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 2011, 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.
... Senate website focusing on the history of Senate Chaplains includes the following information on the religious backgrounds of past and current Senate Chaplains Episcopalian 19 Methodist 17 ...
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