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Wilmington Bethel AME Church Pastor Says 'We Will Make Friends Of Our Enemies' During Impassioned Benediction At Biden Inauguration

WASHINGTON (CBS) -- A pastor from Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Wilmington delivered the benediction during President Joe Biden's inauguration on the U.S. Capitol steps on Wednesday. Rev. Silvester Beaman delivered an impassioned benediction, saying, "We will make friends of our enemies."

"People, your people, shall no longer raise up weapons against one another. We will rather use our resources for the national good and become a beacon of life in goodwill to the world and neither shall we learn hatred anymore. We will lie down in peace and not make our neighbors afraid," Rev. Beaman said.

The reverend, who has known the Biden family for 30 years, called for everyone to unite in prayer.

"In discovering our humanity, we will seek the good in and for all our neighbors. We will love the unlovable, remove the stigma of the so-called untouchables. We will care for our most vulnerable -- our children, the elderly, the emotionally challenged and the poor," Rev. Beaman told the crowd.

Rev. Beaman concluded his benediction says this country is for everyone.

"This is our benediction that from these hallowed grounds, where slaves labored to build this shrine and citadel to liberty and democracy," the pastor said. "Let us all acknowledge from the indigenous Native American to those who recently received their citizenship, from the African American to those whose foreparents came from Europe and every corner of the globe, from the wealthy to those struggling to make it, from every human being regardless of their choices, this is our country."

Rev. Beaman spoke to Eyewitness News before the inauguration on how he felt when President Biden asked him to deliver the benediction.

"I was awashed with a lot of emotions, to say the least. Humbled, excited, fear, reverential fear about being given such a significant role," Rev. Beaman said.


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