Nurse on Hashmi’s staff opens Paris City Council meeting with a hymn as the opening prayer

Tambarla Savage, a nurse who works for Paris Mayor AJ Hashmi in his cardiology practice, is shown as she sings a verse of the hymn, “He Looked Beyond My Faults,” as the invocation for Monday night’s meeting of the Paris City Council. ( photo by Charles Richards)


A nurse on the staff of Mayor AJ Hashmi gave the invocation at Monday night’s meeting of the Paris City Council, singing a verse of the hymn “He Looked Beyond My Faults.”

The council meeting always opens with an invocation and pledge of allegiance.

“I’ve taken the liberty of changing the invocation a little bit today. I hope you enjoy it,” the mayor said.

Hashmi, a local cardiologist, then called Tambarla Savage, a nurse who works for him, to the podium.

She sang: “Amazing grace shall always be my song of praise, for it was grace that caused my heart to feel. I do not know just how He came to love me so. He looked beyond all faults and saw my needs. I will forever lift mine eyes to Calvary, to view the cross where Jesus died for me. How marvelous His grace that caught my falling soul. He looked beyond all my faults and saw my needs.”

She followed with a short traditional prayer:

“Our Father, which art in heaven, we come once again with bowed heads and humble hearts. We come begging you, Lord God, for this day and this hour, asking you to be with the mayor and the community and all those that are on the city council, asking you to help these elected officials as they make decisions for the community. We ask that they all be of one accord. These and all blessings we ask in Jesus’ name. Thank God. Amen.”

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About the Author

Charles Richards Charles Richards moved to Paris in 2004 after retiring from a 40-year career in journalism – the last 26 years as a news writer and sports writer with The Associated Press in Dallas and Washington, D.C. In mid-2004, The Paris News coaxed him out of retirement, and he began covering the police, court and regional beat for The Paris News. Then in early 2005, he was switched to coverage of a sharply divided Paris City Council. He was appointed by the City Council in 2006 to the 12-member City Charter Review Commission, which extensively rewrote the outmoded document. His writing awards include two first-place awards in statewide competition for feature writing. The most recent was his 2005 story on a Paris doctor’s startling use of leeches in a successful attempt to re-attach a man’s severed ear. Over his career, Richards’ interview subjects include Alabama Gov. George Wallace, President Bill Clinton, President George W. Bush, David Koresh, Arnold Palmer, Muhammad Ali and numerous other political and sports figures. He is an alumnus of Texas Tech, where he was editor of the school newspaper. He lives in Paris with his wife, Barbara, who is retired after 30 years as a teacher and high school counselor.