Barry Black : biography
Barry C. Black (born November 1, 1948) is the 62nd Chaplain of the United States Senate. He was elected to this position on June 27, 2003, becoming the first African American and the first Seventh-day Adventist to hold this office. The Senate elected its first chaplain in 1789.
He served for over 27 years as a chaplain in the United States Navy, rising to the rank of Rear Admiral and ending his career as the Chief of Chaplains of the United States Navy, the senior chaplain of the United States Navy Chaplain Corps. He officially retired from the Navy on August 15, 2003.
Black is a native of Baltimore, Maryland, and an alumnus of Oakwood University, Andrews University, North Carolina Central University, Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary (now known as Palmer Theological Seminary), Salve Regina University and the United States International University (now known as Alliant International University). In addition to earning Masters degrees in Divinity, Counseling, and Management, he has received a Doctorate degree in Ministry and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Psychology.
He is the author of "From the Hood to the Hill," released August 22, 2006.
Black has been honored in a number of ways for his achievements. He was chosen from 127 nominees for the NAACP's Renowned Service Award (1995) for his contribution to equal opportunity and civil rights. He also received the 2002 Benjamin Elijah Mays Distinguished Leadership Award from the Morehouse School of Religion. In 2004, the Old Dominion University chapter of the NAACP conferred the Image Award, "Reaffirming the Dream – Realizing the Vision" for military excellence on Black.
Black is married to the former Brenda Pearsall of St. Petersburg, Florida; they have three sons: Barry II, Brendan, and Bradford.
Commissioned as a Navy Chaplain in 1976, Black’s first duty station was the Fleet Religious Support Activity in Norfolk, Virginia. Subsequent assignments include:
- Naval Support Activity, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania;
- U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland;
- First Marine Aircraft Wing, Okinawa, Japan;
- Naval Training Center, San Diego;
- USS Belleau Wood, Long Beach, California;
- Naval Chaplains School Advanced Course, Newport, Rhode Island;
- Marine Aircraft Group THIRTY-ONE, Beaufort, South Carolina;
- Assistant Staff Chaplain, Chief of Naval Education and Training, Pensacola, Florida; and
- Fleet Chaplain, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, Norfolk, Virginia.
- Chief of United States Navy Chaplain Corps
His military awards include 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.
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