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Honoring Ms. Betty Gadling

Rep. Barbara Lee

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Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor the extraordinary career of Ms. Betty Gadling. Known affectionately as ``Sister Betty,'' Ms. Gadling has served Allen Temple Baptist Church for 35 years as the venerable Minister of Music and Performing Arts.

A woman of many talents, Ms. Gadling has traveled the world as a performer, composed and published original pieces, recorded two albums of gospel music, directed numerous choral groups, and produced full-scale productions, such as The Black Nativity and The Celebration of Light. Through her passion and skill as a music instructor and mentor, she has developed countless programs that inspire our young people in the fields of music appreciation, instrumental instruction, voice lessons, music theory, business of music and ensemble playing.

Her contributions to the Bay Area through the Allen Temple Musical, Cultural and Performing Arts Committee are unmatched, and her musical gifts are only outweighed by her personal commitment to ministry, faith and service. In addition to a long musical career, Ms. Gadling was the first African-American female Sheriff in Contra Costa County, a valued staff member of the University of California, and an employee at Fairfield-Suisun Army Air Base (now Travis Air Force Base) while pursuing a degree at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

She has acted as a consultant for youth programs to the American Baptist Conferences, served on the Committee of Musicians and Pastors for the African American Hymnal, and was honored in 2009 as a Cal State East Bay Outstanding Alumnus and a Hampton University Ministers' Conference and the Choir Directors' Organists' Guild Workshop, ``Living Legend in Church Music.''

Betty is a musical genius and giant. Her creative spirit soars. She has been an inspiration to those whose lives she has touched, including myself. On behalf of the residents of California's 9th Congressional District, Ms. Betty Gadling, I salute you. Thank you for your exceptional contributions to Allen Temple Baptist Church and to residents throughout the Bay Area. I wish you and your loved ones all the best in this next chapter of life.