David Taylor Wright


David Taylor Wright

Carter County, Tennessee, USA
Death 13 Sep 1886 (aged 69)
Chillicothe, Livingston County, Missouri, USA
Burial Chillicothe, Livingston County, Missouri, USA
Memorial ID 119120480 View Source
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From T. P. Haley, "Historical and biographical sketches of the early churches and pioneer preachers of the Christian church in Missouri," pages 504 - 508

This sketch is furnished by his daughter.


Was born in Carter county, East Tennessee, on the 6th day of January, 1817. While he was yet in his infancy, his parents, William and Susannah Wright, migrated to Illinois. There, in 1822, the father died, and the widowed mother with her three children returned to Tennessee, to her father's house, and became one of the family again, as before her marriage. Our brother was raised by his maternal grandparents, David and Rachel Pugh. They were of the strictest sect of Calvinistic Baptists, and brother Wright grew up under the influence of that doctrine. At that time opportunities for gaining an education in East Tennessee were limited indeed. The common schools were very inferior, and schools of a high grade were “few and far between.” His grandparents were abundantly able to liberally educate not only their own children, but their grandchildren also; but they entertained a strange notion or prejudice against “book learning,” and our brother's early education was greatly neglected. When nearly grown to the estate of manhood he undertook his own education, and at his own [505] expense. He entered the Southwestern Theological Seminary, a Presbyterian school at Maysville, Blount county, Tennessee, but from lack of means was unable to take the full course. The additional education he is in possession of, he obtained by hard study while engaged in the duties of an active life, which, after all, is the best of schools.

In the fall of 1835, brother Wright joined the Baptist church at Sinking Creek, in his native county of Carter. He continued with that people till 1841, when, owing to a change of views in his own mind relative to Baptist usages and teachings, he left them and united with the Christian Church, at Turkey Town, Carter county. Soon after this he was ordained to the work of the ministry, Elders John Wright and James I. Tipton officiating. At the district meeting which convened at Boon's Creek, Washington county, Tennessee, in August of that year, he was chosen to evangelize the district for the coming year. That was a successful period, the Lord blessing his labors abundantly. There were many additions to the churches of the district.

On the 26th of January, 1843, he was united in matrimony with Miss Catherine E. McEfee an intelligent Christian young lady of Washington county, Tennessee. After his marriage he ceased to travel as an evangelist, and located as pastor at Concord, in Sullivan county. At the unanimous request of the church at Concord, he located there [506] as pastor, sustaining that relation to them for nearly three years. During the first five years of his ministry which was spent in East Tennessee, and among the people where he was born and raised, his labors were greatly blessed, There were frequent additions to the Lord's army ; several churches were planted, and several pious and intelligent young men were not only brought into the church, but into the ministry. Among these, and who are now living, are elders Daniel McInturf, of Carter's Station, Tenn., Thomas J. Wright, of Tennessee ; Samuel H. Millard of Virginia. Among the dead, we mention two, Madison Love, formerly of Tenn., and Dr. David M. Buck, whose praise was in all the churches where he was known.

In May, 1846, our brother moved to Missouri, located in Mercer county. There he remained till the fall of the next year, preaching at the Goshen church and at his own house. He then moved to Trenton, in Grundy county, and preached for the church six years. In the latter part of 1852, he took up his residence in the county, some ten miles from Trenton, but still continued to preach for the church at Trenton and also at Lindley, at Hall's Schoolhouse, and at his house.

In 1854, he moved to Lindley, Mo. At this place and in 1861, his career as editor and publisher began. He and the late Dr. John R. Howard [507] commenced the publication of the Christian Pioneer.

In January, 1864, he moved his family to Chillicothe, Mo., where he continued the publication of the Pioneer till the 3d of November, 1870. The paper was merged with the Christian published at Kansas City, Mo. The good the Pioneer accomplished will be fully known only in eternity. During the troublous times of the war, brother Wright kept out of the whirlpool, and attended strictly to his own business, and was treated with respect by both parties. When the “Missouri Test Oath” went into effect, he refused to take it, not from any political embarrassment, but from the conviction that the “Oath,” in principle, usurped the authority of Christ himself and made his blessed gospel subordinate to legislative enactment. All this time he continued to write and publish against the “Oath,” and to preach regularly; and, strange to say, that while many other preachers acting as he did, were arrested, he went on in the even tenor of his way without any interruption whatever. From 1864 to 1869, he preached regularly for the church in Chillicothe, when at his urgent and repeated request he was released. The church there during brother Wright's labors, enjoyed great tranquility and prosperity, and it was the only church in the city which kept up its meetings during the dark days of the war. Brother Wright's labors as a preacher in Missouri have [508] been rewarded with good success, and where he is known the best, he is respected and loved the most. It was he who received the confession and immersed into Christ, President B. H. Smith of Christian University. He also conducted the services of his ordination.

After the Pioneer went out of his hands, he gave up his time to the preaching of the word, and with great success. He filled the pulpit of Wheeling, Missouri, for fourteen years, one Sunday in every month. At Pattonsburg, Mo., two years; Jameson, two years ; at Clear Creek one year; at Jackson one year, which was in 1885 ; while there he raised a subscription and built a church, and on third Sunday in October, of the same year, it was dedicated, free of debt, and a congregation was organized of seventy-five members.

He continued to fill his pulpit for six weeks after he was too hoarse to speak aloud. He took a violent cold in October, and it settled on his lungs; but he lingered till the 13th of September following (1886). His end was very peaceful indeed. He passed away without a struggle, and he was perfectly resigned to go. He felt that his work here was done, but he was prepared for the next world. He died serving the Lord.”


We notice the death of Elder D. T. Wright, of Chillicothe, Mo. He had been unable to speak for almost a year. When we first began work on the Advocate twenty-one years ago he was publishing The Christian Pioneer, Chillicothe, Mo. He was a man of most excellent spirit, was of a gentle spirit, but firm in his convictions. Had great reverence for the word of God, and faith in the Lord and his appointments. He was true to the landmarks of the Bible. He believed Christians could not fight, nor shed the blood of one another or of their fellowmen in the wicked strifes brought about by worldly ambition, worldly greed or the vain contentions of earthly powers. He had a difficult time during the war, but maintained his integrity and continued under disadvantages to publish his paper. When peace came a brighter prospect for him and his work seemed to open, but a convention took charge of his paper, turned him off and placed it in the hands of more showy men. But none truer or purer than D. T. Wright have ever been connected with the press of any country. So at least I think, and gladly bear the testimony to his modest worth.

D. L. [David Lipscomb]

Gospel Advocate, October 20, 1886, page 663.

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