Rev. Dr. Sam Wright

Affectionately known as “Dr. Sam,” Rev. Sam Wright, born in Indiana, is the oldest of four children. He earned a Ph.D. in biblical studies. He has served Methodist churches of Florida since 1994 and was appointed Senior Pastor of First United Methodist Church of Sarasota on July 1, 2016.

In addition to being a pastor, Dr. Sam has a passion for both teaching and writing. He has taught at universities and seminaries in Indiana, Kentucky, Florida, and Brazil. He has also written Sunday School curriculum and articles for theological journals.

He and his wife Yvonne suffered the tragic loss of their son in 2013. Their personal journey through the grieving process is the basis for his book Heartbreak to Hope: Overcoming the Anguish of Grief. This 2016 publication has helped many people find their way through their grieving. The book is available in the church office and on

Dr. Sam’s first volume of a series entitled Smart Aleck’s Guide to the Bible is a humorous look at the stories of the Bible and also an introduction to the Bible for non-Christians. This book is also available in the church office and on

Dr. Sam and Yvonne’s daughter Rebekah Joy lives and works in Sarasota. She tells all that her cat Max is quite affectionate, especially to those who dislike cats. She has a sense of humor similar to her father’s.

Dr. Sam’s favorite part of his job is “the people.” When he is not tending to the needs of his congregation, he enjoys sailing, writing, reading, and photography.