Southwestern Assemblies of God University leads prayer in CongressHouse Chaplain, Reverend Patrick Conroy, Mrs. CaRanda Thiessen, Pastor Bryan Thiessen of Journey Assembly of God, Speaker Boehner and Congressman Murphy in the House Speaker’s LobbyWaxahachie, TX - December 19, 2011 - Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) alumnus Bryan Thiessen was selected by Pennsylvania Congressman Tim Murphy (18th district) to give the invocation for the U.S. Congress on Monday, December 5, 2011.

Thiessen says, “This was an incredible honor! It will go down as one of the greatest days of my life, behind salvation, marriage, and being voted in as the pastor of Journey Church.”

Thiessen met Congressman Murphy during a community day event last July that Journey AG church participated in. With more than 400 congressmen, Murphy was allowed to select a minister for the daily invocation for the first time during his time in office. He contacted Thiessen shortly after the event.

“After reading other prayers on the Congressional Chaplains' website, I noticed that previous prayers seldom, if ever, quoted Scripture, mentioned anything in regards to Romans or Hebrews 13, or prayed for our enemies. I wanted my prayer to include those things, and acknowledge that the only Name through whom man can be saved is Jesus Christ."

Thiessen continued, “Congressman Murphy is one of the most down-to-earth, personable people you will meet. If we had more people in Congress like him, we would blessed.”

“This was truly an opportunity of a lifetime!” says Thiessen. "It was very humbling to think that a farm boy from southern Missouri who was a 'C' average student, who was barely accepted into SAGU, could lead the U.S. Congress in prayer.”

Click here to watch the invocation. 

Thiessen is the lead pastor at Journey Assembly of God in Bridgeville, PA. He is earning a Master of Divinity at Gordon-Cronwell Theological Seminary and his bachelor’s in Pastoral Ministries at SAGU. His wife CaRanda also graduated from SAGU AIC with bachelor’s in Psychology and plans to return to SAGU AIC to earn an master’s degree. While she works full-time at Edward Jones Investment, she spends much of her time volunteering at the church.

Southwestern Assemblies of God University is a private, Christian university located 30 minutes south of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex in Waxahachie, Texas. The University was established in 1927, and now offers more than 60 associate, bachelor’s or master’s degrees on campus or online. More information is available at or by calling 1-888-YES-SAGU. 

Southwestern Assemblies of God University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate, baccalaureate, masters, and doctorate degrees. Contact the SACSCOC at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Southwestern Assemblies of God University.