The first lady flew quietly to West Columbia for an unexpected appearance at the 50th anniversary celebration of Pastor Charles B. Jackson Sr.'s Brookland Baptist Church. She ended up explaining in great detail how her faith was shaken after Beau Biden's passing and how Robin Jackson, the pastor’s wife, helped her find her way back to God.
Biden thanked Charles Jackson for leading a ministry that feeds the hungry, offers college scholarships, and runs a program to improve health and well-being.
She told him, "You have brought many people to God's grace," "You remind me that we are the body Christ."
She began her remarks by telling the story of Robin Jackson's meeting, and stating that the relationship "shaped my entire life."
They met shortly after Joe Biden had visited the church with his spouse after he had announced his candidacy to be the 2020 Democratic presidential nominee.
Both women reported that Jackson approached Jill Biden to ask her to pray for her.
Sunday's first lady stated, "And I don’t know if her sensed how moved she was by the service." "I don’t know if she could still sense the grief that I feel, but it hides behind my smile.
"But, I do know that it was like God spoke to me when she spoke. 'OK Jill, you had enough. It's time for you to return home.
Beau Biden, the 46-year-old son of the Bidens, was married with two children and died in 2015 from brain cancer. First lady, who said that she prayed and prayed for Beau to live, was shocked when his prayers were not answered and he died.
She said, Sunday, "I felt betrayed and broken." Her voice broke. She claimed that her pastor used to email her to check in on her and invite her back to church.
She met Robin Jackson four years later.
The city's newsletter stated that Robin would text Dr. Jill every Wednesday to inform her she had called their names in prayers. Dr. Jill would always send a thank you text to Jill." Jill Biden is referred to as "Dr." due her doctorate.
In February 2021, Jill Biden stated to Kelly Clarkson that Robin Jackson has made a significant difference in her life.
Clarkson was told by the first lady, "It really helped my find my faith again."
She often accompanies President Obama to Mass, and was there Saturday when he attended Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Washington.
Robin Jackson was surprised to find her role in the celebration of the pastor's 50th Anniversary. The Rev. Charles B. Jackson Jr. said that his mother didn't know the first lady was coming.
After the first lady's remarks were over, he said to the audience that it took all of us to keep her away. He called her appearance "an expression love and friendship."
The White House didn't make public announcements about Sunday's trip, and the first lady flew unmarked D.C. Air National Guard aircraft. She also travels with a motorcade of police escorts and flashing lights and sirens. U.S. Secret Service agents arrive at her destinations before she arrives to ensure that the property is secure.
About a half hour before the event started, she arrived at the church wearing a black face-mask and shared a front row pew with Crystal Person and the Jacksons. Crystal Person is from the area and is married Fran Person, a long-time personal assistant to Joe Biden.
Robin Jackson was one of the religious leaders that recited prayers in support of Joe Biden at a virtual prayer meeting on January 1, after his inauguration.