“We first begin to achieve our potential when we give God an undivided heart. At best, the human heart is fickle, frail, deceptive, and wicked. But when we give our hearts in total trust to God, He awakens in us a faith that will expect the unexpected. We no longer have to settle for second best and marginal living. Giving God an undivided heart means trusting Him completely, relying on His goodness, and believing His promises. It means making obedience a priority.”
— Barry Black, Adventist Pastor and Chaplain of the United States Senate
Coming from poverty in the public housing projects of Baltimore, Maryland, where crime, drugs, and poverty infected the environment, many of Barry’s childhood friends’ final destinations were incarceration, addiction, or death. Add to that his Seventh-day Adventist denominational roots, an oft-maligned religious tradition among the highly influencial and powerful. He had matriculated at a small, parochial, African-American college in Huntsville, Alabama (Oakwood College, now Oakwood University), and then studied at an obscure seminary in Berrien Springs, Michigan (Andrews University). Some Navy chaplains possessed Ivy League diplomas, yet Barry was chosen to be the first African American Chief of Chaplains for the US Navy, and ultimately, Chaplain of the United States Senate. He gives God the credit. He Knows What He’s Talking About (H.K.W.H.T.A.).
- Expecting the Unexpected, Adventist Review Article
- From the Hood to the Hill, Autobiography by Barry Black