Title: Retired Minister
Company: First Moravian Church
Location: Winston Salem, North Carolina, United States
Graham Henry Rights, Retired Minister at First Moravian Church, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Executives for dedication, achievements, and leadership in ministry.
A respected voice in his community, Dr. Rights has excelled throughout the course of his nearly 60-year career in ministry. Most recently serving as a pastor and bishop to the First Moravian Church in Greensboro, North Carolina since 1995, Dr. Rights had also served the church as president of the executive board part of the Provincial Elders’ Conference from 1983 to 1995. Distinguished in these roles, he gained initial experience as executive director of the board of world mission to Moravian Church in America in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania from 1981 to 1983. Additionally, between 1960 and 1981, Dr. Rights served as a pastor to Managua Moravian Church and Union Church of Managua in Nicaragua, as well as to Mayodan Moravian Church and Messiah Moravian Church in North Carolina.
Dr. Rights received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of North Carolina in 1956 and a Bachelor of Divinity from the Yale Divinity School in 1959. Continuing his postgraduate studies at the Moravian Theological Seminary and at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, he went on to earn a Doctor of Divinity, with honors, from Wofford College in 1989 and a Doctor of Humane Letters, with honors, from Moravian Theological Seminary in 1997. Additionally, Dr. Rights was ordained to the ministry in 1960, consecrated as Presbyter in 1968, and consecrated as a bishop in 1995.
Notably, Dr. Rights was the recipient of the Alumni Award for Service in Ordained Ministry from the Yale Divinity School. Influenced by his religious upbringing, Dr. Rights wished to put his faith into actions in more ways than by attending mass. Upon meeting Bernard Boyd, who taught about the Bible, he chose to visit Nicaragua in an effort to serve God and spread his word. With this sentiment, Dr. Rights believes the most rewarding aspect of his career has been assisting people and living by the phrase, “what you need to do is find someone with needs, help them with it and that will make your life better.” However, in his life of service, he believes his greatest career achievement to date has been marrying his wife, Sybil Critz Strupe.
Outside of his primary roles, Dr. Rights is an elder to the Society of Mayflower Descendants in the State of North Carolina and sits on the board for the Crisis Control Ministry of Forsyth County and Salemtowne Retirement Community. He also serves as president to the Rockingham County Mental Health Association, Western Rockingham Ministerial Association, and Mayodan Rotary Club, in addition to an array of prior committees and representative roles. To attest to his legacy, Dr. Rights can also be found in the fourth edition of Who’s Who in Religion, 49th through 70th editions of Who’s Who in America and the 23rd and 42nd editions of Who’s Who in the South and Southwest.
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