NashvilleBusiness.Net 100 Leading African Americans 2018 Recipient: Chef Sterling Wright

Click Here To Listen Nashville Business 100 Leading African Americans Chef Sterling Wright

As a Nashville native, Sterling Wright is the real-deal – our very own home town inspiration and a missionary of hope and possibility to everyone who he meets. But life for Sterling hasn’t always been so easy. Born and raised in the rough area of J.C Napier homes of Nashville, But God was just starting to work his plan for Sterling.

After his recovery, Sterling began turning his life around, working in restaurants and anywhere that he could to both support himself and help those around him learn about his life lessons and God’s love for them. He shared his story to all who would listen in hopes of turning around just one person from the criminal lifestyle he had lead before. For the young boys he ministers to, Sterling share with them his life philosophy: Your Attitude + Your Choices = Your Life. For the young women, he has a different philosophy: the “7 B’s” – Books Before Boys Because Boys Bring Babies.

It’s hard to say what drove his success more … his confiction of spreading God’s loves to others or his passion for cooking. Sterling attended the Johnson Wales University Culinary School where he began perfecting his craft. Over the years as a professional chef, Sterling has served Presidents and CEO’s, music legends and celebrities, and appeared on Hell’s Kitchen where he and Chef Ramsey remain close friends. He’s a regular in the kitchen at the Nashville Mission and a favorite of all who visit there for nourishment, both of the heart and body.

Sterling’s involvement in the community are never-ending. He walks children home from school each week, through predatory neighborhood to the safety of their homes while ministering to them and sharing stories of hope. He produces community event for single mothers, inspiring them to believe in themselves. He supports Papa Joe’s ministries or Elijah Heart’s and weekly can be found delivering free food to those in high risk neighborhoods and the shut-ins. He organized clothing drives to support families in need. Last year, Sterling voluntarily donated his bone marrow to a young woman diagnosed with cancer who he did not know, ultimately saving her life through this selfless act. And most recently, he took a trip to Haiti with the Hands & Feet Ministries team where he taught cooking and ministered to the orphans and citizens of Haiti.

Sterling is a mason with Prince Hall and a member of Southside Community Church in Nashville. He is married to Shancey Wright, and has two children, a son, Sterling Jr., and a daughter, Diamond. He is also the step-father to Shancey’s children, Latasha and Danshea.

Social change agents have a particular and rare set of skills for inspiring the community around them to be and do better. This is Sterling Wright.

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