U.S. Senate Chaplain to Speak at Baylor April 4

March 29, 2007
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Dr. Barry Black, the first African American to serve as chaplain of the United States Senate, will be the featured speaker of this year's Public Leadership Series at Baylor University. Black's lecture will begin at 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 4, in the Paul W. Powell Chapel of George W. Truett Theological Seminary. The lecture is free and open to the public.

"As counselor and spiritual adviser to those who serve in the U.S. Senate, Chaplain Black will bring special insight into the legislative process and the role of faith in sustaining public servants," said Katie Weiss, a senior political science major from Dallas and president of the Baylor Ambassadors, a student organization that helps represent Baylor in the governmental arena.

Prior to his election in 2003 as the 62nd chaplain of the Senate, Black had a distinguished career in the U.S. Navy, earning the rank of rear admiral and serving as Chief of Navy Chaplains. He was commissioned as a Navy chaplain in 1976 and served in Norfolk, Va. Subsequent assignments included time at the U.S. Naval Academy; First Marine Aircraft Wing in Okinawa, Japan; the Naval Training Center in San Diego; and Fleet Chaplain with the U.S. Atlantic Fleet, among others. He retired from active duty in 2003.

A native of Baltimore, Black is an alumnus of Oakwood College, Andrews University, North Carolina Central University, Eastern Baptist Seminary, Salve Regina University and United State International University. He holds three master's degrees in divinity, counseling and management and doctorates in ministry and psychology.

During his time in the military, Black received the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit Medal, two Defense Meritorious Service Medals, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals and other unit awards, campaign and service medals.

On the civilian front, he was the recipient of the 1995 NAACP Renowned Service Award for his contribution to equal opportunity and civil rights and the 2002 Benjamin Elijah Mays Distinguished Leadership Award from The Morehouse School of Religion.

The Public Leadership Series at Baylor University is a forum designed to further understanding of government and the ideal of public service in society. Asa Hutchinson, director of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration at the time, delivered the inaugural lecture in September 2002. Subsequent lecturers included Baylor graduate and former Texas Gov. Ann Richards, Dr. Bruce Cole, chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and Paul D. Clement, the Solicitor General of the United States.

For more information about this year's lecture, call Baylor's office of public affairs at (254) 710-1421.

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