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WASHINGTON – Buffalo Common Council President Darius G. Pridgen delivered the opening prayer in the House of Representatives on Wednesday, invoking the planets and the moon as he urged lawmakers to work together for the common good.

“The grand architect of the universe meticulously and purposefully placed each star in the planet in the universe,” said Pridgen, pastor of True Bethel Baptist Church. “The result of such methodical placement has caused tranquility in the universe in that Mars does not clash with Jupiter, Venus does not war with Saturn, and the sun does not compete with the moon.”

“As you have done in the universe, you have also done in this House of the people,” Pridgen continued. “May those whom you have perfectly placed in these hallowed seats remember that like the perfectly planned universe, they have been placed here by you not to clash and crash and war, but to work together for the good of their constituents, the country, the world and, indeed, the universe. In the name of God we serve, amen.”

After giving the opening prayer, Pridgen said he wanted to deliver a message of harmony on the House floor “and that it was a thrill to do so.”

“Especially as an African-American who knows the history well, it was inspiring to be on the House floor and to see the inner workings of what happens before a House session,” Pridgen said.

Pridgen spoke at the invitation of Rep. Brian Higgins, D-Buffalo, who introduced him.

“Pastor Pridgen is well-known and well-respected in our community for his passionate and inspiring leadership,” Higgins said. “We could all benefit from adopting his style of cooperation and uniting people of different beliefs and ideologies.”

The last Buffalo-area minister to deliver the House opening prayer was Dr. Karl D. Eastlack, then the pastor of Eastern Hills Wesleyan Church in Clarence, who spoke in 2006 at the request of then-Rep. Thomas M. Reynolds, R-Clarence.

email: jzremski@buffnews.com