Columbia Union Honors Former Congressman, Chesapeake Member
Story and photos by Samantha Young
Last Sabbath Dave Weigley, president of the Columbia Union Conference, honored former United States congressman Rep. Roscoe Bartlett at Chesapeake Conference’s Frederick (Md.) church where Bartlett is a member. Bartlett, 86, represented Maryland’s Sixth District from 1993-2013. The Republican congressman lost his seat last fall after redistricting separated him from his core constituents. Walter Carson, Columbia Union general counsel, read Bartlett’s biography and noted that the congressman frequently quoted from the Constitution, which he carried at all times for guidance in crafting national policy. Following the service, fellow church members approached Bartlett to shake his hand and thank him for his years in public service.
Later the same day, at a reception held at the home of friends Gail and Bruce Boyer, several county commissioners expressed their appreciation for Bartlett’s two decades of service in congress. Blaine R. Young, Frederick County Commissioners president, read a proclamation and presented it to Bartlett. The guests, including many of Bartlett’s staff, offered thanks to Bartlett for his distinguished service and contributions, particularly in the areas of science and energy. Bartlett’s wife of 45 years, Ellen, also received accolades for her active support and involvement in her husband’s work.
Joseph Beeman, a soldier injured during a tour in Iraq, tearfully shared how all his military medical records were lost when he returned to the United States. As costs for surgeries mounted, he turned to Bartlett who intervened on his behalf to resolve the situation.
A devout Seventh-day Adventist Christian, Bartlett says he set out to be a minister, not a politician. He attended Washington Missionary College (now Washington Adventist University) in Takoma Park, Md., and majored in theology and biology. Young and unmarried, he was encouraged to attend graduate school at the University of Maryland at College Park where he earned master’s and doctoral degrees in human physiology. In his varied and notable career, he has been a professor, researcher, inventor, farmer, land developer and homebuilder—all before entering the political arena. Following a brief retirement, Bartlett ran for Congress (and won) in 1992.
In 1999 the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics awarded Bartlett its Jeffries Aerospace Medicine and Life Sciences Research Award citing his “more than 20 patented inventions on respiratory support and safety devices used by pilots, astronauts and rescue workers.”
Although Bartlett says he is retiring, he plans to stay busy with some consulting work and spend more time with Ellen and their 10 children and 18 grandchildren.
Photo 1: Dave Weigley (right), Columbia Union president, presents former U.S. Congressman Roscoe Bartlett with an engraved award for his 20 years of public service, while his wife, Ellen, looks on.