Leader of True Bethel Baptist Church opens session with a prayer
The Rev. Darius Pridgen of True Bethel Baptist Church led the House of Representatives' opening prayer Wednesday. Pridgen, who serves congregations in both Buffalo and Niagara Falls and holds the position of Buffalo Common Council president, was invited to address U.S. Representatives by Congressman Brian Higgins.
Pridgen is among just a handful of Western New York clergy over the past decade invited to speak in the House chambers.
A video of Pridgen's blessing and Higgins' welcome is available on Higgins' YouTube page at: https://www.youtube.com/user/CongressmanHiggins. The text of Higgins' remarks is below:
"I am proud to welcome Pastor Darius Pridgen to the House of Representatives today from True Bethel Baptist Church in Western New York.
"Pastor Pridgen is well-known and well-respected in our community for his passionate and inspiring leadership. We could all benefit from adopting his style of cooperation and uniting people of different beliefs and ideologies.
"His contributions to our region are many. In addition to being a role model, he also works through creative ministry to create jobs, care for those in need, and influence good in his church and far beyond. This is most notable by his expansion of True Bethel's reach from East Buffalo into the City of Niagara Falls. Pastor Pridgen is also a family man and encourages strong families.
"In addition to his ministry, Pastor Pridgen has served our nation as a veteran of the United States Air Force and currently serves as president of the Buffalo City Council.
"Pastor Pridgen is an embodiment of Buffalo's reputation as the 'City of Good Neighbors,' and I am honored to have him here today to represent our community."