William Lineberry Wright
Pastor FBC Hillsborough, 1880 - 1885
On May 1, 1879 the church extended a call “to Bro. Wright of Wake Forest to take charge of this church as its pastor and the clerk to correspond with Bro. Wright on this subject.” Although Wright moderated a church conference on August 24, 1879, it was not until February 1880 that a “call for the pastoral services of Rev. W L Wright was adopted and the church clerk ordered to write him immediately and place the letter in the hands of Bro. C. Durham to be forwarded by him in connection with a similar letter call from the Graham Church.” It was also noted that Wright “entered upon his labors as pastor of the church the 4th Sabbath in May 1880.” He presented a letter from Wake Forest Church and was received into membership on June 27, 1880. A committee was established on November 23, 1882 “to raise funds to build a parsonage” and on February 19, 1885 the minutes indicate that lumber was resold and the funds were given to Wright for work done on the parsonage. In addition to the parsonage, the windows were repaired, hymnals were purchased and work on the (outdoors) Baptistery was completed. Wright offered his resignation as pastor on September 24, 1885 to “take effect after services on the 2nd Sunday in October. After remarks by the brethren expressing regrets to part with him, his resignation was accepted.”1
William Lineberry Wright was born Aug. 31, 1849. He graduated from Wake Forest College with a BA degree in 1879.2 He also attended Louisville Theological Seminary. He married Fredonia (Freddie) Pleasant who was born on July 11, 1856 in Roxboro, Person County, NC.3 The date of their marriage could not be found on the Internet. While pastor of the Hillsboro church, Wright was also pastor of Rose of Sharon in Durham and a home missionary to a newly organized church in Swepsonville. According to Proceedings of the NC Baptist State Convention, Wright was pastor of the Reidsville Baptist Church from 1885 to 1890. While there, he was instrumental in guiding Dr. Leonard G. Broughton, a physician, into the ministry. Broughton became a famous international preacher, spending two years in London prior to the First World War. 4
In 1890, Wright returned to the area to serve as pastor at Cane Creek, Mars Hill and Mt. Hermon Baptist Churches.5 In 1895, he was listed as pastor of the Leigh Street Baptist Church in Richmond, VA.6 In 1896, he was invited to conduct a revival at Wake Forest and was noted as “a preacher of much eloquence and power.” 2
Wright was only 41 years old when he died on September 28, 1900. He died in Troy, NC but his funeral was held in Reidsville, NC the next day. He was eulogized as “one of the best men to live in our midst… he endeared himself to all … and was one of the most popular pastors the city has had.”7 His wife, Fredonia, died on Mar. 2, 1938 making her 82 years old at her death.3 They are both buried in the Greenview Cemetery in Reidsville, NC.
- Minutes of First Baptist Church Hillsborough, NC from November 19, 1853 to December 2, 1953.
- Paschal, George W. History of Wake Forest College. Volume 2, 1865 – 1905. Wake Forest College, Wake Forest, NC. 1943. Edward & Broughton Company, Raleigh, NC. Accessed on March 3, 2011 at: http://zsr.wfu.edu/collections/digital/HST_WFU/wf_history_v2.pdf
- Find a Grave Database: Fredonia Pleasant Wright. Accessed on March 27, 2011 at: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=Wright&GSiman=1&GScid=47545&GRid=30265728&
- Balus Joseph Winzer Graham, editor, Baptist Biography, Volume 1, 1917. Atlanta, Index Printing Company, 1917. Accessed March 27, 2011 at: http://books.google.com
- Levi Branson, editor. Branson’s North Carolina Business Directory. Raleigh, NC, Levi Branson, Office Publisher, 1890. Accessed on March 27, 2011 at: http://www.archive.org/stream/bransonsnorthcar1890bran/bransonsnorthcar1890bran_djvu.txt
- Proceedings of the annual meeting of the Baptist State Convention, 1895. Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (Creator). Edwards, Broughton & Co. in Raleigh. Accessed on March 27, 2011 at: http://www.archive.org/stream/proceedingsofann1895bapt#page/n3/mode/2up
- Ashes to Ashes: Dust to Dust, Rev. W. L. Wright’s remains now rest in beautiful Greenview Cemetery. From Reidsville Review, September 28, 1900.
Last Updated: March 28, 2011