The Office of the Chaplain United States House of Representatives

Reverend Thomas K. Spence, Jr.

Leaflet Presbyterian Church
Broadway, NC

Sponsor: Rep. Rep. Bob Etheridge, (D-NC)
Date of Prayer: 09/28/2004

One Minute Speech Given in Recognition of the Guest Chaplain:

Mr. ETHERIDGE. Mr. Speaker, I rise today with great pride to introduce and present to this august body the Reverend Thomas Spence as today's Guest Chaplain in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Reverend Spence is the pastor of Leaflet Presbyterian Church, my home church in Broadway, North Carolina; and I am honored he has been with us today in the people's House. Reverend Spence possesses rare eloquence; and as a long–time congregant and friend, I can tell Members he is a unique individual whose interest and activism stretches far more broadly than his congregation. He has truly lived a life according to Jesus' example to tend to the least among us.

Like me, Reverend Spence grew up on a farm in rural North Carolina, he in Harnett County; and I grew up in the adjacent county of Johnston. The life lessons one learns growing up on a working farm shape your world view and instill what we refer to as good North Carolina values of hard work, faith in God, love of family and friends, and devotion to duty to those around us and to our world as a whole. Reverend Spence has lived North Carolina values every day of his life and has served the people of his congregation with great distinction and accomplishment. I am pleased, proud, and honored to introduce North Carolina's own Reverend Thomas Spence to the House.

Opening Prayer Given by the Guest Chaplain:

What do you require from us, O Lord? Is it not to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with you? Show us what justice and kindness mean in a broken and troubled world, where hunger, violence, and oppression are so pervasive.

Teach us what it means to be humble in a world where we take ourselves too seriously and where wisdom and truth are often scorned.

You gave these men and women such noble intentions when they first took the oath of office. Put it into their hearts to be more than good Republicans and good Democrats, O Lord. Let them be lovers of justice and peace. Do not let them become weary in well doing.

Renew their strength when they labor long hours. Lift their hearts when they are discouraged. When their vision fails, keep before them the ideals that have made us a great nation.

Let them be faithful and steadfast in all their labors, that your benediction may rest upon them all. We pray in the name of all that is holy. Amen.

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