In memoriam: Missionary emeritus Joyce Elaine Hickman Wright, 1926-2023

Portrait of Joyce Elaine Hickman Wright, 1926-2023. IMB Photo

Joyce Elaine Hickman Wright, an International Mission Board missionary emeritus who shared the gospel in East Asia, died March 13, 2023. She was 96.

Joyce was born Aug. 19, 1926, in Navasota, Texas, to the late Thomas Bailey and Henrietta Wright. She graduated from Pasadena High School in Pasadena, Texas, and received the Bachelor of Arts from East Texas Baptist College in Marshall, Texas, and Master of Religious Education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.

She married Morris J. Wright on July 17, 1948.

In 1950, the Foreign Mission Board (now International Mission Board) appointed Joyce and Morris missionaries to East Asia.

They retired from IMB service in 1985 after 35 years of service. Morris 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.

On her condolence page, Gerald Burch, former IMB missionary, wrote: “During our time in Tokyo (many years ago), Joyce and Morris welcomed us, encouraged us and helped us with our orientation to Japan. Joyce was a lovely lady. Our memories are of a missionary colleague with a heart for ministry and a love for Jesus.”

She is preceded in death by her husband of 70 years, Morris J. Wright.

Joyce is survived by three children: Sara (Billy), Robert (Sandy) Wright and John (Rhonda) Wright; grandchildren; and great grandchildren.

A funeral service was Aug. 18, at Calvary Baptist Church in Jackson, Tennessee.

Read an obituary here.