Sabbath Keepers In Government (Part 2 of 2)
By Bill Lussenheide
Sabbath Observers Who Have Held Political Office
Many believers of the seventh day Sabbath have held political office. Here is a short list of recent office holders who are associated with the Seventh Day Adventist Church…
– Sir Patrick Allen – Governor-General of Jamaica (2009—)
– Roscoe Bartlett – 6th district representative from Maryland
– Percival Austin Bramble Former – Chief Minister of Montserrat British West Indies (1970–1978)
– William Henry Bramble First – Chief Minister of Montserrat British West Indies
– Sir James Carlisle – Governor General of Antigua and Barbuda (1993–2007)
– Nelson Castro – New York State Assemblyman, 86th District, 2008-Present
– Sheila Jackson Lee – U.S. Representative, 18th congressional district of Texas (Houston)
– Sherman McNichols – Chief Magistrate, Trinidad and Tobago.
– Floyd Morris – Jamaican senator and minister of state
– Sam Ongeri – Kenyan Minister for Education
– Desley Scott – Australian politician
– John F. Street – Mayor of the City of Philadelphia (2000–2008)
– Marianne Thieme – A Parliamentary leader in the Dutch House of Representatives
– Jorge Talbot Zavala – Ecuadorian Representative and Secretary of the Camara de Diputados, Quito, Ecuador, 1950-1955.
The Seventh Day Baptists, besides the historic service of Samuel Ward mentioned above, also can lay claim to the service of Jennings Randolph. Born in Salem WV, in 1902, and a descendant of colonist William Randolph, both his grandfather and father were mayors of Salem. His family line can claim many famous relatives including Robert E. Lee.
Jennings Randolph served in Congress for six consecutive terms from 1933 to 1947. At his death in 1998, he was the last surviving House member from the infamous “100 days” of the first Franklin Roosevelt administration. His legislation includes a bill, which advocated for and provided jobs for the blind, the creation of the Civil Air Patrol, and a bill proposing the creation of a “Department of Peace” after the conclusion of World War II.
In 2016, Seventh Day Adventist Ben Carson was a candidate for the US Presidency, and for a short period of time led the polls and received significant votes in many State Primaries.
The Churches of God from the Armstrong heritage have historically been adverse to service in political office. In spite of this, there have been a few who have served as Alderman, City Council Members, and a couple who have served as Mayors.
In 2010, this article’s author, Bill Lussenheide, a long time Church of God member from those traditions, was a candidate for US Congress in the 45th District of California. He received the highest percentage vote for a third party candidate for any office in the nation for the Constitution Party, while serving on the Executive Committee Board of that party nationwide. His platform was one of Pro-Life, Pro-Traditional marriage, Faith/Family and Freedom. Lussenheide has also served twice as a Presidential Elector for the United States electoral college. Lussenheide is the first candidate for major office from his religious heritage.
From The Church of God 7th Day, in a statement received from Calvin Burrell, editor of the church’s magazine, The Bible Advocate and the President of the North American ministerial counsel wrote “I’m happy to assure you that 99% of us in CoG7 have no scruples against public service, including running for and holding elective office. In fact, we recommend it!”
Sabbath Keeping Ministerial Influence In The United States Senate
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. This position was created on the advice of Benjamin Franklin and has existed since 1789.
Chaplain Barry C. Black, a Seventh Day Adventist, is the current Chaplain of the Senate. Prior to his appointment, Black served as Chief Chaplain for the United States Navy, and also served as a Rear Admiral. As Rear Admiral, his personal decorations included the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal (two medals), Meritorious Service Medals (two awards), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals (two awards), and numerous unit awards, campaign, and service medals.
The Sabbath In The Supreme Court
There are minimally 14 depictions of the 10 commandments to be found in the Supreme Court building. Several are depicted as in hand with Moses, and others as just the tablets alone. Minimally, it can be stated that the Fourth Commandment is also to be found in the Judicial Branch of government of the United States in the Supreme Court!
Sabbath keepers can take proper pride in the fact that throughout our history they have served with character, integrity and faith at many levels of government. They have contributed in civic duty to their communities and nations. In the saga of America we also see the hand of commandment keeping, Sabbath observing Christians contributing to its rich history.
Bill Lussenheide has been a first generation Sabbath keeper for 42 years. He and his wife Terri reside in Menifee, CA.