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Dr. Barry C. Black, Chaplain U.S. Senate

About Chaplain Barry C. Black, PhD  

9909d5d5-42de-40bd-b5cc-e484e33f9cc8On June 27, 2003, Rear Admiral Barry C. Black (Ret.) was elected the 62nd Chaplain of the United States Senate. He began working in the Senate on July 7, 2003. Prior to coming to Capitol Hill, Chaplain Black served in the U.S. Navy for over twenty-seven years, ending his distinguished career as the Chief of Navy Chaplains. The Senate elected its first chaplain in 1789.

Commissioned as a Navy Chaplain in 1976, Chaplain 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, California; USS BELLEAU WOOD (LHA 3) 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.

Chaplain Black has an extensive educational background. He is an alumnus of Pine Forge Academy Class of 1966; Oakwood University; Andrews University; North Carolina Central University; Eastern Baptist 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 three separate Master of Arts degrees in: divinity, counseling, and management; he also holds two earned doctorates: a Doctorate of Ministry and a Ph.D. in psychology.

In 2004, he also received an Honorary Doctorate of Divinity degree from La Sierra University.  As Rear Admiral, his personal decorations included 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.

Personal Information                                                                                                                                                                                                          images-2

Chaplain Black is a native of Baltimore, Maryland and an alumnus of Oakwood College, Andrews University, North Carolina Central University, Eastern Baptist Seminary, Salve Regina University, and United States International University. In addition to earning Master of Arts degrees in Divinity, Counseling, and Management, he has received a Doctorate degree in Ministry and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Psychology.

Chaplain Black has been selected for many outstanding achievements. Of particular note, he was chosen from 127 nominees for the 1995 NAACP Renowned Service Award 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 on him the Image Award, “Reaffirming the Dream — Realizing the Vision” for military excellence.

Chaplain Barry C. Black is married to the former Brenda Pearsall of St. Petersburg, Florida. They have three sons: Barry II, Brendan, and Bradford.


Washington D.C. (Aug. 15, 2003) — Rear Adm. Barry C. Black, Chief of
Navy Chaplains makes remarks after receiving the Navy Distinguished
Service Medal from Adm Vern Clark, Chief of Naval Operations (CNO).
Sitting center and next to the CNO is Rear Adm. Christopher E. Weaver,
Commandant, Naval District Washington during the change  of office and
retirement ceremony held at the Washington Navy Yard.  Rear Adm.
Black retires from naval service as the 22nd Chief of Navy Chaplains and
will continue to serve as the 62nd Chaplain of the United States Senate.

U.S. Navy photo by Chief Photographer’s Mate Johnny Rivera

Click here to download the 2016 Barry Black Oratorical Program

Click here to watch videos of the 2016 Barry Black Oratorical Program