sunday service

President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and daughters Sasha and Malia (hidden behind other parishioners) sing during church services at Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church in Washington, Jan. 16. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

More photos here

Time – Pool reports: POTUS and FLOTUS arrive at Metropolitan AME church at 9 am …. At 9:06 am. Crowd of about several hundred churchgoers cheer loudly at the arrival of POTUS and FLOTUS. One lady sitting in the back of the church is overheard yelling “God Bless You.”

The Right Rev. Adam J. Richardson recognized POTUS and FLOTUS for attending the service. FLOTUS’s mother is in attendance. …. “Mr. and Mrs. Obama thank you for your leadership,” said Richardson, who was on hand to deliver the Episcopal greetings. …. Richardson praised POTUS for his speech to the Tucson community last week. …. Richardson said the service honors the 25th anniversary of the birth of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as a national holiday. …

Prior to that, the choir passionately sang African American heritage hymns, drawing cheers from the attendees–some of whom lifted their children so they could see POTUS. … At 10:14 am the congregation sang happy birthday to FLOTUS. The First Lady stood up and waved at the pastor and the audience.

NYT: President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama — and their daughters, Malia and Sasha — attended morning services at Metropolitan AME church on Sunday, joining several hundred parishioners to listen to a sermon by the Rev. Ronald E. Braxton that recalled the example set by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The day before the national holiday to honor Dr. King, the Obamas and the mostly black congregation at Metropolitan sang spirituals during the service. The parishioners also sang “Happy Birthday” to Mrs. Obama, who turns 47 on Monday.

The Obamas are spending a relatively quiet weekend at the White House and will attend a service project to honor Dr. King in Washington on Monday, aides said.

Following the service, the president returned to the White House and then left again a short time later with his daughters to play basketball.

22 Responses to “sunday service”

  1. 1 Jessica
    January 16, 2011 at 11:57 am

    No Sasha and Malia?

    • 2 NewCenturyWoman
      January 16, 2011 at 4:28 pm

      I believe I read somewhere earlier on the internet that Sasha was seated next to the President, actually between Pres. Obama and Mrs. Obama. She’s probably hidden by one of the parishioners as the cutline above indicated. If you look carefully to the First Lady’s right, you will see the back of Malia’s head. They were all there in good form.

  2. 3 kelly
    January 16, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    I cosign that lady that yelled from the back of the church…adding and God bless our country. ❤

  3. 4 Asher in Boston
    January 16, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    Sounds interesting. Hope we could get a video, Chipsticks, Puleeeeeeeeeeze.

    • January 16, 2011 at 12:18 pm

      Hi Asher, I’m not sure if there’ll be any video of the service, haven’t seen any photos yet either – but will keep checking.

      • 6 Asher in Boston
        January 16, 2011 at 2:34 pm

        Okey, will wait but my also sure that if any surfaces, as usual you will avail them to us. Thanks. Was being over excited, and impatient. lol.

  4. 7 Fred
    January 16, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    GOD BLESS;guide and protect President;Mrs;Malia and Sasha Obama

    from my family and I Mrs Obama I want to wish you a very blessed and Happy Birthday.

  5. 8 sly
    January 16, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    Can’t wait for pics btwn i love this website…

    • 9 Fred
      January 16, 2011 at 4:01 pm

      I hope not. I don’t think I’m the only one that notices the body language when the Obama’s are at church and people take pics. It is quite obvious they are uncomfortable with it and I hope people respect that.

      But if the offical photog guy takes them in that case I’m sure it was pre-approved.

      • 10 NewCenturyWoman
        January 16, 2011 at 4:39 pm

        What do you mean when you say “it is quite obvious they are uncomfortable …”? Over the past two years, I’ve seen a number of photos with them at church services (including black churches) and I’ve never noticed them appearing uncomfortable. Just a couple of weeks ago during the Christmas holidays, they were shown worshiping at a church in Hawaii and they appeared to be singing as above. Why do you think they appear uncomfortable?

        • January 16, 2011 at 4:47 pm

          Forgive me for butting in, I know that question was for Fred! I agree, though, I can’t imagine that they are at ease with being photographed while they are in church, which is perfectly understandable – it really shouldn’t be a place for cameras, unless it’s a state funeral, etc. The Hawaii photo was taken by Pete Souza, so it was one they agreed to have taken. Keep the cameras out of church, that’s what I say!

        • 14 Sue in Minnesota
          January 16, 2011 at 6:30 pm

          I think the Obama’s want to cause as little disruption as possible, also wish to respect the atomsphere of reverance that we find in the houses wherein we worship. I don’t think the comment implied that the Obama’s, themselves were uncomfortable being in church, but rather that they were (as always) concerned about others routines and comfort.

          Also I don’t want to be a buttinski……hope my comments aren’t viewed as instrusive.

          • 15 NewCenturyWoman
            January 16, 2011 at 6:58 pm

            Thanks Chipsticks & Sue for making that clear for me. I guess I misunderstood what Fred was saying (sorry Fred 😦 I didn’t mean to come across as implying something negative. I just didn’t quite understand what you meant. I do now.

            I’m glad the President and his family can visit churches without worrying about all the vitriol about whose church they’re in & why they’re there. I think he wants his family (especially his girls) to have a solid spiritual foundation. I also think it’s important that they are visibly shown from time to time visiting some local black churches. Their lack of visibility is sometimes (falsely) criticized by both right and left and often times used to suggest he doesn’t support the black community–not true, of course. For example, I was telling my sister who used to live in Washington that I had read the First Family had visited her former church this morning (actually her former church was Metropolitan Baptist Church not Metro AME Church in D.C.) and she said that was nice, it’s about time they go to a black church. See what I mean?

    • 16 Dorothy Rissman
      January 16, 2011 at 5:04 pm

      I know. It is truly a place to connect to our President and his family.

  6. 17 Debra
    January 16, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    Here is a nice picture of the President and Mrs. Obama at the church.

  7. 18 Audrey
    January 16, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    I wish people like the pastor at this church would make the point of addressing the President of the United States properly. President is an earned title and this particular President has more than earned the right to be addressed as President Obama and not “Mr”.
    What annoys me especially is the fact that the same people would never dare address even former presidents as “mr” but do it to a sitting President of the United States. There is no excuse. None!

  8. 19 sly
    January 16, 2011 at 7:56 pm

    This photo is not good for me! im the kind of gal who needs to see details!!I guess i will survive LOL…
    I hear u Audrey i was all upset about it But then i never used the words President and Bush together,ever!

  9. 21 barb
    January 17, 2011 at 2:59 am

    I love seeing my President and his family in any setting. How appropriate that they go to this particular AME church to celebrate Martin Luther King JR. It was used as part of the Underground Railroad. I know they are going to a celebration on Monday. I think they would go to church every week is it wasn’t such a disruption for the church and parisioners. The secret service detail has so much on their plate to provide safety no whether were our President goes. I believe an African American Church gives Michelle a lot of strength. President Obama works so hard it is good that he can be among such warmth and energy to lift him up and rejuvenate him. I am white but nothing warms my soul more than to listen to traditional gospel music. I have three biracial grandchildren and it is good to expose them to all churches to they can choose their own.

  10. 22 P
    January 17, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    Mrs. Obama was jamming to that song! That’s how we celebrate and praise OUR GOD with vibrance and energy! Thanks Chipsticks for this wonderful video!

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