Biden Commends Black Churches, Highlights Their Impact on Faith and Unity



AP News

President Joe Biden expressed admiration for Black churches on Sunday, emphasizing the transformative influence they have had on the world through the demonstration of faith during challenging periods. Speaking at St. John Baptist Church in Columbia, South Carolina, on the concluding day of a two-day visit, the Democratic president aimed to energize Black voters ahead of the upcoming party primary on February 3.

During his visit, Biden also toured a predominantly Black barbershop and delivered a speech at a state Democratic Party dinner. The president, acknowledging the crucial role South Carolina played in rescuing his 2020 campaign, is striving to reconnect with Black voters who played a pivotal role in his election but may exhibit less enthusiasm this time.

A devout Roman Catholic who attends Mass regularly, Biden lauded Black churches during his address to the Baptist congregation, underscoring their teachings on the “power of faith.” He invited the worshippers to contemplate a world without Black churches, envisioning the absence of these institutions during challenging times.

In his speech, Biden invoked the spirit of the late Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., expressing gratitude for the Black churches that provide a mountaintop, a promised land, and a faith that “we shall overcome.” He credited these churches with propelling the nation and the world toward a more perfect union and justice.

Biden concluded his remarks by emphasizing the significance of the prayers offered by the Black churches, stating, “Your prayers mean everything.”

Following his address, the president released a written statement addressing the recent drone strike near the Syrian border in northeast Jordan, which resulted in the deaths of three U.S. service members and injuries to several others. Biden attributed the attack to Iran-backed militia groups.

Later in the day, while appearing at the banquet hall of Brookland Baptist Church, Biden briefly discussed the drone strike and called for a moment of silence. He shares a longstanding relationship with Pastor Charles Jackson, whose wife, Robin, serves as First Lady Jill Biden’s prayer partner. Earlier this month, Biden delivered a campaign speech at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, where a tragic shooting claimed the lives of nine Black parishioners in 2015.

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