CLIFTON FORGE — Central United Methodist Church in Clifton Forge and the Virginia Annual Conference has announced the retirement of the Rev.

James Lynn Wright after 13 years of full-time ministry.  

His last worship service as pastor of the church  will be Sunday at 11 a.m.

Lynn’s ministry began as youth group leader and then lay speaker at Fletcher Chapel. For a number of years, he served as a fill-in speaker at Wet Ground Church and several other churches in the area.

He was appointed by the conference as the Methodist Sunday speaker at Rich Patch Union Church, where he served for 17 years.

In 2007 Lynn retired as manager at Grand Home Furnishings in Lexington, before starting in full-time ministry. This step included licensing training in addition to multi-year classes at Duke University’s Divinity School.

Also, in 2007, Lynn began serving as pastor of the Hot Springs Charge including Ashwood and Emory United Methodist churches where he remained for seven years.

Throughout his career in ministry, Lynn has been passionate about “Walk to Emmaus” and “Chrysalis” involving numerous adults and youth. He served several years as the Spiritual Director for SW Virginia Chrysalis. 

Central United Methodist Church welcomed Lynn in 2014 as their pastor. He has been active in children and youth ministries, the adult choir, sanctuary bell choir, Bible studies involving multi-media, and more recently Zoom meetings and service recordings.

Each Sunday he included a children’s message as a favorite part of the service often including suckers or another treat.

Upon retirement the Rev. Wright and his wife, Michele, will remain as residents of the Alleghany Highlands. He expects to continue as one of the chaplins at LewisGale Hospital-Alleghany, be available for wedding and funeral services, and as a member of the Eastern Alleghany Christian Ministerial Association. Spending more time with his two granddaughters and fishing are also on his goals.

To attend this Sunday’s service in person, a registration is required for compliance with safe gathering regulations. https://www.evc.vaumc.org/home/

The service will also be posted to the church’s Facebook page, CF Central United Methodist Church. 

For more information, call 863-4156 or email centralumc414@gmail.com.