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The House has elected or appointed employees to carry out a wide variety of tasks throughout its history. The officers’ duties are prescribed both by law and Rule II of the Rules of the House of Representatives.

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December 31, 2013

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Chaplains of the House

opening day characteristic sketches Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
About this object
Chaplain William Milburn served the House from 1885 to 1893.
The election of the Rev. William Linn as Chaplain of the House on May 1, 1789, continued the tradition established by the Continental Congresses of each day's proceedings opening with a prayer by a chaplain. The early House Chaplains alternated duties with their Senate counterparts on a weekly basis. The two conducted Sunday services for the Washington community in the House chamber every other week.

In addition to opening proceedings with prayer, the Chaplain provides pastoral counseling to the House community, coordinates the scheduling of guest chaplains, and arranges memorial services for the House and its staff. In the past, Chaplains have performed marriage and funeral ceremonies for House members.

Two Chaplains also served as U.S. Representatives either prior to or after their service as House Chaplain.

Congress and Years Name DenominationDate Appointed
1st (1789–1791) The Reverend William LINN Presbyterian May 01, 1789
1st (1789–1791) The Reverend Samuel BLAIR Presbyterian Jan 04, 1790
2nd (1791–1793) The Reverend Samuel BLAIR Presbyterian Jan 04, 1790
2nd (1791–1793) The Reverend Ashbel GREEN Presbyterian Nov 05, 1792
3rd (1793–1795) The Reverend Ashbel GREEN Presbyterian Dec 03, 1793
4th (1795–1797) The Reverend Ashbel GREEN Presbyterian Dec 11, 1795
5th (1797–1799) The Reverend Ashbel GREEN Presbyterian May 17, 1797
6th (1799–1801) The Reverend Thomas LYELL Methodist Nov 17, 1800
6th (1799–1801) The Reverend Ashbel GREEN Presbyterian Dec 04, 1800
7th (1801–1803) The Reverend William PARKINSON Baptist Dec 10, 1801
8th (1803–1805) The Reverend William PARKINSON Baptist Oct 20, 1803
8th (1803–1805) 1 The Reverend James LAURIE Presbyterian Nov 30, 1804
9th (1805–1807) 2 The Reverend James LAURIE Presbyterian Dec 13, 1805
9th (1805–1807) The Reverend Robert ELLIOT Presbyterian Dec 04, 1806
10th (1807–1809) The Reverend Obadiah Bruen BROWN Baptist Oct 30, 1807
11th (1809–1811) The Reverend Jesse LEE Methodist May 27, 1809
12th (1811–1813) The Reverend Nicholas SNETHEN Methodist Nov 13, 1811
13th (1813–1815) The Reverend Jesse LEE Methodist Nov 06, 1812
13th (1813–1815) The Reverend Obadiah Bruen BROWN Baptist Sep 23, 1814
14th (1815–1817) The Reverend Spencer Houghton CONE Baptist Dec 07, 1815
14th (1815–1817) The Reverend Burgess ALLISON Baptist Dec 05, 1816
15th (1817–1819) The Reverend Burgess ALLISON Baptist Dec 05, 1817
16th (1819–1821) The Reverend Burgess ALLISON Baptist Dec 08, 1819
16th (1819–1821) The Reverend John Nicholson CAMPBELL Presbyterian Nov 16, 1820
17th (1821–1823) The Reverend Jared SPARKS Unitarian Dec 10, 1821
17th (1821–1823) The Reverend John BRACKENRIDGE Presbyterian Dec 05, 1822
18th (1823–1825) The Reverend Henry Biddleman BASCOM Methodist Dec 08, 1823
18th (1823–1825) The Reverend Reuben POST Presbyterian Dec 09, 1824
19th (1825–1827) The Reverend Reuben POST Presbyterian Dec 09, 1825
20th (1827–1829) The Reverend Reuben POST Presbyterian Dec 10, 1827
21st (1829–1831) The Reverend Reuben POST Presbyterian Dec 10, 1829
21st (1829–1831) The Reverend Ralph Randolph GURLEY Presbyterian Dec 13, 1830
22nd (1831–1833) The Reverend Reuben POST Presbyterian Dec 13, 1831
22nd (1831–1833) The Reverend William Henry HAMMETT Methodist Dec 12, 1832
23rd (1833–1835) The Reverend Thomas H. STOCKTON Methodist Dec 09, 1833
23rd (1833–1835) The Reverend Edward Dunlap SMITH Presbyterian Dec 10, 1834
24th (1835–1837) The Reverend Thomas H. STOCKTON Methodist Dec 24, 1835
24th (1835–1837) The Reverend Oliver Cromwell COMSTOCK Baptist Dec 20, 1836
25th (1837–1839) 3 The Reverend Septimus TUSTIN Presbyterian Sep 12, 1837
25th (1837–1839) The Reverend Levi R. REESE Methodist Dec 11, 1837
26th (1839–1841) The Reverend Joshua BATES Congregationalist Feb 04, 1840
26th (1839–1841) The Reverend Thomas W. BRAXTON Baptist Dec 15, 1840
27th (1841–1843) The Reverend John W. FRENCH Episcopalian Jun 09, 1841
27th (1841–1843) The Reverend John Newland MAFFIT Methodist Dec 13, 1841
27th (1841–1843) The Reverend Frederick T. TIFFANY Episcopalian Dec 14, 1842
28th (1843–1845) The Reverend Isaac S. TINSLEY Baptist Dec 16, 1843
28th (1843–1845) The Reverend William M. DAILY Methodist Dec 04, 1844
29th (1845–1847) 4 The Reverend William Henry MILBURN Methodist Dec 22, 1845
29th (1845–1847) The Reverend William T.S. SPROLE Presbyterian Dec 17, 1846
30th (1847–1849) The Reverend Ralph GURLEY Presbyterian Dec 14, 1847
31st (1849–1851) 5 The Reverend Ralph GURLEY Presbyterian Feb 01, 1850
32nd (1851–1853) The Reverend Littleton F. MORGAN Methodist Dec 09, 1851
32nd (1851–1853) The Reverend James GALLAGHER Presbyterian Dec 07, 1852
33rd (1853–1855) The Reverend William Henry MILBURN Methodist Dec 07, 1853
34th (1855–1857) 6 The Reverend Daniel WALDO Congregationalist Feb 21, 1856
37th (1861–1863) 7 The Reverend Thomas H. STOCKTON Methodist Jul 05, 1861
38th (1863–1865) The Reverend William Henry CHANNING Unitarian Dec 10, 1863
39th (1865–1867) The Reverend Charles B. BOYNTON Congregationalist Dec 05, 1865
40th (1867–1869) The Reverend Charles B. BOYNTON Congregationalist Mar 05, 1867
41st (1869–1871) The Reverend John George BUTLER Presbyterian Mar 09, 1869
42nd (1871–1873) The Reverend John George BUTLER Presbyterian Mar 04, 1871
43rd (1873–1875) The Reverend John George BUTLER Presbyterian Dec 02, 1873
44th (1875–1877) The Reverend S.L. TOWNSEND Episcopalian Dec 06, 1875
45th (1877–1879) 8 The Reverend John POISAL Methodist Oct 15, 1877
45th (1877–1879) The Reverend W.P. HARRISON Methodist Dec 03, 1877
46th (1879–1881) The Reverend W.P. HARRISON Methodist Mar 18, 1879
47th (1881–1883) The Reverend Frederick Dunglison POWER Disciples of Christ Dec 05, 1881
48th (1883–1885) The Reverend John Summerfield LINDSAY Episcopalian Dec 04, 1883
49th (1885–1887) The Reverend William Henry MILBURN Methodist Dec 07, 1885
50th (1887–1889) The Reverend William Henry MILBURN Methodist Dec 05, 1887
51st (1889–1891) The Reverend William Henry MILBURN Methodist Dec 02, 1889
52nd (1891–1893) The Reverend William Henry MILBURN Methodist Dec 08, 1891
53rd (1893–1895) 9 The Reverend Samuel W. HADDAWAY Methodist Aug 07, 1893
53rd (1893–1895) The Reverend Edward B. BAGBY Christian Nov 01, 1893
54th (1895–1897) The Reverend Henry N. COUDEN Universalist Dec 02, 1895
55th (1897–1899) The Reverend Henry N. COUDEN Universalist Mar 15, 1897
56th (1899–1901) The Reverend Henry N. COUDEN Universalist Dec 04, 1899
57th (1901–1903) The Reverend Henry N. COUDEN Universalist Dec 02, 1901
58th (1903–1905) The Reverend Henry N. COUDEN Universalist Nov 09, 1903
59th (1905–1907) The Reverend Henry N. COUDEN Universalist Dec 04, 1905
60th (1907–1909) The Reverend Henry N. COUDEN Universalist Dec 02, 1907
61st (1909–1911) The Reverend Henry N. COUDEN Universalist Mar 15, 1909
62nd (1911–1913) The Reverend Henry N. COUDEN Universalist Apr 04, 1911
63rd (1913–1915) The Reverend Henry N. COUDEN Universalist Apr 07, 1913
64th (1915–1917) The Reverend Henry N. COUDEN Universalist Dec 06, 1915
65th (1917–1919) The Reverend Henry N. COUDEN Universalist Apr 02, 1917
66th (1919–1921) The Reverend Henry N. COUDEN Universalist May 19, 1919
67th (1921–1923) The Reverend James Shera MONTGOMERY Methodist Apr 11, 1921
68th (1923–1925) The Reverend James Shera MONTGOMERY Methodist Dec 05, 1923
69th (1925–1927) The Reverend James Shera MONTGOMERY Methodist Dec 07, 1925
70th (1927–1929) The Reverend James Shera MONTGOMERY Methodist Dec 05, 1927
71st (1929–1931) The Reverend James Shera MONTGOMERY Methodist Apr 15, 1929
72nd (1931–1933) The Reverend James Shera MONTGOMERY Methodist Dec 07, 1931
73rd (1933–1935) The Reverend James Shera MONTGOMERY Methodist Mar 09, 1933
74th (1935–1937) The Reverend James Shera MONTGOMERY Methodist Jan 03, 1935
75th (1937–1939) The Reverend James Shera MONTGOMERY Methodist Jan 05, 1937
76th (1939–1941) The Reverend James Shera MONTGOMERY Methodist Jan 03, 1939
77th (1941–1943) The Reverend James Shera MONTGOMERY Methodist Jan 03, 1941
78th (1943–1945) The Reverend James Shera MONTGOMERY Methodist Jan 06, 1943
79th (1945–1947) The Reverend James Shera MONTGOMERY Methodist Jan 03, 1945
80th (1947–1949) The Reverend James Shera MONTGOMERY Methodist Jan 03, 1947
81st (1949–1951) 10 The Reverend James Shera MONTGOMERY Methodist Jan 03, 1949
81st (1949–1951) The Reverend Bernard BRASKAMP Presbyterian Jan 30, 1950
82nd (1951–1953) The Reverend Bernard BRASKAMP Presbyterian Jan 03, 1951
83rd (1953–1955) The Reverend Bernard BRASKAMP Presbyterian Jan 03, 1953
84th (1955–1957) The Reverend Bernard BRASKAMP Presbyterian Jan 05, 1955
85th (1957–1959) The Reverend Bernard BRASKAMP Presbyterian Jan 03, 1957
86th (1959–1961) The Reverend Bernard BRASKAMP Presbyterian Jan 07, 1959
87th (1961–1963) The Reverend Bernard BRASKAMP Presbyterian Jan 03, 1961
88th (1963–1965) The Reverend Bernard BRASKAMP Presbyterian Jan 03, 1963
89th (1965–1967) The Reverend Bernard BRASKAMP Presbyterian Jan 04, 1965
90th (1967–1969) The Reverend Edward G. LATCH Methodist Jan 10, 1967
91st (1969–1971) The Reverend Edward G. LATCH Methodist Jan 03, 1969
92nd (1971–1973) The Reverend Edward G. LATCH Methodist Jan 21, 1971
93rd (1973–1975) The Reverend Edward G. LATCH Methodist Jan 03, 1973
94th (1975–1977) The Reverend Edward G. LATCH Methodist Jan 14, 1975
95th (1977–1979) The Reverend Edward G. LATCH Methodist Jan 04, 1977
96th (1979–1981) The Reverend James D. FORD Lutheran Jan 15, 1979
97th (1981–1983) The Reverend James D. FORD Lutheran Jan 05, 1981
98th (1983–1985) The Reverend James D. FORD Lutheran Jan 03, 1983
99th (1985–1987) The Reverend James D. FORD Lutheran Jan 03, 1985
100th (1987–1989) The Reverend James D. FORD Lutheran Jan 06, 1987
101st (1989–1991) The Reverend James D. FORD Lutheran Jan 03, 1989
102nd (1991–1993) The Reverend James D. FORD Lutheran Jan 03, 1991
103rd (1993–1995) The Reverend James D. FORD Lutheran Jan 05, 1993
104th (1995–1997) The Reverend James D. FORD Lutheran Jan 04, 1995
105th (1997–1999) The Reverend James D. FORD Lutheran Jan 07, 1997
106th (1999–2001) 11 The Reverend James D. FORD Lutheran Jan 06, 1999
106th (1999–2001) The Reverend Daniel P. COUGHLIN Roman Catholic Mar 23, 2000
107th (2001–2003) The Reverend Daniel P. COUGHLIN Roman Catholic Jan 03, 2001
108th (2003–2005) The Reverend Daniel P. COUGHLIN Roman Catholic Jan 07, 2003
109th (2005–2007) The Reverend Daniel P. COUGHLIN Roman Catholic Jan 04, 2005
110th (2007–2009) The Reverend Daniel P. COUGHLIN Roman Catholic Jan 04, 2007
111th (2009–2011) The Reverend Daniel P. COUGHLIN Roman Catholic Jan 06, 2009
112th (2011–2013) 12 The Reverend Daniel P. COUGHLIN Roman Catholic Jan 05, 2011
112th (2011–2013) The Reverend Patrick J. CONROY Roman Catholic May 25, 2011
113th (2013–2015) The Reverend Patrick J. CONROY Roman Catholic Jan 03, 2013

Footnotes

1For the second session of the 8th Congress, Reverend William Bentley was elected on Nov. 7, 1804, but declined the position. Reverend William Parkinson was elected to fill the position on Nov. 27, 1804, but declined the position. Finally, Reverend James Laurie was elected as Chaplain on Nov. 30, 1804.

2For the first session of the 9th Congress, Reverend John Glendy was elected on Dec. 4, 1805, but declined the position. Reverend James Laurie was elected in his place on Dec. 13, 1805.

3Reverend Samuel Tustin's last name has been spelled "Tuston" in various editions of the Congressional Globe.

4Reverend William Henry Milburn's last name has been spelled "Milburne" in various editions of the Congressional Globe.

5There was no Chaplain elected for the 31st Congress from Dec. 3, 1849–Feb. 1, 1850.

6For the first three months of the 34th Congress (Dec. 3, 1855–Feb. 21, 1856) the duties of the Chaplain fell upon the local ministers in and around Washington. On Feb. 21, 1856, the system was debated in the House, and a permanent Chaplain, Reverend Daniel Waldo, was elected for the duration of the 34th Congress.

7There were no elected Chaplains for the 35th–36th Congresses. Instead, ministers in Washington were invited to perform the opening prayer, and were not compensated for performing the duties of a Chaplain.

8Reverend John Poisal's last name has been spelled "Poisel" and "Poisol" in various editions of the Congressional Record. Poisal resigned from the Chaplaincy on Nov. 7, 1877, and was succeeded by Reverend W. P. Harrison on Nov. 9, 1877.

9Reverend Samuel W. Haddaway died on October 26, 1893, and was succeeded by Reverend Edward B. Bagby on Nov. 1, 1893.

10Reverend James Shera Montgomery resigned as Chaplain on Jan. 30, 1950, and was succeeded by Reverend Bernard Braskamp on Jan. 30, 1950.

11Reverend James D. Ford resigned as Chaplain on March 23, 2000, and was succeeded by Reverend Daniel P. Coughlin. Coughlin was appointed "to act as and to exercise temporarily the duties of Chaplain of the House of Representatives" on March 23, 2000 (Congressional Record, 106th Cong., 2nd sess.: H3481).

12Reverend Daniel P. Coughlin resigned as Chaplain on May 25, 2011, and was succeeded by Reverend Patrick J. Conroy on May 25, 2011.