Biden praises Black churches and says the world would be a different place without their example

Columbia, SC — President Joe Biden said Sunday that without Black churches to demonstrate the “power of faith” in hard times, the world would be different.

The Democratic president spoke at St. John Baptist Church on the final day of a two-day tour to South Carolina to energize Black voters before the Feb. 3 primary. After flying in Saturday, Biden addressed at a state Democratic Party banquet and visited a mostly Black barbershop. He addressed different churches on Sunday to conclude the visit.

The president is attempting to convey that he is devoted to South Carolina, which rescued his 2020 campaign, and that he wants to win back Black voters here and elsewhere who helped elect him but are less enthusiastic about him this time.

In his address to the Baptist congregation, Biden, a Roman Catholic who attends Mass every Sunday, said Black faiths taught the “power of faith.” They were asked “what would have happened if there had been no Black church” to turn to in times of darkness.

“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,” he added, echoing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. You actually urge us toward a more perfect union, to bend the moral cosmos toward justice together, and what a gift you've been to the nation and the globe.

After speaking, Biden released a written statement on the drone strike in northeast Jordan near the Syrian border that killed three U.S. military personnel and injured several more. The incident was blamed on Iran-backed militias.

In Brookland Baptist Church's banquet hall later Sunday, the president briefly addressed the drone strike and requested silence. Jonathan Biden has known Pastor Charles Jackson for years. First lady Jill Biden prays with Jackson's wife Robin.

Biden gave one of his first campaign remarks of the year at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, where a white stranger welcomed to their Bible study shot and killed nine Black parishioners in 2015.