The Office of the Chaplain United States House of Representatives

Doctor Calvin V. French

Community of Christ Church
Washington, DC

Sponsor: Rep. Leonard Boswell, (D-IA)
Date of Prayer: 07/11/2007

One Minute Speech Given in Recognition of the Guest Chaplain:

Madam Speaker, I would like to take this moment to share some information about who just offered our prayer, my pastor in Washington, DC.

Dr. French is Pastor Emeritus of the Community of Christ Church located at 3526 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC. He served the congregation for 25 years before retiring. Previous to his assignment in Washington, he held pastorates in Boston, Philadelphia and Des Moines. He has served as a pastor for 50 years.

Reverend French holds degrees from Grace University, Iowa University, Drake University, and Temple University. He has done graduate work at Harvard University and studied at Princeton Theological Institute.

Dr. French for the past 28 years has been a licensed clinical member of the American Association of Marriage and Family Counselors. He has been active in this discipline and currently is licensed in the State of Maryland.

Dr. French is presently serving on the board of trustees for Graceland University. When his faith group started a theological seminary, he was asked to serve as one of the first board members. Previous to these appointments, he served for 10 years on the board of Park College in Kansas City.

Reverend French is a member of the Rotary Club of Washington, DC, having joined in 1981. He has served on the Rotary Foundation and is presently on the governing board for Washington Rotary. He has the distinction of being the only pastor to be elected president of the Washington Club in its 84–year history. While in Washington, Reverend French has been involved in many community activities, including working with St. Luke's in establishing a neighborhood shelter for men.

Dr. French has been appointed to the following boards and commissions during his ministry in Washington: President Clinton appointed him to represent the White House on the USO governing board. In this capacity, he visited various military installations and helped to provide a support program for the Armed Forces and their families. Dr. French was appointed by the National Institutes of Health to serve as a representative of the National Conference on Health Fact Finding Board. The board was designed to research and explore the needs in minority health and education. He was selected for the Board of National Conference on Ministry to the Armed Forces. This board provides opportunities for all denominations who so wish to have chaplains from their faith in the various military services. They also work closely with the Chief of Chaplains in helping to provide ministry to the troops. Reverend French served on this board for 12 years. And, lastly, Dr. French was asked to be a delegate on the United States Attorney General's Commission on Pornography. This study ended with recommendations presented to Congress.

For the past 25 years, he has represented the parent church of his denomination in governmental affairs, providing liaison service to the various agencies of the government as well as to the Congress. On occasion he has been invited to offer the opening prayer for both the House and Senate.

Opening Prayer Given by the Guest Chaplain:

God of our Fathers and our God, who has watched over us from generation to generation, in prosperity, and adversity, in peace and in war, we give thee thanks.

As we begin this day filled with fresh challenges and high duties that confront us, we are encouraged, knowing that thy mercies and grace are new every morning.

As we prepare for work, we look to thy word and heed the counsel in Proverbs, "Trust in the Lord with all thy heart and lean not on thy own understanding. In all our ways, acknowledge Him and He will direct they paths." (Proverbs 3:5–6)

We thank thee for our Republic where free thought and expression and diversity honored. Help us to hear the pleas of the people, but to hear more clearly the voice of the Eternal, while remembering the words of the Founding Fathers, that we should be one nation under God.

When evening comes and our duty is done, may we know the deep contentment of work completed and words spoken which honor our nation and glorify thy name.

In His Holy Name we pray,


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