Who has given the invocation during the 2018-2019 city council year?

I have grown bored with keeping track of who gives the invocation at the Jacksonville City Council meetings.  If you’d like to start keeping track of the invocation speakers, let me know and I can add you as an author so you can add to this blog post.

July 24, 2018–At this LINK you can hear the invocation given at the first city council meeting of Aaron Bowman’s term as city council president.  Perhaps if you listened to the introduction to the invocation, you (too) will have these questions:

1. What did Council Member Schellenberg mean by faith-based?  Is he signaling that he (like Doyle Carter) won’t be inviting those that are non-religious to give the invocation?  

2. Why did Council Member Gulliford ask everyone to stand before the invocation?  That’s not allowed, correct?

3. Is Council Member Schellenberg the new appointed Chaplain per Jacksonville City Council rule 1.106 ?  

RULE 1.106 CHAPLAIN The President may appoint one Council Member to be Chaplain of the Council, who shall arrange to open each meeting of the Council with a prayer/invocation. The President or Chaplain may invite or designate others to provide appropriate ceremonies.


Invocation speakers July 2017 to June 2018 for Jacksonville City Council meetings

Sept 7 — Council Member Doyle Carter <==This was an emergency meeting
Sept 12 — Meeting cancelled due to Irma

Here is the list that Doyle Carter provided:
7/25: Pastor McGinley- Old Plank Baptist Church
8/8: Keith Russell- Westside Baptist Church
8/22: Adam Peterson- Rise Church
9/18: Pat Archuleta- Chaplin of Cecil Field POW/MIA and Jesus Loves Veterans Ministry
9/26: Pastor Mac Brunson- First Baptist Church of Jacksonville
10/10: Chaplain David Williams from JSO Jails Division
10/24: Pastor Dwayne Sumner- Normandy Baptist Church
11/14: Clarence Jarrell- JSO Chaplin
11/28: Bishop Guns- St. Paul’s Missionary Baptist Church
12/12: CM Carter-[Baptist]
1/9: Jason Reed- Old Plank Baptist Church– Family Ministries
1/23: Bishop Edward Robinson- Southside Church of God in Christ
2/13: Pastor Brunson Clements- Whitehouse Baptist Church
2/27: Rev. David Hill- First Ministries
3/13: Ted Corley- Mission First Coast [Is he from Mayfair Baptist Church?]
3/27: Mark Griffin- Wayman Temple
4/10: Tom Messer- Trinity Baptist Church
4/24: Esther Wilder- Westside Family Worship Center- Women’s Ministry  <==That’s the person that Doyle said would offer the invocation BUT Bishop Percy Golden – The Revival Center is listed on the coj website as the invocation speaker for April 24
5/8: Gary Wiggins- Evangel Temple <==That’s the person that Doyle said would offer the invocation BUT Jimmy Wilder – Westside Worship Center is listed on the coj website as the invocation speaker for May 8
5/22: Fred Newbill: First Timothy Baptist  <==That’s the person that Doyle said would offer the invocation BUT Amos Bankhead – Combined Gospel Church is listed on the coj website as the invocation speaker for May 22
6/12: Father Tom Willis- Diocese of St. Augustine<==That’s the person that Doyle said would offer the invocation BUT Dr. Winston Butler – Dinsmore Baptist Church is listed on the coj website as the invocation speaker for June 12 th.
6/26: Amy Slater- Sr. Associate St. Mary’s Episcopal Church<==That’s the person that Doyle said would offer the invocation BUT Rodney Kelly – West Jacksonville   Church is listed on the coj website as the invocation speaker for June 26th.

Invocation speakers July 2016 to June 2017 for Jacksonville City Council meetings

Council member Morgan was the chaplain this fiscal year (2016-2017).  She achieved a certain level of diversity, yes?  I applaud her efforts.  Do you?  I hope future city council chaplains will either do away with the invocation period or work harder to invite speakers from diverse groups.  Jacksonville is a very diverse town.

July 26, 2016 –Kyle Reese.  You can hear it at this LINK .  Kyle Reese is a Baptist pastor and also on the board of OneJax..
August 9 —Pastor Messer ( LINK  of meeting)  with Trinity Baptist Church.
August 23 —Council Member Morgan gave the invocation and you can hear it at this LINK
Sept 13   – Father Nick Louh – St. John Greek Orthodox Church
Sept 27 –Bishop Michael Mitchell, St. Stephen A.M.E. Church
Oct 11 —  Pastor Joe Newton with  Connection Church of Jacksonville
October 25 –Bishop PERCY J. GOLDEN –chaplain of Fire fighters ?
Nov 9– Dr. Sharon Paryani, Local Spiritual Assembly, Baha’i Faith
Nov 22- Rabbi Yaakov Fisch, ETZ Chaim Synagogue
Dec 13–Rev. Susan Rogers, The Well at Springfield
Jan 10 — Dr. Mobeen Rathore, a Faith Leader of the Islamic Center of Northeast Florida
Jan 24–  Clayton Levins – You can hear introduction and prayer at this LINK –He is another Baptist.
Feb 14 —Rev. Dr. D. Lovett Sconiers, Chaplain & Religion Professor, Edward Waters College ..   LINK
Feb 28 —  Father Rafael Lavilla, St. Paul’s Catholic Church
March 14 –Deacon Patrick Goin, Holy Spirit Catholic Church
March 28 —Charles Christie –This LINK gives a little info about him.
LINK to invocation  He talks about Jesus but I’m not sure which Christian denomination.
April 11 — – Bishop George Davis, Impact Church
April 25 — A Hindu priest—  You can here the invocation at this LINK
May 9–Rev. Robert L. Morris, Jr.  of First Presbyterian Church
May 23 — Sukhbir Singh, Sikh Society of Northeast Florida
June 13 — Dr. Morgan Browning, Campus Pastor, First Baptist Church of Jacksonville
June 27 — Rev. Saundra Gadsden, Chaplain UF Health Jacksonville

List of invocation speakers July 2015 to June 2016 and the definition of the rotation scheme


June 28, 2016 – Minister Philip Baber, Unitarian Universalist Church of Jacksonville
June 14, 2016  – Rev. Noel Roberts, Bethel Temple Assembly of God
May 24, 2016 Rabbi Jonathan Lubliner, Jacksonville Jewish Center
May 10, 2016  Rev. Arul Yagappan, Pastor St. Paul’s Catholic Church
April 26, 2016- Rev. Morgan Browning, 1st Baptist Church
April 12, 2016  – Rev. David Williams, JSO Chaplain
March 22, 2016 —Earl Coggins, Humanist Celebrant–First Coast Freethought Society
March 8, 2016– Rev. Arlinda Burks, Arlington United Methodist Church
Feb 23, 2016— Father Boddie, Christ the King Church
Feb 18, 2016– Council Member Jim Love (Why a repeat?)
February 9, 2016 -Rev. Kevin Pound, Mandarin Presbyterian
January 26, 2016- Rev. A.C. Richardson, New Life Evangelistic Center
January 12, 2016–Pastor Sal Di Fazio – St. Paul’s Catholic Church
December 8, 2015- Reverend Tom Messer (Pastor) – Trinity Baptist Church
November 24- Bishop Estevez, Diocese of St. Augustine
November 10–Rabbi Yaakov Fisch, ETZ Chaim Synagogue
October 27- Bishop Rudolph McKissick, Jr.- Bethel Baptist Inst. Church
October 13-Dr. Albert Simpson Jr., Philemon Missionary Baptist Church
September 21–Pastor Mark Griffin, Wayman Ministries
September 8– Rev. Sam Pascoe, Jax Anglican Fellowship
August 25–Rev. Jason Cullum from Christ’s Church
August 11— Brett Foster of the Riverside Baptist Church
July 28, 2015—Greg Anderson (for his first council meeting as Council President) asked Council Member Jim Love to give the invocation.You can also find who has given the invocation and other things about the city council meetings at this link: http://www.coj.net/city-council.aspx

In the recent Supreme Court decision, Town of Greece v. Galloway, the Court emphasized that a government’s prayer practice must be “nondiscriminatory” and it must make reasonable efforts to include invocations from all members of the community, regardless of their faith. In fact, the completely open selection process was crucial to the prayers being upheld: “The town at no point excluded or denied an opportunity to a would-be prayer giver. Its leaders maintained that a minister or layperson of any persuasion, including an atheist, could give the invocation.” (Town of Greece, N.Y. v. Galloway, 12-696, 2014 WL 1757828 (U.S. May 5, 2014)) Therefore, excluding a particular faith group from consideration is unconstitutional. (Pelphrey v. Cobb County, 547 F.3d 1263, 1276 (11th Cir. 2008)).

The phrase “rotation scheme” was mentioned in the oral arguments on page 43 at this link:

supremecourt.gov oral arguments of the Greece v. Galloway case

Here is the quote:
JUSTICE BREYER: All right. …..  [snipped out a portion] ….Then the fourth approach,  …. let’s try to be inclusive. ….   in other words, so you didn’t get the right prayer today, but you — and even with the nonreligious, ….you know many believe in the better angels of our nature and the spiritual side of humankind; it’s not impossible to appeal to them. So you say, you’ll have your chance. And that’s the thing I would like you to explore. Is there a way of doing that or is that preferable to the other ways or do we get into trouble?

MR. LAYCOCK: …..  rotation scheme ….
end quote