First African-American Pastor to Serve Congress

June 21, 2003

Source: The Washington Post


On June 21, 2003 The Washington Post reported that "for a quarter-century, and most recently as the U.S. Navy's chief of chaplains, [Pastor Barry C.] Black has led interfaith services on aircraft carriers and destroyers and counseled sailors, Marines and Coast Guard personnel on spiritual and personal matters. Now, after retirement from the military Aug. 15, the rear admiral is set to become spiritual counselor to power constituents of a different sort -- members of the U.S. Senate... The prospect of serving Congress excites him in a way that professorships, university presidencies and other post-retirement jobs offered him did not, Black said during an interview at his office in the Navy Annex in Arlington... Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) named Black this week as 62nd Senate chaplain, the first African American and the first Seventh-day Adventist to be appointed chaplain in either house of Congress. Subject to approval by the full Senate, which is expected, Black will succeed the Rev. Lloyd John Ogilvie, an evangelical Presbyterian who retired in March after serving eight years."