Getting to Know You: Joel Bright

a column dedicated to the folks in the pews

Written by Dale Buchanan

Our pew person this week is Joel Bright. He is one of those behind the scenes members of our church family who quietly goes about the business of getting stuff done. Joel is of recent vintage at the Big Red Church, but that has not prevented him from being involved in all sorts of projects and also participating in the lay functions on Sunday morning worship. On Father’s Day, he, along with several other pew folks, will be preparing a meal for the church family after worship in the Fellowship Hall. I tried to do my reporter thing and get him to give me a scoop on the menu. Joe’s surname is not Bright for nothing, he did a bunch of doublespeak, and I have no advanced news of the Father’s Day luncheon menu.

I asked Joel for a short biography. It went something like this, “I have been married to Tracy for 21 years. She is the love of my life and the mother of my two children: Georgia, eighteen, is on her way to Santa Clara University this fall, and my son Spencer is thirteen and enrolled at University High School this next semester. I have worked for Albright Electrical for 20 years. I was born in Madison, Wisconsin, and lived there until I graduated from Memorial High School in the class of 1984.”

I requested a short biography and this is what I got! I did not push for more and obviously there is a lot more. My thought was to encourage you, if you have not done so, to shake this family member’s hand and ask, “Joel, where were you during the time between Madison and Fresno?”

I met Joel soon after he and Tracy arrived at Big Red. Not because I was particularly outgoing or friendly—they were! Mayo Goliti introduced us and we were off to the races. Smiles, hugs, bright and cheerful conversation, quick witted humor, along with clever and intelligent retorts drew me to them immediately. Take a chance and get to know Joel and Tracy. You won’t regret it.

I am running out of space but I am not out of notes. It occurs to me that the best way to get a handle on Joel and his behind the scenes mission is to understand that, like his surname, he makes everything he touches “bright.” Currently this bright, lively gentleman is working on illuminating The Big Red Church by upgrading all of the overhead lights in the sanctuary. And Joel Bright said, “Let there be light.”

Dale Buchanan is a member of FCCF with a passion for stories and writing. In between penning his own memoirs, he is helping us get to know our members, one pew at a time.


  1. Faye Saxton says

    I really enjoy reading these articles. Dale has a knack for writing about people and I’m so glad we started this in the Grape Leaf!!

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