Above: Gottheimer stand with Reverend Harris, her niece Amma, and fellow Pastors, colleagues, and friends from the Lott Carey Foreign Mission.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Tuesday, October 21, 2019, Reverend Dr. Marilyn Monroe Harris, the first female Pastor of First Baptist Church of Teaneck, New Jersey, gave the opening invocation on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, followed by U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer welcoming Reverend Harris on the House floor and highlighting her life’s work.
“Reverend Harris is a beacon of leadership for North Jersey and the country as a whole,” said Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5). “Dr. Harris brings integrity and excellence to everything she does. With so much in our country dividing us, Reverend Harris’ words can bring us together, so that we can better serve our country.
Licensed to preach by Mount Olive Baptist Church in Hackensack in 1995, Harris worked with Reverend Gregory J. Jackson and was ordained to the gospel ministry in 2000 by Bethany Baptist Church in New Jersey. In 2005, Harris was installed as the fifth Pastor and the first female Pastor of First Baptist Church of Teaneck, New Jersey.
Harris was the first African American to preach at the Shrine of the Black Madonna at Montserrat in Catalonia, Spain, and she has preached at the Kagiso Baptist Church, Johannesburg, South Africa. Harris is also the founder of the Christian Women’s Alliance and the Foundation Building Christian Institute.
Harris is the recipient of New Jersey’s NAACP Award for Pastoral Excellence and Leadership, the NAACP Bergen County Edward P. Dixon Award for Community Service, and currently serves as the first female President of the United Missionary Baptist Convention State of New Jersey.
Harris also supports our first responders in North Jersey, serving as the first female African American Chaplain of the Teaneck Fire Department.
Read Reverend Harris’s opening invocation here:
Oh Lord our God how excellent is your name in all the earth. We thank you for this day and we pray for those who gather in these hallowed halls and serve the United States of America. We pray that you sustain their physical bodies and wrap your arms around their loved ones. On this day we ask that your Holy presence become manifest. Guide all with wisdom and discernment to implement just and sound policy. Engulf all with compassion for humanity and creation, infuse our hearts with your love. For it is your love oh Lord that is transformational, it is your love that seeks the greater good, it is your love that heals. Let us face this day knowing that you are with us and may all that is done in this place, on this day bring you and you alone glory and honor. Amen.
Watch Reverend Harris’ opening invocation and Congressman Gottheimer’s remarks on the House floor HERE.
Below: Gottheimer with Reverend Harris in the U.S. Capitol