Winchester—On Sunday Aug. 6, Dennis Wainright retired from 40 years of faithful service at Central Baptist Church in Winchester. Over his years of service, he has influenced not only his church, but also his community, through a myriad of vocations.
Wainright’s service, effort, and faithfulness has been a blessing and a “God send,” said Travis Drake, lead pastor at Central Baptist Church.
Wainright started his career at Central Baptist Church in Winchester in 1977. His passion for ministry was such that he started serving churches as soon as he graduated from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
“I came as a youth minister,” said Wainright, “I had been there a year and the full-time recreation leader left, so I became youth and recreation director.”
While he continued in that role for 12 years, he also served as family life director. “After that, I switched to just recreation,” continued Wainright, “and the last few years, I’ve been overseeing the operations of the church, staff and buildings.”
Through his years as recreation director, Wainright organized golf tournaments as a way to fellowship with his congregation.
“We have six golf scrambles a year,” said Michael Houchens, music minster at Central Baptist. “By playing in all these events—not just organizing them, but playing with them—he had the opportunity to get to know some of these guys,” explained Houchens.
Houchens attributes Wainright’s opportunities to being involved in the congregation’s weddings and funerals to the sports ministry. “He got to be with them and to see what’s going on with their lives,” said Houchens. “He would always take people out to lunch.”
Wainright was never one to be on stage preaching, although he had a great voice. He never sought the limelight, said Houchens. “I was lucky enough to be here with him for 16 years,” Houchens added.
Another area that he served in through his 40 years at Central Baptist was youth ministry. “In that time (12 years), he was able to minister to kids and point them toward Christ and baptize them,” said Houchens. “Just recently he performed a wedding for one of the kids in his youth group.”
According to Wainright, the neatest experience he has is seeing his students grow up in Christ. “I received a text from a guy who was junior when I started. He said he was sorry that he couldn’t be there, but he was in Guatemala doing what we taught him to do,” said Wainright.
“Also, a guy who was a senior when we started is now the chairman of deacons,” he added. “It doesn’t get much better than that.”
The longevity of Wainright’s ministry has been an example of faithfulness to the congregation at large, said Drake. “He’s been a great example of being true to your faith in the ways he has served here in the church,” he said. “His faithfulness has been a rock of encouragement through the years.” (WR)