John Wright, 1931-2020

John Byfield Wright, an International Mission Board missionary emeritus who shared the gospel among the East Asian Affinity Peoples in Korea, died Oct. 11, 2020. He was 89.

Wright was born in April 4, 1931, in Springfield, Missouri, to the late Clarence A. and Ruby Gladys Wright. He attended Southwest Baptist College, Bolivar, Missouri, and Southwest Missouri State University, Springfield. He married Jean Carolyn Murdaugh in 1951.

He served as pastor of several churches before becoming pastor of First Baptist Church of Little Rock, Arkansas, on March 18, 1975. He retired as pastor emeritus in 1991.

Wright wrote when seeking missionary employment, that his sense of call to missions had evolved over the years. In 1980, he wrote, he and Jeanne went around the world on a preaching tour which took them to India and Korea. “While walking down a country lane, greeting the friendly Indians … along the way, I remarked to my wife, ‘I could remain here for the rest of my life.’”

The Lord used later trips to Indonesia to further nurture their feeling of call, he wrote.

The International Mission Board employed the Wrights in 1991 as missionaries to Korea, where they served four years.

Wright was a preacher for 69 years. In later years, he enjoyed preaching for his friends at Chenal Pines Retirement Resort, Little Rock, and then sharing God’s Word with new friends at Hospice Home Care’s Comfort Care Center, Little Rock.

On Oct. 1, a few days before his death, Wright delivered his last sermon, a Facebook Live sermon to a world-wide audience from the Comfort Care Center in Little Rock.

He was preceded in death by his wife of nearly 66 years, Jeanne, who died in 2017. He is survived by his sister, Flossie Parke (Nelson), his sister-in-law Carolyn Wright, his brother-in-law Clyde King and his children, Jonya Davis (Stephen), Phillip Wright (Denise) and Patty Rice (Kyle), his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held later.

Read an obituary here.