The Office of the Chaplain United States House of Representatives

Reverend Bryan K. Finch

U.S. Coast Guard Training Center
Yorktown, VA

Sponsor: Rep. Rep. Howard Coble, (R-NC)
Date of Prayer: 03/13/2002

One Minute Speech Given in Recognition of the Guest Chaplain:

Mr. COBLE. Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to welcome as our guest chaplain today, Chaplain Bryan Finch of the Olde Yorke Chapel, U.S. Coast Guard Training Center, Yorktown, Virginia. I would also like to thank Chaplain Finch for his thoughtful and inspiring invocation.

Chaplain Finch is joined today by his wife and Captain John Gentile, who is the Commanding Officer of the Training Center.

Mr. Speaker, I came to know the chaplain last fall when the chief petty officers in the Tidewater, the Yorktown area, invited me to be their guest speaker for their annual gala. A great time was had by all. At that time the Chaplain expressed interest in joining us up here.

Chaplain Finch is an ordained Southern Baptist pastor, a graduate of LaGrange College in LaGrange, Georgia. He earned a Master of Divinity at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, and also obtained a Masters of Theology in Culture and Religion at Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, New Jersey.

Chaplain Finch also has a distinguished military career, having served in both the Army and Navy. Upon graduation from high school, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy for 4 years. Chaplain Finch then went on to pursue his college seminary degrees and, upon completion, joined the Army where he served as Chaplain of the First Battalion, Sixth Infantry in Vilseck, Germany.

He later received an interservice transfer to the U.S. Navy and was commissioned in the Navy on January 7, 1991.

Presently, Chaplain Finch is assigned to the U.S. Coast Guard Training Center in Yorktown, Virginia, where he has served as Chaplain since June, 2000.

Mr. Speaker, I would be remiss if I did not mention one of Chaplain Finch's most noteworthy contributions was his service on the Chaplain Emergency Response Team which was activated to assist in the aftermath of the events of September 11. Along with Chaplain Finch, there were 30–plus other Navy chaplains assigned to Coast Guard units who assisted in this effort, and at this time, I would like to submit their names for inclusion in the RECORD in recognition of their significant contribution, as well.

Mr. Speaker, again, I want to extend a cordial welcome to Chaplain Bryan Finch for being here today. His presence and blessing on this House means so much to me and the thousands of young men and women who proudly wear Coast Guard blue.

Opening Prayer Given by the Guest Chaplain:

O Lord, we commend the interest of our dearest country to the protection of Your Almighty hand, especially in this day of new challenges and threats. Guide our leaders and this Congress to move with vigilance toward the tests ahead, and let them look beyond mere mortal understanding and seek wisdom and guidance from above. For what is decided here shall not remain here, but will impact the cause of freedom and those who love liberty across this world.

Impress upon our hearts the summation of all the commands, "To love the Lord our God, and to love our neighbor as ourselves."

Pour this truth into each heart in order that we may serve You and this country as servants of justice and mercy.

O Lord, these who have the mighty task of superintending hope and peace and freedom in this land and in distant countries, I commit them into Thy holy keeping.

In God's holy name this day we pray. Amen.

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