Surprise Preacher in Corinna

A story by Sarah Mount Elewononi from 1942

Florence Edmands and her daughter Frances Edmands Wright holding baby Elaine 1942

In Febrary of 1942 Mrs. Frances Wright gave birth to a daughter. Her husband, the Rev. Hanford Wright was serving the Corinna Methodist Church. The Wrights were "from away." Hanford was born and raised in Wisconsin, and Frances was from Sommerville, Massachusetts. So perhaps it was the difference in culture that caused the miscommunication when Rev. Wright took sick one week.

When Frances teleponed to report that Rev. Wright would not be in the pulpit Sunday, the lay leader replied, "Well, you will preach for us, right?" Francis chuckled at the good joke and thought nothing more about it after hanging up. On Saturday evening Frances washed a load of diapers and was hanging them on the line when the neighbor called over, "I hear you will be preaching tomorrow." Frances started to panic, and then devised a plan.

When Sunday worship began she was there, and at the time for the sermon she took the pulpit and delivered a fine sermon. She had used her wits and her skill in taking dictation to capture Rev. Hary Emerson Fosdick's sermon from a radio broadcast.

Rev. Hanford Wright and Elaine 1942

Corinna Methodist Church, 1942

Methodist parsonage Corinna 1942

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