The Office of the Chaplain United States House of Representatives

Chaplain Jim Higgins

Reserve Officers Association
Powder Springs, GA

Sponsor: Rep. David Scott, (D-GA)
Date of Prayer: 02/04/2009

One Minute Speech Given in Recognition of the Guest Chaplain:

Without objection, the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Scott) is recognized for 1 minute.

There was no objection.

Mr. SCOTT of Georgia. We have had the pleasure of having the distinguished guest chaplain for today from my district in Georgia. Each year, the Reserve Officers Association presents a Chaplain of the Year Award, which is selected by the Chief of Chaplains of each military service.

And the award goes to a chaplain – a special chaplain – with special qualities. He is selected for extraordinary contributions to the welfare, the morale, and effectiveness of the Military Reserve Services. This year, the award went to Military Chaplain Major James Boren Higgins, who delivered our wonderful prayer this morning.

Dr. Higgins graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University in 1983. He earned his master of divinity degree in 1986 from Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. He received his doctor of ministry degree from Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia. And he has received the following outstanding awards. And, America, listen to these rewards.

He is a recipient of the Bronze Star Medal. He is a recipient of the Meritorious Service Medal. Dr. Higgins is a recipient of the Army Commendation Medal. He is also the recipient of the Army Achievement Medal. And he is the recipient of the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal. And for his distinguished duty in Iraq, he received the Iraq Campaign Medal.

What an extraordinary minister. Not just a minister of God, but a minister of the world. A minister to bring peace and comfort to his fellow soldiers at a time of great stress on the battlefields, as well as here at home.

Reverend Higgins currently lives in my district in Powder Springs, Georgia, with his lovely wife Pam and their three children. Reverend Higgins is the senior pastor and chief executive of the 3,200 member McEachern Memorial United States Methodist Church in Powder Springs, Georgia.

We are so proud to have Pastor Major James Boren Higgins as our guest chaplain of the day for the United States Congress. What an extraordinary individual at an extraordinary time, who has given an extraordinary service. We are so proud to have him serve as our guest chaplain of the day.

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

There was no objection.

Mr. GINGREY of Georgia. I want to thank my colleague, Representative DAVID SCOTT, for allowing me to say a few words also about Reverend Jim Higgins, as we have the privilege of really sharing him in our two adjoining districts. And, as DAVID SCOTT has said, Madam Speaker, Dr. Reverend Major Jim Higgins, as we know, has brought us a very inspiring message as we open business today in the United States House of Representatives as our guest chaplain of the day.

But, as Representative Scott said, his service to us and to his constituents in Powder Springs and to our country goes much beyond just the spiritual. When you think about his service as a chaplain in the United States Army and, as DAVID SCOTT was just saying, his service in Vietnam, and his tour of duties, Madam Speaker, of 18 months.

Now, today, the Marines limit rotation to 7 months and the Army to 12 months. But Jim Higgins' rotation in Vietnam – a pretty tough place – was 18 months. Of course, he has this week, as has been said, been recognized as the United States Military Reserve Chaplain of the Year.

So we really are indebted to this great man, not only for his spiritual leadership, Jim, but great service to your country.

Opening Prayer Given by the Guest Chaplain:

Loving Lord, we give you thanks that you are ever present with us, guiding our thoughts and deliberations. In these difficult times we acknowledge before you that we are unable, in the strength of our own power, to guide this nation that you have entrusted to us. So we pray for a sense of your will and presence. Along with the vision of what is right, give us courage to act accordingly.

As we gather today, Everlasting God, we pray for those whom we have sent into harm’s way. Give to them your protection. As the Great Physician be with those who have been wounded and lay in beds of pain. We give you thanks for the valor of those who have paid the ultimate cost for freedom and ask that you would accept them into your presence surrounding their loved ones with your peace which passes all understanding.

All this we ask in your most holy and precious name. Amen.

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