Madam Speaker it is with great pleasure that I introduce Bishop Earl J. Wright, Sr., as the Guest Chaplain for the day. Bishop Wright is a member of the general board, the governing body of the Church of God in Christ, which he helped to create. He also serves as the jurisdictional bishop of the Second Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of Southwest Michigan--Church of God in Christ, a district comprised of 19 churches. In addition, he is the pastor of Greater Miller Memorial Church of God in Christ located in Warren, MI, and also the pastor of Davis Memorial Church of God in Christ located in Grand Rapids. Bishop Wright also is a founding and supporting pastor of Miller Memorial Church of God in Christ #2 in Haiti.
Other accolades for Bishop Wright include being appointed the prayer leader for the Detroit National Day of Prayer in 1992. He was acknowledged for his ministries, church and community leadership roles in the international publication Upscale Magazine as 1 of 50 Most Influential Leaders in the United States in the same year. In 1996, the Christian Women Concerned Organization of Detroit selected Bishop Wright as the ``COGIC Pastor of the Year.''
Bishop Wright is married to the lovely and gracious Dr. (Evangelist) Robin L. Wright, supervisor of Japan Jurisdiction--C.O.G.I.C. In addition to being an evangelist, she is also a writer, and a great administrative help to the local churches in Detroit and Southwest Michigan. Together they have five children: Earl, Jr., wife--Elaine; Michael, wife--Robin; Marvalyn; Ben; and Jonathan. He truly acknowledges his family as his first ministry.
The Church of God in Christ is a Church of the Lord Jesus Christ in which the word of God is preached, ordinances are administered and the doctrine of sanctification or holiness is emphasized, as being essential to the salvation of mankind. Elder Charles Harrison Mason is the founder and organizer of the Church of God in Christ, and under Bishop Mason's spiritual and apostolic direction, the Church of God in Christ, the church has grown from 10 congregations in 1907, to the largest Pentecostal group in America.
This year the Church of God in Christ celebrated its 100th Annual Holy Convocation; its theme was Celebrating a Glorious Past: Embracing a Promising Future, and it was attended by over 70,000 delegates. In remarking about the convocation, COGIC's Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr., said, ``In the last century the Church of God in Christ rose from a motley group of sanctified proselytes to a highly respected denomination with more than 6 million members in 64 countries. The Lord has used the Church of God in Christ to accomplish great things in worship, proclamation, urban renewal, and gospel music.'' The Church is also very active in promoting a social justice agenda that reverses the circumstances of black men, families, and urban communities as well as providing comprehensive programs for youth and young adults.
Bishop Wright has shown himself as a true disciple of Christ, relying heavily on his favorite scripture, Romans 4:21, ``And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.'' He exemplifies service to his fellow man, allowing his words to always bring grace to the hearer. He constantly speaks words of hope, spreading the good news to all. He practices evangelism that reflects Christ-like compassion to reach the world with the Gospel. Bishop Earl E. Wright, Sr., is a wonderful man of God and I am happy to know him and to welcome him to the floor of the House of Representatives today as Guest Chaplain.
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