Biden Highlights Impact of Black Churches: ‘What a Gift…You’ve Been’

The president visited two Black congregations in South Carolina on Jan. 28 and praised the impact of the African American faithful.

Black Churches have historically been agents of change and spaces for spiritual empowerment, according to President Joe Biden.

During a two-day visit to South Carolina to garner his support among Black churchgoers, Biden made stops at two separate congregations in the state ahead primary on Feb. 3, the Associated Press reports.

On Sunday (Jan.28), Biden, who was accompanied by South Carolina Congressman Rep. James E. Clyburn,  gave remarks at the  St. John Baptist Church in Columbia. A devout Catholic himself, the president lauded the impact of Black churches saying that the world would not be the same if their “power of faith” was not on display in the darkest moments of the country’s history.

“Well, you give us a mountaintop, you give us a promised land, you give us a dream and a faith that we shall overcome, can overcome,” Biden said, echoing the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., which he spoke before his death.

“And you push us toward a more perfect union, you really do, to bend the arc of the moral universe toward justice together, and what a gift to the nation and the world you’ve been,” Biden continued.

On his next stop, Biden was the guest of honor at a banquet held at Brookland Baptist Church in West Columbia. The president has a close relationship with the church’s pastor, Rev. Charles Jackson. Jackson’s wife Robin is a prayer partner of First Lady Jill Biden.

"You had my back, you had my back. And I hope I’ve had yours," Biden said.

As he was leaving, one woman yelled out: "Hey Uncle Joe! Four more years.

Biden also asked for a moment of silence to pay tribute to the three U.S. service members who were killed in a drone strike in northeast Jordan near the Syrian border. Biden said the casualties were the result of violent “Iran-backed militia groups.”

Before attending two services, Biden arrived in Columbia on Saturday (Jan.27) visited a Black barber shop, and also spoke at a dinner hosted by local Black leaders.

Although South Carolina is still considered a Republican stronghold, the state has been critical to Biden’s presidency. In 2020, Biden won the state’s primary after struggling in the first three Democratic primary states – placing fourth in Iowa, fifth in New Hampshire, and a distant second in Nevada to Bernie Sanders.

Biden Losing Support Among 2024 Black Voters, Survey Shows

Biden secured a victory in South Carolina which bolstered his candidacy after an endorsement from Clyburn.

"I've known for a long time who I was going to vote for," Clyburn said at a press conference Wednesday. "I'm voting for Biden. South Carolinians should be voting for Joe Biden."

In anticipation of a showdown with Trump, Clyburn recently shared his frustrations that the message of the Biden administration's accomplishments is not getting through to his constituents, Politico

“I have no problem with the Biden administration and what it has done,” Clyburn said in an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “My problem is that we have not been able to break through that MAGA wall in order to get to people exactly what this president has done. If you took the little simple thing [that is] student loan debt relief, he promised to relieve student loan debt, and he has done that.

“This president is keeping his promises,” he added, but “people keep focusing on the one or two things he did not get accomplished.”Over the last several months, Black support of the Biden-Harris ticket has been trending downward. 

According to a survey conducted by GenForward released in December, 63 percent of Black Americans would vote for Biden – a 30 percent decline from 2020.

Latest News

Subscribe for BET Updates

Provide your email address to receive our newsletter.

By clicking Subscribe, you confirm that you have read and agree to our Terms of Use and acknowledge our Privacy Policy. You also agree to receive marketing communications, updates, special offers (including partner offers) and other information from BET and the Paramount family of companies. You understand that you can unsubscribe at any time.