The Office of the Chaplain United States House of Representatives

Reverend Dr. J. Alfred Smith, Sr.

Allen Temple Baptist Church
Oakland, CA

Sponsor: Rep. Barbara Lee, (D-CA)
Date of Prayer: 09/06/2006

One Minute Speech Given in Recognition of the Guest Chaplain:

Ms. LEE. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to welcome and to recognize my pastor who offered this powerful prayer as we opened our session today, the Reverend Dr. J. Alfred Smith , Sr., of the Allen Temple Baptist Church in Oakland, California, in my district.

Among his many accomplishments, Pastor Smith serves as a distinguished professor of Christian ministry and preaching at the American Baptist Seminary of the West and the Graduate Theological Seminary in Berkeley, and is the past national president of the Progressive National Baptist Convention and the American Baptist Church of the West.

From his work in helping ex–offenders to turn their lives around and successfully return to our community, to
his efforts in the fight against HIV and AIDS, I can tell you that you can see the results of his loving and his spirit–filled ministry in my district. Pastor Smith has been described as a drum major for justice, peace and righteousness, and he has been a source of strength and inspiration for me and for thousands in our community and throughout the world.
So as Congress reconvenes, I want to thank Pastor Smith for his powerful words of wisdom and of guidance, and for a lifetime of service to God and to humankind, and to my Allen Temple family, several of whom have joined us this afternoon in the House gallery. Thank you, Pastor Smith .

Opening Prayer Given by the Guest Chaplain:

O God, your sacred Word teaches us the words of Jesus who said: "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God." Teach us the religion of African American slaves who sang about laying down their burdens and studying war no more. Give us the knowledge for understanding how to remove the causes of violence. Open our eyes to see that violence as a solution only multiplies escalating violence. Grant us the wisdom to make peace in our heads, hearts, homes, school houses and legislature. Grant us the courage to become advocates for the weak in our society. For the strong are their own advocates. May the fresh awareness of your invisible presence guide each of us today as we seek not to be problems but solutions for the ills of our hurting world. In the name of the Prince of Peace, we pray.

To learn more about Members who have sponsored a Guest Chaplain, please visit the Congressional Biographical Directory