REV. DR. TAR-U-WAY R.A. BRIGHT - A man after God’s own heart, and an ordained Elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Dr. Bright exudes a vibrant and thoughtful presence as he diligently works as the newly appointed Senior Pastor of Turner Chapel AME Church of Marietta, Georgia.
Rev. Bright, a proud native of Liberia, West Africa, is the son of The Reverend Canon J. Jellico Bright (a retired Episcopal Priest) and Mrs. Eliatha K. Bright. Dr. Bright is married to the beautiful Mrs. Retta Williams Bright, and they are blessed with two children, Tar-U-Way Richard Allen Bright, Jr. and TaRetta Melody Bright.
Dr. Bright formally served as the Executive Pastor, under the tutelage of the late, Rev. Dr. Kenneth E. Marcus, Senior Pastor of Turner Chapel AME Church, Marietta, Georgia, from 2003–2018. After the passing of Dr. Kenneth Marcus, Dr. Bright was appointed to serve as the Interim Pastor from January 2018-June of 2018. On June 1, 2018, Dr. Bright received his official appointment from Bishop Reginald T. Jackson, the Presiding Prelate of the Sixth Episcopal District of the AME Church, as Senior Pastor of Turner Chapel AME Church, Marietta, GA.
Dr. Bright previously served as Assistant Pastor under Rev. David R. Daniels (now Presiding Prelate of the 14th Episcopal District of the AME Church), from 1994-1996. He later served as Senior Pastor of Eliza Turner Memorial AME Church on Camp Johnson Road, from 1996-1998. In 2002, he served as Academic Dean of the Liberia Baptist Theological Seminary and as an Instructor of Theology at the AME University in Liberia.
Anointed by God, Dr. Bright preached messages of hope and healing during the outbreak of the civil war in Monrovia in April of 1996. His words were prophetic and greatly needed during those times of great hopelessness and frustration. He became known as an outspoken pastor, preaching about social issues, in spite of threats to his very life. As a result of his integrity and faith, Dr. Bright was awarded the “Clergy Man of the Year” Award by the Newspaper in 1997.
Dr. Bright is a graduate of the College of West Africa (High School Division), where he received his high school diploma. He attended the Liberia Baptist Theological Seminary, where he received his Bachelor of Theology Degree with honors in 1997. He received his Master of Divinity Degree in Theology and Homiletics in 2001 and his Doctor of Ministry Degree in 2008, both from the Turner Theological Seminary at the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC) in Atlanta, Georgia.
Pastor Bright continues to allow the Lord to use him to preach anointed messages of hope, healing and restoration to God’s people. He is a passionate worshipper and his favorite verse is found in Psalm 27:4, “One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek, that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.” Pastor Bright is an avid runner and he enjoys reading, playing golf, dancing and playing hymns on the keyboard.