Brenda Jones, a Michigan Democrat, reflects on her short-lived tenure in Washington.
By Bobby Ross Jr. | The Christian Chronicle
When Brenda Jones took the oath of office for her brief tenure in the U.S. House, her first words related to her faith.
“Mr. Speaker, let me start out by saying, ‘To God be the glory.’ I want to thank God for giving me this great opportunity,” the 59-year-old Michigan Democrat recalled telling former House Speaker Paul Ryan.
A member of the Wyoming Avenue Church of Christ in Detroit since 1967, Jones served the final five weeks of longtime Rep. John Conyers Jr.’s unexpired term. Conyers, a civil rights icon first elected in 1965, resigned amid an onslaught of sexual harassment allegations.
“I know that in my political life God has carried me,” said Jones, who has returned to her former role as president of the Detroit City Council.
“My faith is a strong faith in believing that the things that I have gotten, it’s not about Brenda — it’s about God giving me the opportunity,” she added. “I don’t call myself a political person. I call this my ministry to be able to help and assist the people.”
Jones won a special election to fill the remainder of Conyers’ term. However, she narrowly lost a separate Democratic primary for a full two-year term to Rashida Tlaib, a Michigan state representative who ultimately became one of the first two Muslim women ever elected to Congress.
This story appears in the February 2019 edition of The Christian Chronicle.