Reverend Malcolm J. Byrd
Jackson Memorial AME Zion Church
Sponsor: Rep. Kathleen Rice, (D-NY)
Date of Prayer: 07/13/2016
One Minute Speech Given in Recognition of the Guest Chaplain:
Miss RICE of New York. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to welcome Reverend Malcolm J. Byrd, the Pastor of Jackson Memorial AME Zion Church in Hempstead, New York, and to thank Reverend Byrd for leading us in
prayer on the House floor today.
I first met Reverend Byrd 1 year ago yesterday, just a few weeks after nine Black men and women were murdered inside Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina. Reverend Byrd held a service and
presented a colorful patchwork quilt that the children of his church created to send to the Mother Emanuel congregation.
Leading us in prayer, Reverend Byrd said that day: "O, God, there is
a long road that leads from Hempstead to Charleston, but there is one thing that makes us closer than the miles that separate us: We are all part of the family of God."
Today, as we find ourselves once again in the wake of tragic
violence, we are blessed to have Reverend Byrd here with us. He is a man of God, a man of faith, a man of peace and hope. He is also a man of vision, a man who sees America as it is, as it can be, as it must
and will be: a patchwork quilt in which people of all colors and creeds
are sewn together as brothers and sisters, united in our common
There is a long road that leads from Hempstead to Orlando and to Baton Rouge and to Falcon Heights and to Dallas. There is a long road that leads from Hempstead to Washington, D.C., but I thank God that Reverend Byrd has traveled that road safely today. I pray that we all
take his message to heart and never forget that, no matter what
distance lies between us or what walls may divide us, we are all a part of the family of God.;
Opening Prayer Given by the Guest Chaplain:
O God, Thou in whom we live and move and have our being, God of our weary years and God of our silent tears, Thou who hath spangled the heavens with Thy glory, descend now, we pray, upon the United States of America.
Grant unto our Nation the gifts of truth and justice. Imbue our Nation and its leaders with wisdom and courage to speak truth to power
in love, even if that power happens to be themselves.
Grant unto them Thy grace that You extend to all, not based upon sociopolitical status, but upon Thy omnipresence. As You are present
from sea to shining sea, be Thou our guide as we are caused to traverse through our respective districts, engendering hope in oft hopeless
Our hope and trust, O God, is in Thee. We channel in the midst of our various strivings the words of Joseph Charles Price: It matters not how
dark the night, we believe in the coming of morning. May our Nation be filled with Thy grace and heavenly benediction this day and forever
more. In Thy great and splendid name we pray.
To learn more about Members who have sponsored a Guest Chaplain, please visit the Congressional Biographical Directory