Niagara Falls-Born Reverend Sylvester Beaman to do Benediction at Biden Inauguration

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Photo contributed by Barbara Kindred, Bethel AME Church, Wilmington DE


By: Staff Reporter

Photo contributed by Barbara Kindred, Bethel AME Church, Wilmington DE

Reverend Sylvester S. Beaman of the Bethel AME Church of Wilmington Delaware, a family advisor of former Vice-President Joseph R. Biden, has been tapped to give the benediction at the Biden inauguration scheduled for January 20, 2021. The benediction is the closing prayer of the meeting.

Former Navy officer, former Niagara Falls resident and current resident of Wilmington Delaware Barbara Kindred said that Reverend Beaman grew up in Niagara Falls’ north-end Highland community on 22nd Street between Tennessee and Centre avenues. There, he attended what was then the nearby Beech Avenue Elementary – now Henry Kalfas Magnet School.

Kindred said that Beaman often spoke of being among the first classroom of students who were bused to a LaSalle-area school as a part of the school districts policy of integration. She also said that Beaman, who may possibly be elevated to the level of bishop in the African-Methodist-Episcopalian (AME) Church hierarchy, cut his teeth in the ministry at the St. John AME Church on Garden Avenue and Bloneva Bond Street, also in the city’s Highland-area.  “He was called when he was 14-years old [into the ministry],” she said. “He refers to himself a ‘Huff-ite’, [in reference to long-deceased Reverend Edgar Huff, the long-serving pastor of the city AME church.]”

Beaman is married to the former Renee Palmore, the daughter of the beloved Niagara Falls civic leader Eddie L. Palmore, who passed away on September 26, 2020.

Reverend Beaman was in the city on October 2nd of the same year to give the eulogy of his father-in-law’s 2020 funeral. Beaman was joined at the Palmore’s family church of Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist – where Reverend Timothy Brown is pastor; and joined by Niagara Falls residents Junny Parks, Rev. Harvey Kelley of New Hope Baptist Church, Joe Waters also of Mt. Zion, Rev. Joseph Jones of Damascus Baptist Church and Justin Powell.

The recessional song for the closing of the Palmore funeral was the Walter Hawkins’ song Going Up Yonder. One has to wonder if Beaman could have known that in a little more than four months after leaving Niagara Falls that he’d be “going up yonder” to the Capitol Building and walk into the national spotlight. Regardless of how the elections turned out, all Niagarans can be proud of Beaman – Niagara Falls boy makes good.


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