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THE US CONGRESS

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Chaplain Jacob Duche leading the first prayer in the First Continental Congress at Carpenter's Hall, Philadelphia - The Granger Collection, New York

The Religious Composition of the 114th Congress

Chaplains, the official clergymen of Congress, open the daily sessions of the House and Senate with prayer
 
When Congress first moved to Washington, there were few churches in the new city, so the House and Senate chaplains alternated conducting Sunday services in the House chamber. Chaplains have also performed marriages and funerals for members of Congress.

Chaplain of the United States House of Representatives

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The election of William Linn as Chaplain of the House on May 1, 1789, continued the tradition established by the Continental Congresses of each day's proceedings opening with a prayer by a chaplain. The early Chaplains alternated duties with their Senate counterparts on a weekly basis. The two conducted Sunday services for the Washington community in the House chamber every other week.

In addition to opening proceedings with prayer, the Chaplain provides pastoral counseling to the House community, coordinates the scheduling of guest chaplains, and arranges memorial services for the House and its staff. In the past, Chaplains have performed marriage and funeral ceremonies for House members.

Date of Appointment Chaplain Denomination
May 1, 1789 William Linn Presbyterian
December 10, 1790 Samuel Blair Presbyterian
November 5, 1792 Ashbel Green Presbyterian
November 27, 1800 Thomas Lyell Methodist
December 10, 1801 William Parkinson Baptist
November 30, 1804 James Laurie Presbyterian
December 4, 1806 Robert Elliott Presbyterian
October 30, 1807 Obadiah Bruen Brown Baptist
May 27, 1809 Jesse Lee Methodist
November 13, 1811 Nicholas Sneathen Methodist
November 6, 1812 Jesse Lee Methodist
September 23, 1814 Obadiah Bruen Brown Baptist
December 7, 1815 Spencer Houghton Cone Baptist
December 5, 1816 Burgiss Allison Baptist
November 16, 1820 John Nicholson Campbell Presbyterian
December 10, 1821 Jared Sparks Unitarian
December 5, 1822 John Brackenridge, D.D. Presbyterian
December 8, 1823 Henry Bidleman Bascom Methodist
December 9, 1824 Reuben Post Presbyterian
December 13, 1830 Ralph Randolph Gurley Presbyterian
December 13, 1831 Reuben Post Presbyterian
December 12, 1832 William Hammett Methodist
December 9, 1833 Thomas H. Stockton Methodist
December 10, 1834 Edward Dunlap Smith Presbyterian
December 24, 1835 Thomas H. Stockton Methodist
December 20, 1836 Oliver C. Comstock Baptist
September 12, 1837 Septimus Tustin Presbyterian
December 11, 1837 Levi R. Reese Methodist
February 4, 1840 Joshua Bates Congregationalist
December 15, 1840 Thomas W. Braxton Baptist
June 9, 1841 John W. French Episcopalian
December 13, 1841 John Newland Maffitt Methodist
December 14, 1842 Frederick T. Tiffany Episcopalian
December 16, 1843 Isaac S. Tinsley Baptist
December 4, 1844 William Mitchel Daily Methodist
December 1, 1845 William Henry Milburn Methodist
December 7, 1846 William T.S. Sprole Presbyterian
December 6, 1847 Ralph Gurley Presbyterian
December 1, 1851 Littleton F. Morgan Methodist
December 6, 1852 James Gallagher Presbyterian
December 5, 1853 William Henry Milburn Methodist
March 4, 1855 None[1] N/a
July 4, 1861 Thomas H. Stockton Methodist
December 7, 1863 William Henry Channing Unitarian
December 4, 1865 Charles B. Boynton Congregationalist
March 4, 1869 John George Butler Presbyterian
December 6, 1875 S.L. Townsend Episcopalian
October 15, 1877 John Poise Methodist
December 3, 1877 W.P. Harrison Methodist
December 5, 1881 Frederick Dunglison Power Disciples of Christ
December 3, 1883 John Summerfield Lindsay Episcopalian
December 7, 1885 William Henry Milburn Methodist
August 7, 1893 Samuel W. Haddaway Methodist
December 4, 1893 Edward B. Bagby Christian
December 2, 1895 Henry N. Couden Universalist
April 11, 1921 James Shera Montgomery Methodist
January 3, 1950 Bernard Braskamp Presbyterian
January 10, 1967 Edward G. Latch Methodist
January 15, 1979 James D. Ford Lutheran
March 23, 2000 Daniel P. Coughlin Roman Catholic

 

Office of the Chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives Website

Chaplain of the United States Senate    

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Chaplain of the United States Senate opens each session (excluding Pro Forma sessions) of the United States Senate with a prayer. The Chaplain is appointed by majority vote of the members of the Senate. All chaplains have been Christian-based, however there is no rule saying that a person of a different religion is barred from this position.

 List of Senate chaplains

Chaplain Denomination Appointed
Samuel Provoost Episcopalian April 25, 1789
William White Episcopalian December 9, 1790
Thomas John Claggett Episcopalian November 27, 1800
Edward Gantt Episcopalian December 9, 1801
A. T. McCormick Episcopalian November 7, 1804
Edward Gantt Episcopalian December 4, 1805
John Johnson Sayrs Episcopalian December 3, 1806
A. T. McCormick Episcopalian November 10, 1807
Robert Elliott Presbyterian November 10, 1808
James Jones Wilmer Episcopalian May 24, 1809
Obadiah Bruen Brown Baptist December 5, 1809
Walter Dulaney Addison Episcopalian December 12, 1810
John Brackenridge, D.D. Presbyterian November 13, 1811
Jesse Lee Methodist September 27, 1814
John Glendy Presbyterian December 8, 1815
Sereno Edwards Dwight Congregationalist December 16, 1816
William Dickinson Hawley Episcopalian December 9, 1817
John Clark Presbyterian November 19, 1818
Reuben Post Presbyterian December 9, 1819
William Ryland Methodist November 17, 1820
Charles Pettit McIlvaine Episcopalian December 9, 1822
William Staughton Baptist December 10, 1823
Charles Pettit McIlvaine Episcopalian December 14, 1824
William Staughton Baptist December 12, 1825
William Ryland Methodist December 8, 1826
Henry Van Dyke Johns Episcopalian December 14, 1829
John Price Durbin Methodist December 19, 1831
Charles Constantine Pise Roman Catholic December 11, 1832
Frederick Winslow Hatch Episcopalian December 10, 1833
Edward Young Higbee Episcopalian December 23, 1835
John Reinhard Goodman Episcopalian December 28, 1836
Henry Slicer Methodist September 11, 1837
George Grimston Cookman Methodist December 31, 1839
Septimus Tustin Presbyterian June 12, 1841
Henry Slicer Methodist December 16, 1846
Clement Moore Butler Episcopalian January 9, 1850
Henry Slicer Methodist December 7, 1853
Henry Clay Dean Methodist December 4, 1855
Stephen P. Hill Baptist December 8, 1856
Phineas Densmore Gurley Presbyterian December 15, 1859
Byron Sunderland Presbyterian July 10, 1861
Thomas Bowman Methodist May 11, 1864
Edgar Harkness Gray Baptist March 9, 1865
John Philip Newman Methodist March 8, 1869
Byron Sunderland Presbyterian December 8, 1873
Joseph J. Bullock Presbyterian March 24, 1879
Elias DeWitt Huntley Methodist December 18, 1883
John George Butler Lutheran March 15, 1886
William Henry Milburn Methodist April 6, 1893
F.J. Prettyman Methodist November 23, 1903
Edward Everett Hale Unitarian December 14, 1903
Ulysses Grant Baker Pierce Unitarian June 18, 1909
F.J. Prettyman Methodist March 13, 1913
Joseph Johnston Muir Baptist January 21, 1921
ZeBarney Thorne Phillips Episcopalian December 5, 1927
Frederick Brown Harris Methodist October 10, 1942
Peter Marshall Presbyterian January 4, 1947
Frederick Brown Harris Methodist February 3, 1949
Edward L.R. Elson Presbyterian January 9, 1969
Richard C. Halverson Presbyterian February 2, 1981
Lloyd John Ogilvie Presbyterian March 11, 1995
Barry C. Black Seventh-day Adventist July 7, 2003

 

Episcopalian 19
Methodist 17
Presbyterian 14
Baptist 6
Unitarian 2
Congregationalist 1
Lutheran 1
Roman Catholic 1
Seventh-day Adventist 1
Total 62

United States Senate Chaplain's Office

United States House of Representatives Chaplain's Office

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 We have staked the whole of all our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government, upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.' -  James Madison
 
So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours? — I Kings 3:9

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