Benediction for the Investiture of Judge Denise Page Hood as the New Chief Judge for the Eastern District of Michigan


“Passing of the Gavel” from Judge Gerald Rosen to the new chief judge, Denise Page Hood ( photo by Harold White)


Thursday, January 28, 2016


Good afternoon, before I offer the benediction I would like to say a couple of things.  First, I would like to say how proud I am of you, Denise.  You have worked hard to be a success in college, law school, as a lawyer, judge, wife, mother, and as a Christian.  One of the things that I find so interesting, refreshing and wonderful about your ascension to the position of chief judge is that you are returning to the courtroom where you began.  Forty years ago Denise served as a volunteer summer intern under the tutelage of then Chief Judge, Damon Keith – in the very courtroom she will now assume as chief judge!  Her first supervisor after graduating from law school while working in the Law Department for the City of Detroit, was Anna Diggs Taylor, who herself later served as chief judge of this court.  One of the lessons in the career path of Denise is the importance of exceptional mentors and role models of leadership and professional excellence.   I would also like to thank all of the chief judges in the State Court System that helped to form Denise’s sense of the awesome privilege and responsibility of what it means to be a chief judge: in particular, Judge Fred Byrd, Judge Theresa Doss, and Judge Dalton Roberson.

So, I thank God for every person who has helped this moment to be possible. I thank God for the merit selection committee that recommended Denise to be a federal judge. I thank God for Senator Carl Levin and Senator Donald Rigel.  I thank God for President Bill Clinton and the United States Senate.

Let us pray.  Our Lord and our God, how excellent is your name!  Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hast created the heavens and the earth, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou are God.  As we prepare to leave this courtroom and conclude this ceremony of investiture, may the extraordinary light of the countenance of your face shine upon Judge Gerald Rosen, for his diligence, leadership and service to this country.

We ask your blessing upon Judge Denise Page Hood as the new Chief Judge for the Eastern District of Michigan.  Bless her.  Guide her.  Inform her under the leadership of your Holy Spirit.  Bless each judge and staff person in this court.  Bless each of the state court judges assembled here today, the citizens of Michigan and these United States of America.

God of our weary years, God of our silent tears. Thou who has brought us thus far along the way.  Thou who hast by thy might led us into the light, keep us forever in the path, we pray.

Through Jesus Christ our Rock and Redeemer I pray.  Amen.


Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Husband of Chief Judge Denise Page Hood

Pastor and Senior Minister of the Plymouth United Church of Christ