Urban Christian Ministries director resigns after weapon possession plea - The Buffalo News

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Urban Christian Ministries director resigns after weapon possession plea

Facing a sentence for his felony weapon conviction, Alexander Wright has resigned as executive director of Urban Christian Ministries, the organization announced.

The announcement comes two weeks after Wright’s guilty plea to third-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

Buffalo police on July 7 arrested Wright, 34, after employees at a bar told police he pointed a loaded rifle from his SUV as he drove past. Police arrested him only hours after he received a civic group’s humanitarian award.

Urban Christian Ministries board members said they did not know of his arrest until after his Sept. 30 plea was reported by The Buffalo News.

“Reading about it was horrifying,” said Francis R. Law, a board member and chief financial officer.

“We were not aware of this event. No one in the organization at any level was aware of this event,” Law told The News.

A search for an executive director will begin shortly. In the meantime, board members will guide the organization on a day-to-day basis.

“We believe that it is in the best interests of the people and organizations that we serve, and the work of Urban Christian Ministries, that we accept Mr. Wright’s resignation at this time,” said the Rev. Patrick Tharp, the board chairman. “We are thankful for Alexander Wright’s significant contributions to UCM’s ministry during his time with us and pray for his continued well-being in the future.”

Wright declined to comment. He previously told The News he expects a sentence of probation but not prison when sentenced Dec. 12 by Erie County Judge Thomas P. Franczyk.

Law said Wright made positive contributions as executive director since May 2012.

“Alex has done significant things to improve the quality of life for the children in the inner city,” Law told The News.

The Rev. Cleveland Howell, another board member, said in a statement that “while we regret the necessary departure of Alex Wright, we want to assure the people with whom we work, our many supporters, and the community as a whole that UCM continues unabated in its mission as we go forward.”

Board members describe Urban Christian Ministries as a nonprofit, tax-exempt, nondenominational Christian home missionary organization founded in 1970, committed to serving youth and their families in the inner city of Buffalo.

email: plakamp@buffnews.com

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