Pastor appointed as official chaplain

By Monroe Roark
Times Correspondent

Stockbridge now has an official chaplain.

A resolution was passed at the City Council’s Aug. 8 regular meeting that created the position and appointed local pastor Terrance Gattis to fill the role. Gattis is pastor of Mt. Olive Baptist Church.

Presented by city attorney Michael Williams, the resolution points out two relevant U.S. Supreme Court rulings - one in 1983 that deemed legislative chaplains permissible under the Constitution, and another in 2014 allowing sectarian prayers at the beginning of legislative sessions.

The chaplain’s position is a non-paid voluntary one, and the council can remove or change its appointment at any time according to the resolution. The person in this role is to be:

“Available to the City Council to provide spiritual guidance and counsel on an as-needed basis whenever the circumstances shall require.

“Responsible for coordinating the attendance of appropriate clergy to render invocations for all meetings of the City Council unless directed otherwise.

“Responsible for providing comfort to the City of Stockbridge during times of grief or discord within the community.”