A Tyler minister delivered the prayer that opened the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday.
“This extraordinary man is a friend, and he is an inspiration to me,” Gohmert said.
On the C-SPAN live feed, Milton prayed for blessings on the representatives, for their wisdom and that “common ground and middle ground be the order of the day, for the common good of our nation.”
In his introduction, Gohmert explained that as a child, Milton was left with his brother and sister in a rundown California motel to die. They were placed in an orphanage run by abusive caretakers.
Many of the children committed suicide, including Milton’s brother and sister.
He was placed in 13 more abusive foster homes after that, until he ended up with his foster mother Datie Florence Brown. Milton credits Ms. Brown with turning his life around by praying for him and telling him, “Don’t let your abuse be your excuse.”
He’s served as pastor of his church for 25 years and as head track and field coach at Bishop T.K. Gorman High School for 24 years, leading the teams to 10 state championships.
He’s also known in the community for his race relations work.
“He’s blessed our town, our district, our state and our country,” Gohmert said. “It’s an honor and an inspiration to know him.”
Milton just had one wish left.
“I hope God gives her a glimpse from heaven,” he said of his foster mother. “It’s the capstone of my career.”