The Office of the Chaplain United States House of Representatives

Reverend Alpheus Townsend

Unity Temple of Peace
The Bronx, NY

Sponsor: Rep. Eliot Engel, (D-NY)
Date of Prayer: 05/25/2000

One Minute Speech Given in Recognition of the Guest Chaplain:

Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, it is my great pleasure today to introduce my good friend, my constituent, and my minister who gave the prayer this morning, Reverend Alpheus Townsend of the Unity Temple of Peace in my district in the Bronx, New York.

Pastor Townsend is a wonderful American success story. He resides in my District with his wife Millicent and son William, and is truly a champion, living the American dream, as so many immigrants who have come to our shores and helped to make our country the great Nation that it is.

Reverend Townsend was born in Jamaica and came to the United States in 1965 and worked at a number of jobs in New York, at Bankers Trust on Wall Street for 5 years as an operations specialist and at Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan. But he knew that the ministry was really his call.

He attended Unity Ministerial School in Missouri and was ordained in 1981. He founded the Unity Temple of Peace in the Bronx, New York, in my district, in 1982 and continues to pastor there.

Just recently, he was elected president of the Clergy Coalition of the 47th Precinct in the Northeast Bronx, which serves all five boroughs of New York City. It is a wonderful organization, assists many, many people, young, old, all types of people. He assisted in writing the bylaws and charter for the organization.

He has provided college scholarships to high school students, and I have been pleased to work with him in this regard and to contribute to these scholarships because young people, as we know, of course, are our future. And Pastor Townsend has especially ministered to young people. He has worked with the council and the community and works with the police to enhance the quality of life in the community.

Mr. Speaker, I am honored and privileged to not only call Pastor Townsend , my constituent, but am honored and privileged to call him my friend. We have worked very, very closely together. He honors me and all of us with his presence today.

I thank the Speaker for allowing him to give the prayer this morning so that the entire House of Representatives and, indeed the entire country of the United States, can see what a wonderful pastor he is and how truly he is doing God's work and truly doing work for all of us.

Again, it is people like the Reverend Townsend who have come here to this country as an immigrant, who have participated and have really helped to make this country the great country that it is. I thank the reverend.

Opening Prayer Given by the Guest Chaplain:

‘‘O God our help in ages past our hope for years to come our shelter from the stormy blast and our eternal home.''

Lord of Majesty, mercy and love we are grateful for this day and for the blessings it affords. We thank You for the bounty of this Nation and for its form of government. Thank You for inspiring its leaders over the years.

We ask Your blessing and guidance upon the membership of this assembly who are entrusted with the awesome task of helping to foster and preserve peace and justice in our world.

Father, bless and strengthen families, our youth, our schools and businesses with integrity and success, now and ever more for Your honor and glory, amen.

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