The Office of the Chaplain United States House of Representatives

Doctor Harold Bales

United Methodist Church
Salisbury, NC

Sponsor: Rep. Rep. Sue Wilkins Myrick, (R-NC)
Date of Prayer: 09/20/2001

One Minute Speech Given in Recognition of the Guest Chaplain:

Mrs. MYRICK. Mr. Speaker, it is a true honor for me to have Dr. Harold Bales here to offer prayer to us at this most difficult time in our Nation's history.

Dr. Bales and his wife, Judy, have been friends of my husband, Ed, and myself for over 20 years, as well as pastor. Judy and their daughter, Suzannah, are here with him today.

He has served in many capacities in the Methodist Church, from being a pastor to organizing the World's Fair in Knoxville to administrative positions; and many years ago in Charlotte, he was among the first to recognize our growing problem with homeless people. And our church, First United Methodist, was among the first to start a program uptown to help. He was also instrumental in building our homeless shelter.

When tornados raked through North and South Carolina in 1986, Harold was one of the first responders, not only with spiritual leadership, but also in a relief and recovery effort in the basement of First Methodist, over a hundred miles away.

Recently he has battled cancer, but that has not stopped him from caring and working for others. Harold relieves
many tense situations with his wonderful sense of humor. He always makes everyone feel comfortable, and he has always got a real story to tell that is funny as the dickens.
He also writes poetry. One of his masterpieces is called Ode to Okra. Yes, that is the vegetable. Harold loves okra.

As an instrument of reconciliation, Harold has repeatedly brought together people of diverse beliefs and different factions to celebrate their similarities in honor of God. His surgeon, who coincidentally was also my surgeon for breast cancer, recently shared something with me. She has become a dear friend, also.

Dr. Teresa Flippo told me that he always had an aura of calm about him. Whenever he would come in and when she would go in to see him, he would end up ministering to her and really being concerned about all the stresses that she underwent in her profession, had far more concern for her than he did for his own condition.

That is Dr. Bales, a true servant of God.

Opening Prayer Given by the Guest Chaplain:

Let us pray.
Eternal God, we lift our eyes to spacious skies,
we know that You are there.

When as if two lightning bolts slice hotly through the high places and plunge us by the thousands into molten, crushing caverns, we know that You are there.

When heroic spirits, roused to action, steer a chariot meant for evil to the right and make a crater of courage in the rich soil of freedom, we know that You are planted there as if a seed, the seed of life.

When wild barbarians spur their murderous winged mount into the encampment of those who serve when called to liberating strife, we know that You are there.

And when representative forces of freedom meet to do their civilizing work, grant, oh God, not only Your blessing on their work, but grant Your presence there.

So please, God, bless this House and those within it, that through its actions and by Your presence here, justice, mercy, love and peace may come to reign in every house upon this earth.


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