The Office of the Chaplain United States House of Representatives

Doctor Charles B. Simmons

Memorial Drive United Methodist Church
Houston, TX

Sponsor: Rep. John Culberson, (R-TX)
Date of Prayer: 04/16/2008

One Minute Speech Given in Recognition of the Guest Chaplain:

The SPEAKER pro tempore. Without objection, the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Culberson) is recognized for 1 minute.

There was no objection.

Mr. CULBERSON. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

It's my privilege to rise today to honor my pastor and my good friend, Dr. Charles B. Simmons , our chaplain for the day.

Dr. Simmons joins us from my hometown of Houston, Texas, and it is just a thrill to have him here today. Dr. Simmons baptized our daughter, Caroline. He has been our minister for many, many years at Memorial Drive United Methodist Church.

He is joined here today by his wife, Carol; his son, Christopher; and Christopher's wife, Melissa. We are thrilled to have them here. Dr. Simmons and his wife, Carol, also have a son, Jeffrey, who is not here with us today.

Dr. Simmons is serving in his 10th year as senior minister of Memorial Drive United Methodist Church. He is recognized nationally as a dynamic minister, a dedicated pastor and respected leader among Methodists. He led the way at our church to reach out to the people of Louisiana who suffered as a result of the hurricane and helped rescue many, many lives and put many lives back on track after that devastating storm.

Dr. Simmons is a native of Louisiana, a graduate of Centenary College, who earned his master of divinity and doctor of ministry degrees from Emory University, and completed his further graduate study in Geneva, Switzerland, as a Methodist fellow. He has served in a variety of appointments, and his leadership has enriched the lives of our congregation and grown our church now to 7,000 members of Memorial Drive United Methodist Church.

We are very proud to have him here. His leadership has been instrumental in developing The Connection Center, an off–campus site serving as an outpost for ministry with state–of–the–art facilities for senior adult and youth programs. We have also founded, under Dr. Simmons' leadership, a third site at the former Shepherd Drive United Methodist Church which is now in operation as well.

Outside of our local congregation, Dr. Simmons also serves as chair of the Texas Conference Board of Ordained Ministry, a member of the Large Church Initiative Team, and is active in both the administrations of Centenary College and Emory University.

With deep appreciation for his leadership to Memorial Drive United Methodist Church, his devotion to its members and his beneficial efforts to the community at large, it is my privilege to welcome Dr. Simmons and his family to Washington. I am honored to have him here today as our guest chaplain.

Opening Prayer Given by the Guest Chaplain:

Ever–present God: Humbly we pause to approach you. Help us to come before you in reverence that you may enter into our presence with power.

In this hallowed House, we thank you for these your servants who now guard its great legislative inheritance and seek to profit the nation by wise governance. Endow each with a right understanding, pure purposes, and sound speech. Enable them to rise above all personal agendas and party zeal to the nobler concerns of the public good. Give them vision and set their hearts afire with large resolves.

Lord, lead them; that in all deliberations they may faithfully discharge the duties of their office, and ever promote the health, safety and well–being of all whom they serve; for the good of the United States of America, the blessing of our world, and the glory of your holy name. In His, we pray. Amen.

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