- The Washington Times - Monday, November 18, 2002

The Rev. Lloyd J. Ogilvie, the 61st chaplain of the U.S. Senate, will resign his post March 15 to move to Los Angeles and be with his wife as she recovers from a lung ailment.
"They will re-establish their residency there when Mrs. Ogilvie regains her health," David Corn, the chaplain's chief of staff, said in a statement Friday. Mrs. Ogilvie was moved to a Los Angeles respiratory hospital in October.
When he retires, the Presbyterian minister will have served as chaplain for eight years.
"He has been a real source of strength and comfort for countless members of the Senate family, from senators and staffers to elevator operators," said Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, South Dakota Democrat.
Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott said Mr. Ogilvie, who has described his own role as "nonpolitical, nonpartisan and nonsectarian," was a "watchful shepherd" and trusted confidant to many lawmakers.
"Never content simply to be 'on call' to the needs of senators and staff, he had brought us together," Mr. Lott said. "We say to Lloyd Ogilvie what someone far greater than we will one day declare, 'Well done, thou good and faithful servant.'"
Mr. Ogilvie, who began his chaplaincy in early 1995 at age 64, was recommended after a bipartisan panel led by Sen. Mark O. Hatfield, Oregon Republican, reviewed 200 candidates.
Then-Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole accepted the recommendation, and the Senate approved Mr. Ogilvie with a unanimous voice vote.
Selection of a Senate chaplain has never been too controversial, though atheists occasionally sue the U.S. government by arguing that a paid chaplaincy is an unconstitutional establishment of religion.
The drafters of the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution approved of paid chaplains, and courts have ruled that it is a national tradition and not a state religion.
Michael Newdow, whose lawsuit against the word "God" in the Pledge of Allegiance was upheld in June by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, filed the most recent lawsuit in September in U.S. District Court in Washington.
The Pledge of Allegiance decision was later put on hold because of public and congressional protests.
The selection of the House chaplain became a partisan controversy in March 2000, when House Republican leaders favored a Protestant minister over a Catholic prelate backed by Democrats.
In the end, the Protestant pastor withdrew his name, and another priest, the Rev. Daniel Coughlin of the Archdiocese of Chicago, was chosen as the first Catholic chaplain in U.S. history.
The Senate chaplain earns $130,000 a year and the House chaplain, $148,000.
During his years as chaplain, Mr. Ogilvie offered opening prayers on days when the Senate was in session or arranged for visiting ministers to do so.
Already the author of more than 40 books, as chaplain he published "Quiet Moments With God," a sampling of his prayers, and "Perfect Peace," described as "a study of how to experience God's peace in the unrest and turbulence" of modern life.
He supported small nonpartisan prayer groups for senators and staff and an 8 a.m. Wednesday prayer breakfast weekly for the lawmakers.
A native of Wisconsin, Mr. Ogilvie became minister of First Presbyterian Church in Hollywood, Calif., serving there from 1972 until his chaplain's appointment.
He also had developed a national television ministry, and in retirement will "pursue his lifelong calling of speaking, teaching and writing," Mr. Corn said.


Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide