The Office of the Chaplain United States House of Representatives

Reverend Dr. Bob M. Patterson

First Baptist Church
Warm Springs, GA

Sponsor: Rep. Congressman Phil Gingrey, (R-GA)
Date of Prayer: 11/17/2004

One Minute Speech Given in Recognition of the Guest Chaplain:

Mr. GINGREY. Mr. Speaker, I rise to thank the reverend Dr. Bob Patterson for his message today. Bob is no stranger to the halls of the United States House or to Georgia congressmen named Phil. When he was a young man growing up in Hall County, Georgia, in the 1970s, he was appointed to serve as a House page by then Congressman Phil Landrum, and later, he was on detached duty with the House Press Gallery during the Nixon impeachment inquiry.

But Bob did not answer to the siren song of politics. He returned to Georgia to finish college, and then he headed to Texas for seminary. Ministers are not known for staying in one place too long, but Bob has made his home at the First Baptist Church of Warm Springs, Georgia, since 1986.

Warm Springs, Georgia, should sound familiar to those who take a strong interest in American history. Even before he was elected President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was a frequent visitor and a part–time resident. He was convinced that the warm spring water that existed there had a healing effect on his polio, and he set up an institute in this west Georgia community where other victims of the disease, many of them children, could come for care.

FDR built a house in Warm Springs that is known as the Little White House, and it was in this house in 1945 that the President died.

FDR saw Warm Springs as a place to serve others, and Bob Patterson has carried on that tradition in the heart of Meriwether County. The thesis for his doctoral dissertation was entitled ‘‘Developing a Need–Based Community Ministry Strategy for First Baptist Church in Warm Springs.'' He has personally ministered to the needs in his local community by serving the Family Connection initiative. In fact, he has been honored by both the Rotary and the Pilot clubs for his outstanding contribution to all of Meriwether County.

Opening Prayer Given by the Guest Chaplain:

Father we open this session with prayer not because of tradition or a misplaced need to convince you to be on our side. In this place, sacred to our republic, we admit we are lost and clueless without your presence and guidance.

Out first thoughts today are with those in harms way around your world in the defense of freedom. We pray for a victory that is complete and permanent. For families separated we ask for strong bonds in spite of missed birthdays, anniversaries and holidays. For those who received a flag folded three cornered may your presence be an unseen source of comfort and hope.

As the people's business is conducted in this hallowed chamber we ask for our representatives to not doubt their beliefs or believe their doubts. We pray for them the courage born of Godly convictions and tempered by humility. Give them a clear idea of what is just and best for our republic coupled with the resolve to do the right thing.

We pray this in the name of the one who promised to be present and to guide us, Jesus the Christ, Amen.

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