The Office of the Chaplain United States House of Representatives

Reverend Joseph A. Darby

Morris Brown African Methodist Episcopal Church
Charleston, SC

Sponsor: Rep. Rep. James Clyburn, (D-SC)
Date of Prayer: 05/15/2003

One Minute Speech Given in Recognition of the Guest Chaplain:

Mr. CLYBURN. Mr. Speaker, it is my honor and privilege to have had my minister and good friend, Reverend Joseph Darby, deliver this morning's opening prayer. I invited Reverend Darby to join us this morning from Morris Brown AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, because I knew from personal experience that he would provide an inspirational blessing that will be very relevant to the times in which we live.
I told him, as we were about to enter the Chamber, that he had lucked out this morning. That because of the subsequent meeting of the former members, he would get to pray to and be greeted by a number of warm bodies, which is not always the case with the guest chaplain.
A native of Columbia, South Carolina, Reverend Darby is a fourth–generation minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church with twenty–five years of pastoral experience. His career has been marked by selfless service to others that comes not only from his dedication to the ministry, but his innate passion and compassion.
Reverend Darby has been a vocal advocate for so many who do not have a voice in our society. He has stood up for his beliefs in the face of great obstacles. My father, a minister himself, taught me the strength of David as he faced Goliath and Daniel as he entered the lions' den. Reverend Darby has demonstrated that same strength drawn from his faith in his daily life, and as a result, his accomplishments are great.
He is presently a Board Member for the Reid House of Christian Service and the Family Court of the Ninth Judicial Circuit's Drug Court Program, a member of the State Superintendent of Education's African–American Achievement Committee, the Racial/Cultural Advisory Council of the South Carolina School Boards Association, The Long Range Planning Subcommittee of the South Carolina Educational Oversight Committee; South Carolina Educational Television's Advisory Committee for African–American Programming; The Board of Directors of the Daniel J. Jenkins Institute for Children, and is First Vice–President of the South Carolina Conference of Branches of the NAACP. Reverend Darby is First Vice–President of the Charleston A.M.E. and Interdenominational Ministerial Alliances, Chairman of the P.A.S.T.O.R.S. Housing Initiative, and Chairman of the South Carolina Coalition of Black Church Leaders, an Affiliate of the Congress of National Black Churches.
Reverend Darby's honors and awards include South Carolina Business Vision magazine 1997 South Carolina's 25 most influential African–Americans award, the 1999 South Carolina Christian Action Council's Howard G. McClain Christian Action in Public Policy Award, the 1999 NAACP Southeast Region Medgar W. Evers Leadership Award, the 2001 MOJA Festival Religious Achievement Award, and the 2001 Excellence in Religion award from the S.C. Mechanism of the National Council of Negro Women. He was inducted into the South Carolina Black Hall of Fame in July 2002.
Reverend Darby is married to the former Mary M. Bright of Walterboro, South Carolina, a career educator. They have two sons: Jason Christopher, Director of Marketing and Public Relations for Allen University, and Jeremy Christian who attends West Ashley High School.
Reverend Darby is a true leader in South Carolina both within and outside the church community, and I wanted to share his extraordinary talents with you. Mr. Speaker, I ask you and my colleagues to join me in welcoming Reverend Joseph Darby to the U.S House of Representatives.

Opening Prayer Given by the Guest Chaplain:

Gracious, merciful and omnipotent creator, we thank You for this new day; for Your grace, for your wisdom and for Your mercy; we thank You for the blessing of democracy; and for bringing us safely to this present hour.
Bless and guide all that is said and done in this deliberative body. Bless the Members of the House with Your judgment, Your strength and Your compassion, so that they will make decisions with an eye not towards what is politically convenient, but towards what is right for all Americans.
Bless our world and keep all nations in perfect peace. Bless our nation, so that what Lincoln called "the better angels of our nature" will prevail. Bless our leadership at all levels, so that public policy will be made in the light of the truth that shall indeed make us free.
Have mercy upon us and help us to celebrate the diversity of our unity and the unity of our diversity. Let the words of Your servant Amos be reflected in the decisions made here, so that justice will roll on like a river, so that righteousness will flow like a never failing stream, so that we can really become one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all. Amen.

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