Hayfork pastor Keith Wright passed away on Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021 at age 72.
He was born in Fletcher, Okla., on Oct. 11, 1948 to the late Eldon and Georgia Wright.
Keith is survived by his wife of 47 years, Patricia Wright; three daughters, Kari Piper, Heather Jones and Alicia Hickman; nine grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren; his three siblings, Larry Wright, Mamie Sue Larson, and Gary Wright; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
Keith’s life started in the small town of Fletcher, Okla. He loved sports at a young age, playing basketball and baseball. His family relocated to Santa Ana, Calif., in 1964, where he graduated from high school in 1966. After a brief stint at junior college, Keith joined the Navy in 1968 where he served four years.
After the Navy, Keith enrolled in Biola Christian College where he graduated with a degree in Communications and Biblical Studies. Years later, he attended Simpson College in Redding, Calif., where he earned his teaching credential. Keith came to Hayfork with his young family in 1979 to serve as the pastor of Hayfork Southern Baptist Church. The church later became the non-denominational Solid Rock Christian Fellowship. In August, he celebrated 42 years of ministry — many have referred to him as the “Pastor of Hayfork.”
Keith loved being a pastor and he had no plans for retirement in the near future. He also loved the people of Hayfork. During his 42 years, he took on other roles — counselor, teacher, coach, sports announcer, information officer, chaplain, school board member, water board member and far too many others to list.
Keith and his wife also have raised their disabled grandson who recently turned 29. Keith’s generous spirit and his heart for people has filled a need in Hayfork throughout the years as he consistently helped to provide food, counseling and financial assistance when people needed it the most.
Keith would be the first to give all the glory and honor to God, because his motivation and his passion was to spread the love of Jesus, to see the lost and those far from God come home, and to build unity in the body of Christ. Keith faithfully sowed seeds into the lives of those around him. His presence, his sense of humor, and his ability to love unconditionally, will be missed but not forgotten.
His family, Solid Rock Church, the community of Hayfork, and those who had the privilege of meeting Keith will be forever grateful to this exceptional man.
A celebration of life will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 16, at the Hayfork High School football field.