John A. Battaglia, an Assemblies of God endorsed chaplain with Capitol Commission, regularly visits the offices of Missouri state senators and representatives. But recently, he’s also been bearing a gift on his visits — a gift that has experienced a warm and welcome reception in every office.
The gift? A Bible.
Although there’s no such thing as an “ordinary” Bible, this Bible is stately in appearance and has something added that is quite meaningful to legislators — each Bible has the official Great Seal of the State of Missouri embossed on its cover.
“I’ve hand-delivered a Bible to the office of every senator and state representative, as well as the governor,” Battaglia says, “and I’m in the process of giving Bibles to each state leader and the Missouri Supreme Court judges.”
The purpose of Capitol Commission is to minister to lawmakers in Jefferson City, the capital of Missouri. Currently, there are 24 states with Capitol Commission chaplains serving their states’ lawmakers.
The response to the embossed Bibles has been overwhelmingly positive, with many legislators not only thanking Battaglia, but using them as centerpieces in their offices, for personal use, and several were even sworn in using the Bible.
One representative responded, “The Bible with the state seal serves as a reminder of who I serve, not only the people of the 101st district who elected me, but God as well.”
A senator stated: “I will treasure this gift the rest of my life.”
Battaglia says he couldn’t have done this without the help of Chaplaincy Ministries, a department of Assemblies of God U.S. Missions, that helped provide the Bibles in cooperation with Tyndale Publishing.
Delivering Bibles, however, isn’t the only way that Battaglia invests in the lives of lawmaker. He holds counseling sessions, prays with lawmakers, provides a new discipleship group, and already this year he’s visited more than 1,000 offices. And every Tuesday morning and evening, he conducts Bible studies, with 20 percent of all the legislators attending, including the Secretary of State.
“It’s exciting to hear about how God is working through John and Capitol Commission to impact legislators’ lives,” says Senior Chaplaincy Director Manuel Cordero. “I believe the presence, prayers, and ministry of chaplains to lawmakers make a significant difference.”
We know the presence of God is with us,” Battaglia says. “Each day is an adventure to see God work in the hearts and lives of our state leaders.”
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