Wright Culpepper

Georgia Hospital Association President Earl Rogers and GHA Chair Candice Saunders present the Rev. Wright Culpepper, center, with the Georgia Hospital Association’s Hospital Hero of the Year award.

If there is anyone who can be said to walk the walk in Glynn County, it’s the Rev. Wright Culpepper.

There are countless stories about the founder and executive director of FaithWorks Ministries in Brunswick, a faith-based charity organization, and how he’s bettered, literally, thousands of lives. Most of the people Culpepper aids are those society shuns — the homeless, the elderly, the destitute, the drug addicted.

He’s the one who’s always looking for an answer or a way to help. If there isn’t a path in place, Culppeper simply creates one. For example, when he became aware that homeless people could not be discharged from the hospital if they didn’t have an address, he developed a Homeless Transition Program that includes a house for temporary lodging and case management services to help them.

Through FaithWorks, he also created Open Doors, a ministry that provides case management, mentoring and education to help individuals integrate back into the community after incarceration. Culpepper also spearheaded The Well, a daytime resource center where the homeless can do laundry, take showers and seek shelter from the elements.

Under Culpepper’s leadership, FaithWorks also operates a number of other assistance programs, including Sparrow’s Nest, a local food pantry, and the Health Care Ministry, which provides information and services to chronically ill patients, especially those who are elderly or homebound.

Recently, Culpepper, who also serves as director of pastoral care for Southeast Georgia Health System, was recognized for his efforts by receiving the prestigious Georgia Hospital Heroes Award. Honored at the Georgia Hospital Association’s (GHA) annual meeting on Nov. 11, Culpepper was one of just 10 individuals statewide to receive the accolade.

He was recognized for his work in the community through FaithWorks, which partners with the health system as well as churches, businesses and individuals to care for those in need.

During the ceremony, Patrick Ebri, vice president of human resources for Southeast Georgia Health System, praised Culpepper and the work he does.

“Wright is a tireless giver with a heart of gold,” Ebri said. “He has incredible business acumen, which he puts to use every day for the benefit of the community rather than self. Despite all his great personal qualities and successes, he has managed to remain humble and true to his calling.”

Culpepper has spent more than 20 years working diligently to improve the circumstances of residents in Glynn County and Southeast Georgia. For the health system, Culpepper and his team of chaplains provide on-site pastoral support 40 hours a week, plus on-call support 24/7.

In 2014, they provided pastoral services to 2,200 patients and their families as well as team members, physicians and volunteers.

“Rev. Culpepper has launched extraordinary programs in the community that afford countless individuals the ability to be safe, happy and healthy,” said Earl Rogers, Georgia Hospital Association president and CEO. “We thank him for his dedication to improving the health of the people of Southeast Georgia. He is a most-deserving recipient of this award.”

Reporter Lindsey Adkison writes about business and other local topics. Contact her at ladkison@thebrunswicknews.com on Facebook or at 265-8320 ext. 346.

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