“The whole experience was inspirational.”
Rev. Dr. Dwight Moody is one of many Americans who watched President Joe Biden’s inauguration Wednesday.
“I got up this morning early and started watching at around 8:30 when the festivities started," Rev. Moody said.
A Kentucky native, he served as pastor of Third Baptist Church in Owensboro for most of the 1990s.
One August day in 1995 he performed a small, backyard wedding.
“At the time Senator Joe Biden and his wife Jill were in attendance at the event,” he said.
Little did he know one of the guests would one day become our 46th president.
But why would a senator from Delaware attend a wedding more than 800 miles away in Western Kentucky?
Well, it all leads back to an Owensboro woman named Sarah Jones working as a staffer for Bluegrass Senator Wendell Ford, who was also from the city.
“In that capacity she met James Biden, the brother of Joe Biden and they started courting and they planned to just have an introduction of James Biden to the Jones family,” Moody said.
But “meet the family” turned into a last minute “let’s get married”.
Sarah Jones' family were members of the Lewis Lane Baptist Church, but their pastor was out of town and couldn’t preside over the ceremony. With the wedding a week away and the Jones still in need of a minister, he recommended Moody, a close friend of his.
When Sarah's mother gave Moody a call, he said he was more than happy to oblige.
“Anybody who watched the inauguration today came away impressed with the simplicity, the humility, the gentleness, the kindness of Joe Biden," Moody said. "The same spirit that people feel in watching him today is what I felt 25 years ago when he was unknown to me and I was unknown to him.”
Though that was the one and only time Rev. Moody met Joe Biden, he reconnected with the now Sarah Biden last year.
On their 25th wedding anniversary, Moody sent a letter to the Bidens, now living in Maryland, to congratulate them.
A few days later, Sarah gave Moody a call.
“She asked me to join a prayer group of Owensboro-related people and from that day until this, every week at the same time by Zoom gathered to pray as she says, for the soul of the nation," Moody said. "That has brought me back into the Biden circle of influence.”