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Chaplains of the United States Senate

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  • John Johnson Sayrs (1774 - 1809)
    Johnson Sayrs (1774-January 6, 1809) was an American Episcopal clergyman who served as Chaplain of the Senate.
  • Edward Gantt (1742 - 1837)
    Gantt (1746–1837) was an Episcopal clergyman who served as Chaplain of the Senate of the United States (1801–1804).
  • Rev. William Staughton (1770 - 1829)
    Birth: Jan. 4, 1770 Coventry Warwickshire, England Death: Dec. 12, 1829 District Of Columbia, USARev. Dr. William Staughton was born in Coventry, Warwickshire, England to Sutton and Keziah Staughton ...
  • Jesse Lee (1758 - 1816)
    Lee (March 12, 1758 – September 12, 1816) was an American Methodist Episcopal clergyman and pioneer, born in Prince George's County, Virginia. A preacher after 1783, in 1789 he visited New England and ...
  • John Brackenridge (c.1772 - 1844)
    Brackenridge (c. 1772 – May 2, 1844) was a Presbyterian minister who served as Chaplain of the United States House of Representatives (from 1822 to 1823) and Chaplain of the United States Senate (from ...

The Chaplain of the United States Senate opens each session of the United States Senate with a prayer, and provides and coordinates religious programs and pastoral care support for Senators, their staffs, and their families. The Chaplain is appointed by a majority vote of the members of the Senate on a resolution nominating an individual for the position. The three most recent nominations have been submitted based on a bipartisan search committee although that procedure is not required.

Chaplains are elected as individuals and not as representatives of any religious community, body, or organization. As of 2014, all Senate Chaplains have been Christian but can be members of any religion or faith group. Guest Chaplains, recommended by Senators to deliver the session's opening prayer in place of the Senate Chaplain, have represented "all the world's major religious faiths."

The current Chaplain, Barry C. Black, a retired Navy Rear Admiral and former Chief of Navy Chaplains, is the first African-American and the first Seventh-day Adventist to hold the position.

List of Senate Chaplains