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Wilberforce Grad and the Biden Inauguration

Rev. Silvester (correct spelling) Beaman, a graduate of Wilberforce University, the nation's first, private HBCU, will deliver the benediction at the inauguration of Joseph R. Biden, Wednesday, January 20th.

Beaman, a native of Niagara Falls, New York, has pastored Bethel AME Church in Wilmington, Delaware for more than 25 years. As a close friend and confidant of, and spiritual advisor to the Biden family, Beaman was asked to deliver the inaugural prayer by President-elect Biden.

Introduced to each other by Joe Biden, the President-elect's deceased older son Beau and Beaman were good friends. The minister prayed with the younger Biden before his overseas Army deployment and during his fight against brain cancer.

Crediting the elder Biden with helping him navigate the political arena in Wilmington when he began his pastoral duties at Bethel AME in 1993, the pastor says his benediction will reflect Joe Biden's pledge to move the nation toward diversity, inclusion, and healing.

"I am proud to represent God, my family and my alma mater, Wilberforce University." - Rev. Silvester Beaman

Beaman is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.


Wilberforce University was founded in 1856 and is the nation's oldest, private, historically black college (HBCU). Located in Greene County, Ohio near Dayton, the four year, accredited university is a member of the United Negro College Fund, the Ohio LINK Library Consortium and the NAIA Athletic Conference. According to, Wilberforce is one of the top five HBCUs in the midwest.

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