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Posted at 2:15 PM ET, 01/16/2011

Obama family attends church services at Metropolitan A.M.E. Church in D.C.

By Hamil Harris

Updated 1:59 p.m.:

Last year President Obama stood in the pulpit and delivered a five-page address on Martin Luther King, but after a week in which he attempted to console a nation after the mass shootings in Tucson, the president visited an African American church Sunday as a worshiper.

Rev. Ronald E. Braxton and the members of Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church in Northwest Washington made sure the Obama family had a regular, downhome service complete with announcements, the passing of the collection plates and plenty of foot-stomping gospel music.

Right Rev. Adam J. Richardson, presiding bishop of the Second Episcopal District, welcomed the president to the "national cathedral," of the 3 million-member, predominately African American denomination. But it was elementary school student, Addy Hebou, who offered perhaps the best words to the president in honor of the King holiday: "Dr. Martin Luther King said let no man pull you low enough to hate him."

Metropolitan AME is undergoing renovation and is currently meeting in the ballroom of the Madison hotel, but construction crews worked extra hours to prepare the sanctuary when the White House called to say that the first family would be visiting.

"This follows a long tradition for the president of the United States to worship in our national cathedral," Rev. Braxton said. "It was historic for the first African American president to sit on a pew next [to] the pew where Fredric Douglass once sat."

Even though he never mentioned politics, Braxton compared Obama's present plight to the low days King experienced in the civil rights movement. Braxton sought to encourage the president saying: "Sit up, get up, you will get weak and tired at times, but God has singled you out."

"Mr. President Let God have the last word. You belong to him," said Braxton as he concluded a sermon where even the music was tailored to be uplifting -- with songs that ranged from "I Am On the Battlefield for the Lord" to "We Come This Far by Faith."

While Rev. Braxton was focused on the president, his wife, assistant pastor and professional counselor, focused on encouraging the first lady. During the service, Michelle Obama stood while the church sang Happy Birthday and was presented her with a gift.

"I gave the First lady a CD of church hymns for her birthday because in this church we try to make people feel welcomed," Rev. Marie Phillips Braxton said. "The gift came from my heart."

Eugenia Jacobs, a Sunday School teacher at Metropolitan, was thinking about the Obama girls during the service. "The White House is so close," she said. "It is my hope that he would come bring his kids to Sunday School and be part of our church family."

By Hamil Harris  | January 16, 2011; 2:15 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Next: First family continues tradition of service on King holiday

Comments

It NEVER ceases to amaze me that white folks fled Europe so they could invade elsewhere and worship freely. And for 500+ years many white people still cannot let others worship freely. It's sad to carry around hate and bitter feelings.

Worry about YOUR OWN walk with God!!!!

I would suggest that they (haters) go to church but I doubt any church will take those devils.


By the way frustrated, bitter, half-cracked haters:


OBAMA 2012!!!

Posted by: bcs2k | January 17, 2011 11:52 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Obama was able to offer a prayer for the American killed on Falcon Lake last summer by Mexican criminals. He has yet to make a statement about that. Why? He has time to turn the services in Arizona into a political rally, why can't the micro-manager take a stand with the Mexicans in finding out and prosecuting the Mexican criminals for killing an American. That's in addition to the average of 9,000 Americans killed each year by ILLEGALS.
But then what can we expect from a Kenyan Born, Anti-American, Anti-Constitution, Muslim? Think I'm wrong, prove it! Just show us the documents and I'll apologize.

Posted by: TexRancher | January 17, 2011 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Obama's a Puke and that thing hes living with is a Moose.

Posted by: puck-101 | January 17, 2011 8:02 AM | Report abuse

Figures . Anything printed on this rag has to be first , last , and always for that JUg-Earred dolt in the brown house. Anything I post is deleted. And that suits me just fine because it tells me that I'm 100% right

Posted by: puck-101 | January 17, 2011 7:44 AM | Report abuse

"the middleman.."

Posted by: andrebudianto | January 16, 2011 10:37 PM | Report abuse

"the middleman.."

Posted by: andrebudianto | January 16, 2011 10:35 PM | Report abuse

If there's a question about why the President doesn't go to Church often, this story and the comments are the answer.

The President can't enjoy a normal church-going experience. What comes from the pulpit even focuses attention on him and his family. Why can't they just worship and not focus attention on the President?

It's a shame the Obama girls are deprived of a normal church experience. This is why W organized White House and Camp David services for Sundays, or went to St. John's on Laf. Square where they pretty much ignored him and let him worship.

BTW, there's no political edge for the President to go to Church. His base and swing voters doesn't care. How can we judge what is in his heart, which really determines whether he's a Christian?

Posted by: ps123 | January 16, 2011 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Golden0817 wrote: What dose this make number 3 or 4 in side a church not bad it has only taken 2 years.Question to everyone .How many times have you had Happy Birthday sung to you in your church ? This was a publicity stunt and that is all.What a lame stunt it was but what can you expect from a empty suit.
__________________________________________
Postpost4 wrote: You obviously haven't attended a Black church. In just about every church I've been attended (that includes the 11 am service today) the pastor acknowledges birthdays & wedding anniversaries. It never fails to amaze me about the assumptions White people make about our community.

~~~~~~~~~~~
Well said Postpost4. It NEVER ceases to amaze me that white folks fled Europe so they can invade elsewhere and worship freely. And for 500+ years many still cannot let others worship freely. It's sad to carry around hate and bitter feelings. I would suggest that they (haters) go to church but I doubt any church will take those devils.

Posted by: bcs2k | January 16, 2011 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Golden0817 wrote: What dose this make number 3 or 4 in side a church not bad it has only taken 2 years.Question to everyone .How many times have you had Happy Birthday sung to you in your church ? This was a publicity stunt and that is all.What a lame stunt it was but what can you expect from a empty suit.
__________________________________________
You obviously haven't attended a Black church. In just about every church I've been attended (that includes the 11 am service today) the pastor acknowledges birthdays & wedding anniversaries. It never fails to amaze me about the assumptions White people make about our community.

Posted by: Postpost44 | January 16, 2011 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Golden0817 wrote: What dose this make number 3 or 4 in side a church not bad it has only taken 2 years.Question to everyone .How many times have you had Happy Birthday sung to you in your church ? This was a publicity stunt and that is all.What a lame stunt it was but what can you expect from a empty suit.
__________________________________________
You obviously haven't attended a Black church. In just about every church I've been attended (that includes the 11 am service today) the pastor acknowledges birthdays & wedding anniversaries. It never fails to amaze me about the assumptions White people make about our community.

Posted by: Postpost44 | January 16, 2011 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Golden0817 wrote: What dose this make number 3 or 4 in side a church not bad it has only taken 2 years.Question to everyone .How many times have you had Happy Birthday sung to you in your church ? This was a publicity stunt and that is all.What a lame stunt it was but what can you expect from a empty suit.
__________________________________________
You obviously haven't attended a Black church. In just about every church I've been attended (that includes the 11 am service today) the pastor acknowledges birthdays & wedding anniversaries. It never fails to amaze me about the assumptions White people make about our community.

Posted by: Postpost44 | January 16, 2011 8:08 PM | Report abuse

It's nice to see that the division is no longer expressly between the right and the left, the conservatives and the liberals. Rather, it's now the extremists and the moderates. And from these comments, it's pretty easy to see who fits in which camp.

Thank you Mr. President for having more patience I ever could.

Posted by: Keesvan | January 16, 2011 8:04 PM | Report abuse

When any President and family goes to church...it is a major disruption for all members of the church. Too many Americans demand that their Presidents go to any church... even if they do not go to church themselves. It is another way to kick a president who may not look like you or "real Americans" and may have a "funny" name. Too many church goers don't get...do unto others...don't get love your neighbor..we all can do better!

Posted by: judithclaire1939 | January 16, 2011 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Good Lord, haters. Give it a rest.

You complain when Obama goes anywhere that requires the substantial expense of the Secret Service.

Then you complain that he doesn't go to church enough.

You can't have it both ways.

It's a major undertaking for the President to go to church. Streets have to be closed down. The entire congregation has to go through security. Traffic can be messed up for a considerable time.

So cut the guy some slack already.

Posted by: TheHillman | January 16, 2011 7:56 PM | Report abuse

People, people, people, give it a rest. This man took his family to church. I am a Christian and I believe the Obama's are Christians as well. What this man (and his family) have been thru in the past 3 - 4 years is nearly unbelievable...but the remarkable human being that he is...he has prevailed. President Obama is not going to be appreciated by some, it appears, until he is gone from office (6 years from now)but in my estimation, he is doing a remarkable job as our President. (not to mention, I have not heard any constructive suggestions from those who are yelling the loudest). At least, President Obama isn't dignifying some of the stupidity that has been floating around...and he has kept his chin up...NO MATTER HOW DIFFICULT THE CIRCUMSTANCES. I believe he is a magnificent human being and a great president.

Posted by: golden0816 | January 16, 2011 7:32 PM | Report abuse

While the Republicans are keeping score on Obama's church attendance - that which we actually know about - perhaps they will tell us how many times Ronald Reagan attended a regular church service while in office. Don't forget, while Reagan was busy worshipping, Nancy was busy with the fortune tellers.

Folks, this makes no sense to be all up tight about church attendance. Pat Robertson only made church attendance a regular thing when he was actively seeking the Presidential nomination many years ago. As soon as he didn't make it, he stopped. I know because I was there.

Posted by: EarlC | January 16, 2011 7:32 PM | Report abuse

I know they've been looking for the right church for them for two years now and attended a few, I hope they find a church that is right for them, particularly at this time of difficulty for our nation as a whole. Godspeed!

Posted by: msame | January 16, 2011 7:26 PM | Report abuse

As an atheist I am always amazed at the unchristian like comments the matter of the President's faith always invokes. Maybe in honor of MLK he could be judged by the content of his character rather than the color of his skin. Because I believe all the talk about which faith the President follows or where he chooses to practice his faith is just code for we have a black man living in the white house. Oh my. Because as some of us know many Presidents, Ronald Regan comes to mind, very rarely went to church and there was never any hue and cry that I recall about that.

Posted by: mondaytothursday | January 16, 2011 6:40 PM | Report abuse

I will give this President the same respect that was given to my President G.W Bush.And the answer is NONE!

Posted by: freedon | January 16, 2011 6:28 PM | Report abuse

What dose this make number 3 or 4 in side a church not bad it has only taken 2 years.Question to everyone .How many times have you had Happy Birthday sung to you in your church ? This was a publicity stunt and that is all.What a lame stunt it was but what can you expect from a empty suit.

Posted by: freedon | January 16, 2011 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Lamentations

Folks,
Please give it a rest. It is no secret that some people will find fault with whatever the president does. Just for one day, please look within yourself and try to find the honest part that recognizes that people can differ and still respect one another.
_______________________________

Amen! And maybe once we've managed to accomplish this for just one day, we can try it again....and again....until we create a society where we accept and embrace each other for the differences and similarities that we all bring to the table.

Posted by: commonsense42 | January 16, 2011 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Lamentations

Folks,
Please give it a rest. It is no secret that some people will find fault with whatever the president does. Just for one day, please look within yourself and try to find the honest part that recognizes that people can differ and still respect one another.
_______________________________

Amen! And maybe once we've managed to accomplish this for just one day, we can try it again....and again....until we create a society where we accept and embrace each other for the differences and similarities that we all bring to the table.

Posted by: commonsense42 | January 16, 2011 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like a wonderful church. The next time I'm in DC, I will plan to attend a service and pray for all of the people that spew such hatred for our President. From the comments, it sounds like many of the respondents could benefit from prayer. It must be painful to live with such a negative and hateful attitude.

Posted by: bjcooke3 | January 16, 2011 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like a wonderful church. The next time I'm in DC, I will plan to attend a service and pray for all of the people that spew such hatred for our President. From the comments, it sounds like many of the respondents could benefit from prayer. It must be painful to live with such a negative and hateful attitude.

Posted by: bjcooke3 | January 16, 2011 5:12 PM | Report abuse

It's so sad how deeply the hatred runs for our president; there is NOTHING he can do that doesn't bring words of scorn from the hatemongers; thankfully they are the minority
As Christians, we must pray for them and forgive them for their verbal and printed hatred towards President Obama.
God bless America and God bless our president.

Posted by: retiredinAZ | January 16, 2011 4:17 PM | Report abuse

It's so sad how deeply the hatred runs for our president; there is NOTHING he can do that doesn't bring words of scorn from the hatemongers; thankfully they are the minority
As Christians, we must pray for them and forgive them for their verbal and printed hatred towards President Obama.
God bless America and God bless our president.

Posted by: retiredinAZ | January 16, 2011 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Trading the Muslim Prayer rug for an old copy of the Clinton Bible they left behind when they used it on Easter Sunday for a fake visit to a Christian Church . Typical as Obama continues to campaign. That's all he's good for , is campaigning. He's about as Christian as Ahdaminejab or one of his Muslim Bosses.

Posted by: puck-101 | January 16, 2011 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Astounding the pure, raw hatred the dittoheads have for the president and his family. Of course it would manifest itself through an article about him attending a church service. They clearly have no other motivation in life than to hate President Obama, egged on by the many millionaires feeding off that hatred on Fox News and talk radio. I thought it was bad regarding Clinton (and it was), but then he is white, isn't he. So go right ahead and enjoy - if that's what life means to you, by all means, live(?) it to the fullest.

Posted by: faygokid | January 16, 2011 3:06 PM | Report abuse

paranoid a** white boys - that's why your women are running to black men IN DROVES

Posted by: davis_renee | January 16, 2011 2:02 PM | Report abuse

This is really good. We'll see if he's serious and stops supporting the Muslims that supported attacking us on 9/11 and want a Mosque at ground zero. Maybe he'll stop releasing Gitmo terrorists that then kill our soldiers instead of probably giving them healtcare if he could have gotten them over here.


Please Check out song called teapartiers I can’t hear you at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJfboOindCo

Here’s a verse

Baucus is threatening insurance companies Obama the CBO
Medicare Advantage and free speech is about to go
He’d rather see people in our forts , planes and La liberty building die
then to see a muslim terrorist get water in his eye
All the insane and pervert czars and the communist ones too
are surprised how easily they took us without even a coup

Hey guys if you fought at the Khe San
when they stop giving your wife her meds and her last breath comes over her face
you’ll find comfort knowing some illegal or Gitmo detainee will gladly take her place.

Posted by: JoeAstroturf | January 16, 2011 12:57 PM | Report abuse

While in the church, Obama was ticked off that (1) he had to pretend he was Christian for political purposes, and (2) he didn't have a prayer rug on which he could bow to the east in the name of Allah.

Posted by: rpcv84 | January 16, 2011 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Beautiful!

Thankful that Hamil Harris was the one to file this wonderful story. Hamil has been covering DC for at least 3 decades.

Posted by: tcs1999 | January 16, 2011 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Folks,
Please give it a rest. It is no secret that some people will find fault with whatever the president does. Just for one day, please look within yourself and try to find the honest part that recognizes that people can differ and still respect one another.

Posted by: Lamentations | January 16, 2011 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Obama goes to church? That IS news!

Posted by: RepealObamacareNow | January 16, 2011 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Please join us for Spanish Baptist Services and Deaf Services. Sunday 10am, EST. goto; www.pibceiba.com , click "Watch Live" for moe info see; http://sites.google.com/site/poderdejesussite/ its nevet too late to donate and participate...

Posted by: poderdejesus | January 16, 2011 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Faith, and the public display of it, is a personal choice. Judge not lest ye be judged.

Posted by: Rivery | January 16, 2011 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Must be getting close to election time: Obama’s going to church all the sudden. Please: the Repubs are the ones with the idiots voting them in office, there's no need to pretend you "want" to go to church suddenly, Obama.

Posted by: newsboy3 | January 16, 2011 8:27 AM | Report abuse

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