Rev. Dr. Reno D. Wright is a native of Detroit, MI and moved to Milwaukee, WI in 2012 where he eventually began assisting Grace UCC as part of pulpit supply. He was called to serve as the Acting Pastor of Grace UCC in 2013. In November of 2014, Dr. Wright was unanimously elected as the second Senior Pastor of the first predominately African American UCC congregation in the state of Wisconsin.
Prior to being called to Grace UCC, Dr. Wright served as a Minister-in-Training from 2007 until 2009 at First Congregational Church in Detroit, MI. He was then licensed as an Associate and Managing Minister where he served until 2012. He graduated with a Master of Divinity from Ecumenical Theological Seminary (ETS) in Detroit, MI in 2011 and was ordained later the same year. In 2011, Dr. Wright graduated from the Congregational Foundation for Theological Studies Program where he was a fellow for three years. His research explored the theological shift in America that gave rise to the Social Gospel Movement embraced most famously by Rev. Washington Gladden.
Dr. Wright earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Communication with specializations in organizational and interpersonal communication from Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI. He also earned a Doctor of Ministry degree in 2015 from Ecumenical Theological Seminary in Detroit, MI. His dissertation project examined the impact of Christian education toward a more inclusive theology and ministry praxis.
Dr. Wright has a passion to share the liberating gospel message of Jesus Christ through sound biblical preaching and teaching to empower God’s people. His professional career includes several years in the workforce development and human services industries. He is also a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.
The United Church of Christ (UCC) is a distinct and diverse community of Christians that come together as one church to join faith and action. With more than 5,100 churches and 1.1 million members across the U.S., the UCC serves God in the co-creation of a just and sustainable world. The UCC is a church of firsts, a church of extravagant welcome, and a church where "…they may all be one" (John 17:21).
The Church of Firsts
Since 1957, the United Church of Christ has been the church of firsts, weaving God’s message of hope and extravagant welcome with action for justice and peace. Together, we live out our faith in ways that effect change in our communities. The UCC's many "firsts" mean that we have inherited a tradition of acting upon the demands of our faith. When we read in Galatians: "There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus"—a demand is made upon us. And so we were the first historically white denomination to ordain an African-American, the first to ordain a woman, the first to ordain an openly gay man, and the first Christian church to affirm the right of same-gender couples to marry. We were in the forefront of the anti-slavery movement and the Civil Rights movement. Our response to the demands of our faith is woven into the history of our country.
A Church of Extravagant Welcome
Today, we continue to change lives throughout the world. We work alongside more than 200 mission partners. We labor ceaselessly to fight injustice, in the United States and abroad. We instill our vision into our youth and young adults, forging leaders who will imagine new dreams. And we sustain and develop church leaders, pastors, and our local churches to live their faith in exciting new ways. We believe in a God that is still speaking, a God that is all-loving and inclusive. We are a church that welcomes and accepts everyone as they are, where your mind is nourished as much as your soul.
We are a church where Jesus the healer meets Jesus the revolutionary, and where together, we grow a just and peaceful world.