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‘It’s an extreme honour’: Meet the pastor giving the benediction at Joe Biden’s inauguration

by Tola Mbakwe
Photo Credit: Bethel AME Church / Facebook - Banner image
Photo Credit: Bethel AME Church / Facebook

It’s been revealed that a pastor from Delaware and long-time friend of President-elect Joe Biden has been chosen to give the benediction during his inauguration ceremony next week.

Rev Dr Silvester Beaman (pictured above) leads Bethel AME Church in the city of Wilmington.

In a post on the church’s Facebook page, Rev Beaman said it was “an extreme honour and seminal moment” to have been asked by the president-elect to pronounce the benediction next Wednesday.

He added: “This final blessing over the event is God’s opportunity to cover the nation in grace as we launch the Biden-Harris Administration.

“I personally know that President Biden will seek after the heart of God, it has been his lifestyle over the years. In his toughest moments it has been the light of God’s love that has guided and sustained him.

“There is nothing more strenuous or crucial than being the leader of the free world. Therefore he will be seeking God’s grace daily.”

President-elect Biden visited Bethel AME Church last summer to speak with community leaders about the effects of George Floyd’s death.

Meanwhile, a Jesuit priest will be delivering the invocation at Mr Biden’s inauguration

Fr Leo O'Donovan (Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Netherlands Embassy, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)

Fr Leo O'Donovan, who is also a long-time friend of Biden and his family, told the National Catholic Reporter that the president-elect called him and asked if he could offer the prayer at the inauguration. He accepted the invitation.

Fr Leo led the funeral Mass for Mr Biden’s son, Beau, in 2015 after he died of brain cancer.

It's been reported that President Donald Trump will leave Washington next Wednesday morning, ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.

Mr Trump had already announced that he would not be attending Mr Biden’s inauguration, breaking tradition, after spending months making baseless allegations of voter fraud in an attempt to delegitimise Mr Biden’s presidency.

Vice President Mike Pence will attend in his place.

Mr Trump is expected to remain in Florida with a small group of aides.

At previous inaugurations, the incoming and outgoing presidents have travelled from the White House to the Capitol together.

Four years ago departing president Barack Obama travelled with then president-elect Mr Trump in the same limousine.

After the ceremony, Mr Trump waved goodbye to Mr Obama who boarded the presidential helicopter.

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