YOU ARE HERE: HeraldMail HomeCollectionsWva

Local minister praying for the senate

February 13, 2002

Local minister praying for the senate

By SARAH MULLIN / Staff Writer, Martinsburg

HEDGESVILLE, W.Va. - A Berkeley County, W.Va., minister has been invited by U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., to open the Senate Thursday morning in Washington, D.C., with a prayer.

The Rev. Barbara Spies-Scott said the event - aside from being a great honor - is special because it will take place on her father's birthday, Valentine's Day.

Clyde Valentine Spies, who participated in the senior citizen-advocating Silver Haired Legislature in West Virginia, died five years ago.

"This is really quite special because my father had such an interest in politics," she said.

Spies-Scott, resident minister for the Hedgesville (W.Va.) Chapel, leaves for the Capital today.

"This is a big responsibility, especially in these trying times," she said.

The Rev. Lloyd Ogilvie, Senate chaplain, confirmed Byrd's invitation to invite Spies-Scott to open the Senate with prayer more than a year ago.


Ministers who wish to be guest chaplains ask their state senators, who then make the request to Ogilvie, said Tim Gavin, a spokesperson for Byrd.

It is a great honor because only two guest speakers are allowed per month, and not everyone gets to do it, Gavin said.

The chaplain's calendar is already booked through 2003, he said.

Spies-Scott first met Byrd at the 150th anniversary for the nondenominational Hedgesville Chapel about three years ago. Since then she has met him on other occasions when he has visited the Eastern Panhandle.

"I firmly believe people in power need the power of prayer. I would like to let them know God is in control even in the midst of terrorism, and that should give us hope," she said.

The prayer will emphasize leaning on the Lord and the importance of praying for guidance for senators so they may have the wisdom to know what is right, she said.

The event will be broadcast live on C-Span 2, she said.

Spies-Scott, who would only claim to be older than 50, said she knew there was a divine calling in her life when she was 18.

But she began her career as a nurse and worked in the profession for more than 20 years.

In 1996, she became an ordained minister after completing her bachelor's and master's degrees at Chesapeake Bible College and Seminary in Maryland. In 2001, she received an honorary doctorate of divinity from Chesapeake.

Spies-Scott now spends her time teaching biblical studies at Hope Institute in Martinsburg, a division of the Chesapeake Bible College, and ministering at the chapel.

She rotates services with other ministers and is in charge of funerals, weddings and consultations for The Woods Resort community.

She also participates in pulpit supply, filling in for other area ministers.

"I came back to the Lord and now I feel I am able to help people who are in a lot of pain because I have had a lot of losses and pain in my life," she said.

The Herald-Mail Articles