MY FELLOW AMERICANS 🇺🇸 – Folks have asked me what to do if your party, person or platform didn’t win or in power after noon on Inauguration Day? For starters, pray for both leaders and their respective camp. Secondly, I’ll tell you what’s worked for me and my family over the years and it’s simple. We just try to love on everyone the same.
Long ago, I was taught in math class what you do to one side of the equation you need to do to the other side as well. When Rev. Billy Graham who pastored an unprecedented 13 U.S. Presidents was asked was he after the right wing or left wing he replied, “I’m going after the whole bird!” I’ve had the honor to meet and minister to lawmakers on both sides of the aisle at the local, state, national and global level.
I drove five hours alone to Delaware when then Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Beau died in 2015. Note this pic below of Biden crying standing next to his son’s American flag draped casket. God told me to go and I had the privilege to offer my condolences to him face to face, Dr. Jill Biden, Beau’s widow and kids and I even met Hunter.
Biden was broken and after reminding him we met 20 years ago on the floor of the United States Senate when I was appointed the youngest in three decades to be a bi-partisan floor staff by the Senate Sergeant at Arms in April 1995. He was the youngest to be a US Senator at 28 and I was youngest staffer in decades at 23 appointed to work on that prestigious floor. When that horned clown breached the floor last week sitting in the Senate President’s Desk I was grieved and appalled.
Daily, I used to usher in President Pro Temp Strom Thurmond (R-SC) up to the dais when the session opened. Dr. Lloyd Ogilvie the Chaplain to the U.S. Senate would be on Senator Thurmond’s right side and I would be on his left while the 92 year old senator would hold on to us both as we helped him in that very desk. My friend, a mentor and the late President Ronald Reagan’s former pastor, Dr. Ogilvie with his thick booming Scottish accent would open us daily in prayer while C-Span aired his sermonette to the world. He had the voice of God and the attire of a Senator and it was a privilege to attend his weekly staff Bible study on occasion when I could get relieved from the floor.
It was an honor for me to serve daily all 100 Senators with a front row seat serving and hearing some of the greatest orators of our time. Half the day, I worked the Republican aisle with Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole (R-KS), Strom Thurmond (R-SC) and company while the rest of day ready to assist Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA), John Glenn (D-OH), Robert C Byrd (D-WV) and his colleagues respectively.
The VP (Biden) then asked me what I was doing now? I told him I was an evangelist and on staff with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Assoc. With tears in his eyes, I shook his hand and he said to me, “Please keep my family in your prayers.” I extended my heartfelt condolences and told him that the Lord loved him.
While leaving someone inquired was I a Democrat or Republican? I countered, “I am a Christian and fellow American and I drove a couple hundred miles today to let the Vice President know that regardless of politics he wasn’t alone when the bottom fell out.” Anyone can show up in victory but the sincere show up in the valley. #ThatWillPreach
It was an honor to meet President Bill Clinton three times and was able to tell him I was praying for him and God bless him. Dad was the Chairman of the Inaugural Committee for the USCP putting on security for Clinton’s first inauguration. It was the largest attended on the West Front in history at the time and he worked insane hours for half a year to ensure all were protected.
It is egregious today when fruit loops, snowflakes or misguided extremists chant death to America or desire to a kill a leader because they don’t align with their ideology or upset the way one votes. Pull out a pen and paper because I’m going to take you to school and the bell has rung and class is NOW in session. 🔥👀
Jesus died for you along with everyone of those different than us. My father would have gladly taken a bullet for any of the eight US Presidents under his protection, dozens of foreign presidents and prime ministers who came to the Capitol, hundreds and hundreds of lawmakers in our Congress on both sides of the aisle and the millions of celebrities, tourists and staff who have ever stepped in those hallowed halls during his forty year illustrious career in law enforcement at the highest level of policing from military police with US Army in Vietnam to US Capitol Police, graduate of FBI National Academy when they were at their best and ten years at the Justice Dept. Very few did it better and he received the Leadership Award by the Director of the US Secret Service. When President Clinton called to meet Dad in person to thank him and his team for their hard work after the inaugural he brought me along and introduced me to our 42 President. Anyone else with a big ego would have blocked me but Dad made room for me. #FirstClass
What separates the men from the boys is without revealing personal information we would just as quickly die for someone polar opposite and the next time you are tempted to immaturely rattle off, “that’s not my President” you need to repent, go to the altar, get right with God and grow up.
It was an honor to meet President Jimmy Carter three times and open in prayer at his home church in Plains, GA. I first met him in Philadelphia twenty five years ago and then twice in the Peach State. After the last time when he asked me to lead his Sunday School in prayer our 39th President said, “Any doubt that he’s an evangelist!” The crowd loved it and I was touched. I met WH correspondent Helen Thomas in 1999 and if I may borrow her iconic line ending each White House Press Briefing, “Thank you Mr. President!”
It was an honor to volunteer four years at WH during President Obama’s admin. I served on one of only two Christian news outlets allowed in regularly and occasionally attended the daily WH Press briefings in the West Wing. In addition to attending some press conferences, speeches in WH, events on South Lawn, on hand for arrival of Marine One and was interviewed a time or two on North Lawn.
Also had pleasure to be a fundraiser four years for President George W Bush and my office was evacuated on 9-11. While the world watched it on tv I was seeing it live first hand. I worked four years there and was able to shake his hand as well and tell him I was praying. He said often, “the greatest thing you can do for someone is pray for them.” My brother, Matt caddied for him in Las Vegas and this is them above on 18th green.
The first month President Trump arrived I was invited to cover a few of his events and this was a pic I took of him inside. After about three months I left to preach more than ever and had many friends around him on the faith based team and knew they were praying around the clock. I volunteered in four White House admins of both political parties twice and several of my friends were on the faith advisory and prayer team of multiple presidents. I made a point long ago I wanted more than one party at my funeral and Apostle Paul was all things to all people to win some. Grateful to have been on the peripheral prayer calls and email updates from the WH with POTUS, Sec of State, US Surgeon General, Attorney General and others. Pres Trump has done some incredible things related to Israel, eradicating human trafficking, strong advocate to defend life, reducing religious persecution world-wide among others and let’s keep he and the First Lady in prayer. 🙏🇺🇸
Dad protected both President Ronald and Nancy Reagan during both his terms and hearing him at the DC Convention Center in 1982 made a huge impression on me as a ten year old. I always said if you had the “rhetoric of Reagan” and “charisma of Clinton” you could go a long way. 👊
Dad protected President George HW Bush and he was the last person to shake his hand before entering the House Chamber on his final State of the Union to hear the famous words, “Mr Speaker! The President of the United States!!” My third summer internship in 1989-1990 I worked in the US Capitol and flew flags over the roof and often put the American Flag on the Senate Side to signal to the world that we were in session.
Very few are allowed on the roof and I joked most start at the bottom in Washington but over 150 feet up in the air with the Dome behind me I was at the top. Without question, I knew it was God and a gift my family was entrusted but the view I had on the roof of the DC skyline was unrivaled overlooking the matchless Mall with the Monuments glowing in the morning sun or dark lit up when I lowered it.
I proposed to Ruth on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on exact spot MLK gave “The Dream” speech and Andrew was born the hour Obama became President on Jan 20, 2009.
On rainy days, I was tasked to assist and set up in the Rotunda for President Bush Sr appearances when employed with the Architect of the Capitol at the time and would polish the brass elevator railings with Brasso. I also polished the statues in the Rotunda and Statuary Hall and when I ran into my tour guide friends with the US Capitol Historical Service after seeing me they would pause with their groups tour and say, “Frank you take it from here and show us around!” It’s wild when you are giving a guided tour to the tour guides. They always walked away and said, “I learn something every time from you that we had no clue.” When you got 150 years of the Capital city and walking the corridors of the US Capitol running through your veins you catch a few tidbits. 🙌🏻
Dad after retiring USCP as Acting Assistant Chief was offered a big job with the House Sergeant at Arms but politely declined and walked away. Very few can leave power and like Kenny Rogers hit song, “you got to know when to hold them and when to fold them and when to walk away. He left with his integrity in tact. #ElvisLeftTheBuilding ✌🏻What I love about Dad he realizes it was all of his colleagues collectively working together that were the super stars. The men and women of the USCP are incredible selfless servants and honored to call them family.
One of the last things I did while injured with the US Capitol Police was help behind the scenes with President Gerald Ford’s state funeral in 2007. The moral of the story isn’t to drop names today but remind myself and us ALL that the presidency is an institution and presidents are individuals who need prayer, counsel and at times held accountable. Kindness and respects goes a long way and wishing that a person or presidency would crash is forgetting we are all on the same plane as a country.
My family are fifth consecutive generation DC law enforcement and my Uncle Charlie was a LT with USCP in charge of the K-9 unit. My grandfather was a Captain with DC Metropolitan Police (1950-1968) and was not only Chief of Detectives but considered the first to work in the Senate Galleries at the US Capitol. Many are unaware of that fact the DC Metropolitan Police at one time had a few of their detectives assisting guarding The Capitol inside in the sixties. My great grandfather rode horseback with US Park Police and my great great grandfather was also a DC police officer and it was my thrice great grandfather that was close friends with our sixteenth president stationed at the White House.
Our family goes back to 1862 working on Capitol Hill and the halls of Congress. For a century and a half it’s been our high honor to minister to heads of state at home and abroad going all the way back to the three years my ancestor was positioned at The White House during President Lincoln’s administration.
Mary Todd Lincoln personally requested our Shelton would not be sent back to the Civil War but stay often around and in the Executive Mansion. He was a DC police officer with President Abraham Lincoln at Fords Theater the night of the assassination. It was said they were dear friends in one of his obituaries and Lincoln loved seeing him while on post.
It was reported that when Lincoln left for the last time departing the White House he did something peculiar. He had employed an African American butler and when leaving for a meeting or get fresh air he would tip his stove top hat and say, “Hello” or “See you later.” The night he died it was reported as he walked by the butler that he had seen dozens of times since his employment paused and with a wink and tip of the hat said, “Goodbye.” The greats have an internal clock and know as well as anyone two things. What time it is and when their time is up.
Later that night, it was reported in DC papers that my ancestor hand carried President Lincoln across the street after being shot in the back of the head by John Wilkes Booth. They got him to the adjacent Peterson House and his 6”4 frame was too big for the bed but the most powerful man in the world died early the next morning and the Secretary of State was heard to say, “Now he belongs to the angels.” Others thought he said, “Now he belongs to the ages” but either way would be right. Lincoln died to free the slaves while others live today trying to cancel culture and rewrite history.
While working in the US Capitol I had the ultra rare privilege on multiple times to enter with keys of the crypt that houses the catafalque. It’s the black velvet platform that Presidents Washington, Lincoln, Kennedy, Reagan and recently Rev Billy Graham & Rep John Lewis casket respectfully laid in honor.
It gets dusty and velvet attracts dirt. My colleague and I would have a shop vac and we were instructed to vacuum the black box that supported America’s finest. It’s always been one of my favorite hidden spots in the Capitol. One of my colleagues said, “Hey Frank! No one is looking – go ahead and lie spread eagle on that catafalque so you too can say you were there.” Without missing a beat, I said, “no way! They deserved it – I don’t.” With that I took a step back and stared at greatness and with no fanfare humbly walked out; closed the gate and locked the door.
I used to also have access to the Vice President’s Ceremonial Office just behind the Senate Floor of the Capitol. Very few could say they had keys to the VP Office. Al Gore’s Office would give me the keys to open up that hidden suite that’s not on the normal tour and allowed me to take VIPs, family and friends inside and when asked to sit behind his desk I respectfully declined. When offered to sit in the pilot’s chair of the current “Air Force One” when others didn’t miss the chance I politely stood away.
One time I went to get lunch for my Congressman when serving as his Special Assistant and driver and occasional speechwriter and he had a Cabinet secretary in his office along with some political heavyweights in a circle. I brought him his lunch and he was on the couch as they were in a meeting and to his credit he said, “Frank sit here at my desk.” For about five minutes I ate my bag lunch in one of the most powerful Members of Congress desk and quietly excused myself. It was HUGE of him to do that but our district voted for him and not me and despite that honor and his generosity I quietly left the room and went back to my cubicle in his DC office. Not because I didn’t want to but the timing wasn’t right.
If you DEMAND you don’t deserve and God had blessed me too much already and sometimes it’s good to be grateful without craving more. The clowns 🤡 that disrespected the Capitol the other day need Jesus and yes, it’s the “People’s House” but you don’t destroy what God blessed and act like a bunch of drunks at a frat party. Honor and humility are missing today in society and our country is suffering and gasping for air because of it.
My maternal ancestor in 1912-1914 hand planted the iconic famed Cherry Blossoms around the Tidal Basin. My great grandparents lived seven doors down from JFK & Jackie in Georgetown in the late 1950’s when he was a US Senator from Massachusetts before elected to highest office in land in 1960 and eventually moving down the street to the White House. Mom still just a teen herself saw young Caroline often being pushed in a baby stroller by her governess. In our dining room I have a picture of President Reagan and Kennedy side by side. When asked why? I reply, “God loved them both” and my family met them and I’m still trying to reach out to all not just preach to the choir. 🔥
Our connection to Lincoln and Kennedy intrigued me. Both died in their prime and way too soon but I’d rather die young for a cause then live long without one. Live or die, I’m going to die trying to represent God, love others and preach His Gospel. Reagan was shot too and I learned than when you stand UP there is always someone desiring to gun you down. When asked why I would fly alone to meet President Ortega in Nicaragua or preach to the Taliban in Pakistan it’s not dying for Truth that scares me but living for a lie is a nightmare.
Over the years, God has blessed us abundantly. My parents both sat in President Reagan’s limo at The White House. My Uncle Joe at the invite of President Carter flew on “Marine One” when running for Congress in 1979. I was blessed to fly three times on Air Force Two (757) departing Andrews AFB to NC and FL and boarded the current Air Force One (747) both 28000 & 29000 on private tours.
Every year the Cherry trees that my ancestor and his team planted a little over a century ago go dormant but with each Spring they blossom to something beautiful. Time is ticking and our world is growing darker by the day but we must look to our Lord who is Light and may we all bloom to resemble the love of Christ in this season. Let’s be kind to one another and if your team won be humble and kind. If your team lost be gracious and trust God still has a plan.
It’s humbling but over the years I was one of the few that had been positioned to serve on the House Floor on Congress assisting with Joint Sessions after walking all US 100 Senators from one wing to the other and assist them to their seat. Plus, working daily on the floor of the United States Senate and then for two different Presidents covering some of the daily press briefings of the White House in West Wing. It was the political “trifecta” to serve on all three floors while in session and it was the Trinity that made it happen.
Thirty years ago I pulled cable in the Senate, Library of Congress and US Supreme Court in the roof and learned it was to install C-Span and infrared alarm systems. It was a joy to meet Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall in the basement and he was wearing his robe and he was larger than life. What we did thirty years ago allowed Members today to watch it from the comfort of their office.
We must all learn to be more civil with one another or we will perish as fools together. I’ve met multiple national leaders polar opposite than me and it was an assignment from God to meet them where they are and show the love of Christ to them. Mark my words – you cannot go far in life just cursing and demoralizing others on your couch. Ambassadors are like running backs looking for a hole to advance or a fireman seeking daylight to run in when others out to rescue a soul. In case you are Rip Van Winkle and been asleep since the lockdown even Stevie Wonder can SEE our nation is on FIRE. God calls us as Christians and citizens of this nation to love others even as we love ourselves. Jesus took it a step further and instructs to love your enemies and I’ve been in the game so long that often times your perceived enemy you haven’t met becomes a friend after connecting and conversing.
For staff who have the honor to walk through those black ironed Gates each day stay humble. Serve with integrity and keep America and her citizens in prayer. Thank God above that you can roll up your sleeves and serve something greater than yourself. Pray for wisdom for your boss and colleagues and if you make news headlines remember it’s better to mentioned in the last page for doing right than making front page for a scandal gone wrong. When in power don’t fail to say hi to others who can do nothing for you. Don’t get cocky because 1) We are all replaceable 2) Some not only did it first but was there long before you arrived. Sometimes the “old” guy or gal you are tempted to discount may have run circles around you before you were born.
Our hope must be in God not government but we are called to pray and respect those in authority. The past four years I lead a weekly Bible study to lawmakers in the Dover state Capitol. Ironically, just feet from the Senate Chamber the day I ministered to Joseph Biden. I’ve driven thousands of miles since to minister to legislators weekly when they are in session. The Church has been great ministering to the poor but was missing in action for far too long ministering to the powerful. Lord willing, not on my watch.
Today, I am 48 years old and was born on President’s Day Weekend (Feb 20, 1972). As a child the holiday often fell on my birthday. I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed but I’ve seen it up close and the presidency is exhilarating and exhausting. I’ve had powerful political leaders confess to me in private that leadership is lovely and lonely. Truth be told, the most powerful person on the planet at times feels powerless. Opposed to throw rocks let’s lob prayers for both and the one that you hate have a spouse and children that LOVE them. Marinate on that! True power isn’t in the office that is Oval but praying in our prayer closet.
In closing, I prayed for Biden then and encourage you to pray with me for him and Kamala now. God has blessed America and may we as Americans’ bless God.
Here I am Lord. Send me.
Frank was contacted by the U.S. Capitol Police the week after the January 6, 2021 incident to pray for the fine men and women of America’s Police department. Many were encouraged by that eight minute sermonette and you can listen to that prayer HERE. Prayers for the three officers killed in the tragedy and for all those whom died and injured. May God hold all extra close in these trying times.