President and first family attend Easter services
President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, and daughters Malia and Sasha attending Easter church service at Shiloh Baptist Church.
April 24th, 2011
02:00 PM ET

President and first family attend Easter services

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Dressed in their Easter Sunday best, President Obama, the first lady, and daughters Sasha and Malia entered Shiloh Baptist Church in Washington Sunday to a standing ovation.

The first family attended the 10 a.m. Easter service, a rare public appearance at a church for the president. Rev. Smith, the senior minister of the historic church, welcomed the Obamas.  "It probably has not been lost on you that we have some very special visitors this morning... so we welcome President Barack Obama, Michelle, Malia and Sasha."

With his arm around his daughter Malia, President Obama sang along as the 120-member choir performed the introit, This is the Day, and an opening hymn. The service also included scripture readings from the Old Testament (Jeremiah 31:1-6) and the New Testament (John 20:1-18).

During prayers, the Obamas were mentioned on two separate occasions. Rev. Smith told the president that about two years ago the church had decided to pray for him and the first family. "So, if you're feeling blue and all of a sudden you feel a little better, that's our prayers," he said.

Shiloh Baptist, one of the oldest African-American congregations in Washington, is not new to the large entourage and security that comes with a presidential visit. President Obama is at least the third sitting U.S. president to attend services at Shiloh.  Bill Clinton addressed the congregation in 2000, and President Reagan hosted "In Performance at the White House" at Shiloh on gospel and spiritual music, for the PBS television series. Dr. Martin Luther King also spoke at the church in the 1960s.

Shiloh was founded by slaves in 1852 in Fredericksburg, Virginia before Union soldiers helped move it to Washington.

President Obama does not attend Sunday church services on a regular basis; this is his fifth visit to an African-American church in Washington since he was elected president.

The Obamas stayed at Shiloh for just over two hours but left before service was over, skipping the invitation to discipleship/altar prayer, achoral blessing and recessional, benediction, and organ postlude, according to the program.

The president and first family returned to the White House where they will spend the rest of the Easter holiday.

Topics: Malia Obama • Sasha Obama • The Family • The News • Uncategorized

soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. MEC

    Obama has pulled out his race card to again use in his run for a second term.

    The sleaze-bag will do anything to get votes and the gullible follow him like the Pied Piper. I wonder; after he left the services at the black dominated church, did he also attend a service at a white dominated church? After all, he is as much "white" as he is "black," and he has no ancestral slave history.

    April 24, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
    • Jay in NC

      He does have an ancestral slave history. At least two of his distant families owned slaves. Also on his fathers side one of his ancestors lived in an area of Africa known to sell slaves. With The First Date having slaves in her family, this subject must make for interesting dinner conversations.

      I have always wondered why he got 98% of the black vote. Did they not vote for McCain because he is white?

      There is a person that post on here a lot, Liz Carter of Georgia, she said that black men work harder than white men. If that statement was turned around, I guarantee you, there would be out cry of racism.

      Hate is hate, black or white.

      April 24, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
      • john

        Be careful or I will make comments about his funny looking hair and the way he speaks – oops, sorry, I thought we were talking about Donald Trump

        April 25, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
    • john

      btw, nice picture – some people look happy, some look sad – one is looking for the camera.

      April 25, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
      • Nay Brook

        Or the TV screens on either side of the lectern!

        April 26, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
    • Howard

      If Obama is doing such a great job, why does he have to spend a BILLION dollars to get reelected ???

      April 26, 2011 at 9:54 pm |
    • john

      How does this guy keep finding racist ministers? Do all black church's spew hate – or does this guy just go out of his way to find these guys?

      April 27, 2011 at 6:50 am |
    • Dee Yung

      Obama is leading a scam. America is in trouble. Things must change.
      Listen to me speak on it in my video.
      "The analogy of War in The Heavens & War in America"

      April 27, 2011 at 12:11 pm |
  2. AmerLady100

    Expressing rage at our president on Easter Sunday is undignified and unnecessary. Plenty of time for that tomorrow.

    April 24, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
    • Jay in NC

      Did Barry stop killing African children for a day? No, the Tomahawk missiles fell on Libya and children died.

      April 26, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
      • Nay Brook

        I guess the world IS made up of all people... including ignorant ones. So, now, the President is a murderer. Wonder what the KKK was? The KKK were ACTUALLY AT THE SCENE OF THE MURDERS of African-Americans as opposed to some idiot's idiotic rambling about someone (the President) who was NOT THERE (in Libya). Oh, but to converse with a fool is pointless!

        April 26, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
      • Jay in NC

        Nay Brook, who said that the KKK were not murderers? Can not understand what that has to do with this president. Are you saying because the KKK killed people that it is OK for Barry? If so, talk about idiotic.

        The fact is Barry ordered bombs to be dropped on Libya, 10s of thousand have died, many children. Because he was not in Libya at the time is irrelevant. That would be like saying Hitler is not to blame simply because he was not at a concentration camp. Most adults can grasp the concept of responsibility, too bad this president does not.

        If your reasoning is indicative of Barry's supporters then no wonder his approval ratings are so low. Keep up the good work, he needs more bloggers like yourself.

        April 27, 2011 at 7:44 am |
      • Nay Brook

        Of course there's no correlation of one killing to another... in YOUR mind(?). You bring up the killings by the President and now you're mad that I bring up killings by the KKK. INDEED, YOU keep up the good work for the your birther friends! (I won't even mention the long version birth certicate)! And, you'll wonder why in a few years when someone is having to take care of your every personal, and one who has probably always had to struggle in life because of the mindset of people like you, are kicking your old behind!
        OBAMA IN 2012!

        April 27, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
    • Richard

      Expressing racism from the pulpit on Easter Sunday is about as bad as it gets. Obama has found another like minded person.
      Why can't this president just treat everyone fair, I guess it is not in his nature or upbringing! What a shame!!

      April 26, 2011 at 8:58 pm |
  3. Richard J. Cohen

    It is fine for the President and his family to pursue whatever religious observance they choose. It is unconscionable that the White House has an office that promotes faith-based Initiatives – the government should not be promoting religion. The President should know better; he used to teach Constitutional law.

    April 24, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  4. Liz Carter in Georgia

    To non-racists only: if you read the total content of my comment and if you've read any of my posts ever, you'd understand why I said it. The first reason I said it was because it's the TRUTH, not HATE! The second reason I said it was, it was a point in the context of defending my President's exemplary work ethic. Whether the 'honestly concerned' or haters agree with his decisions, compromises, resolutions or not, I believe he's worked harder in 2 years than others have in 4 or 8. Oh, he goes to work now!

    April 24, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
    • john

      "exemplary work ethic" lol... Unless you consider working on his golf game or working at campaigning or working on his vacation travel I had to laugh at that statement.

      April 25, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
      • JS

        Seriously? You want to start questioning Obama's work ethic? I guess he's expected to work 24/7 and not take any sort of break just because he's President... I really don't want to go there with a comparison to Bush but I feel like I have too... In Bush's first year of office he logged more hours of vacation and time at Camp David then he did actually working to fix the problems of the country, then 9/11 happened and suddenly it was time for him to get to work. And to my knowledge Obama spent the better portion of his first year busting his BUTT to try to get stuff done... So please so your shrewd and satirical comments about his work ethic because its ridiculous!

        April 27, 2011 at 6:44 pm |
  5. Liz Carter in Georgia

    There are so many people in this nation black and white who choose to ignore the truth of racism, act like it's not there, since it may not be socially nor financially beneficial to them to acknowledge; or they simply 'flip the script' to dismiss and avert the truth of the perpetuating existance of 'hidden racism'. It is still alive in this nation and probably will be until Jesus comes back to separate the 'wheat from the shaft'. They'd rather toss the 'script' back on the crier!

    April 24, 2011 at 7:16 pm |
    • john

      ...and there are so many who see racisim in everything they see.

      April 25, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
    • carmen


      April 27, 2011 at 7:50 pm |
  6. Tol Trunks

    I do not know why he did. He is not a saint. The man has the mark of the beast. 2-3-201.

    April 24, 2011 at 11:36 pm |
    • Tol Trunks

      Sorry, 2-3-2012.

      April 24, 2011 at 11:37 pm |
  7. MEC

    Obama is looking for the camera.

    April 25, 2011 at 3:26 am |
    • Jay in NC

      ...or his TelePrompter. What's the words to that song, Holy, holy, holy?

      April 26, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
  8. Cynthia

    It is amazing to me how this nice family cannot go to a church of their own choice without criticism from the pathetic. If they did not attend a Baptist church, you, the pathetic, would cry "they're Muslim". Michelle's family are direct discendents of slavery, so you, the pathetic, can give up on that line of nonsence. Perhaps this kind Christian family just prefer to be in the company of other true Christian, and not with you Pathetic.

    April 25, 2011 at 12:05 pm |
    • Jay in NC

      And Barry's family are direct descendants of slave owners.

      April 26, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
  9. Nay Brook

    To be filled with hate must be an all-consuming job. No, not pulling the race card... pulling the truth. There is no person that has "no" good quality. Hopefully, not even one of you.

    April 25, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
  10. Joe

    Ho-Hum–much ado about nothing. We have a lot of folks here just like the Obama family. Maybe they will attend Christmas services.

    April 26, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
    • Gracie

      What's just like the Obama family mean? When WHITE presidents attend church services WHERE were was ALL the bashing about them NOT attending African American church?? Where was all the BS about being Muslims, etc.??? Where was the
      BASHING then? And WHITES have been voting for white Presidents and NO ONE every questioned their racism!!!! That's the whole point is, those who bash and trash always want to change the game whenever they get beat at their own game and rules!!!! So predictable and so very ignorant on so many levels. Don't hate the players when they beat you at your own game, HATE the game majority of white society created to suit their own agenda. Everything only becomes an issue for WHITE AMERICA whenever their own created tables are turned on them. Then they resort to name calling, birther BS, and fear mongering to hide their OWN fears and ignorance in thinking the rules of game only apply to them and no one else!!! NOT!!!

      It never seems to amaze me how petty and juvenile people get over a family attending church service. GOD is a GOD to all people, of all races and beliefs. E

      engagement only applies to them

      April 26, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
  11. Jassie Johnson

    obama went to the church for show that his family is catholic. I know better dont even say anything about the easter or greet these country for happy easter AMERICA THE COUNTRY I his running for second term do you think you American people he deserved to be in the white House? not for me period i have enough either he blame bush for the problem or he will do something to make these better ..

    April 26, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
  12. Liz Carter in Georgia

    @Cynthia, you go girl! Loved your comment. That's the truth; 'PATHETICS! Most of these loons are just that, pathetic! They're just a step below the TEABAGGERS; who are the PITIFUL! They all need to grow up, put up or shut up! This hideous mindset is the one that I speak to; this is the fringe of folks I address. I've known all the time you were out here! A fool can appear wise; until he opens his mouth. You fools keep opening your racists mouths! However, at least you're not closet racists, you ARE honest!!

    April 26, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  13. Liz Carter in Georgia

    Oh, so some folks have done the ancestral 'roots' background of the OBAMAS and who begat who! WOW! Who were slaves, who sold slaves and who were slave holders! And I thought Alex Haley was good! The reknowned 'ROOTS' author and novelist, of his own familys' history in this country, the LATE ALEX HALEY couldn't have done that well!!

    April 26, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
  14. Liz Carter in Georgia

    Berating the PRESIDENT and his family for celebrating EASTER, at the service of their choice; A CHRISTIAN SERVICE! What about that you 'OBAMA is Muslim conspirators'? You crucifiers! But if he was SO WHAT? 'FATHER FORGIVE THEM, FOR THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO'!

    April 26, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
  15. Liz Carter in Georgia

    Go Gracie! Good observation!

    April 26, 2011 at 9:06 pm |
  16. Liz Carter in Georgia

    Oh Yeah! Just like George W Bush, who dropped bombs on Baghdad in their unawares; the big 'Shock and Awe' campaign. And God knows he certainly wasn't there! BTW, how many have died in Vietnam, Korea, Desert Storm, and to be honest, any militaristic conflict or war we have ever participated in? How many presidents were at the helm, but weren't there? Now since this president is at the helm, here is all the fake compassion and fake morality! Pres Obamas' mission was at least based on a humanitarian reason.

    April 27, 2011 at 12:42 pm |
  17. Liz Carter in Georgia

    According to McCain and many other politicians, Obama should have been in there sooner! Whatever this president does or doesn't do, either way, left or right, theres always a rift, a problem, if he stayed home, or it seems since he went in, there's something is always wrong! It's just crazy!

    April 27, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
  18. Liz Carter in Georgia

    @Nay Brook; YOU GO! Tell the truth and shame the 'birther'! Now they want to see his school grades! Now tell me, what other PRESIDENT of this UN-UNITED STATES has been put through a MILL like this, besides the ones they actually had physically assassinated? It's the same antagonistic spirit and mindset that's trolling these conspiracies against what would be good for America. They'd rather see 'BABYLON' fall, than for Obama to go down in history as ONE of it's GREATEST PRESIDENTS this country has had!

    April 27, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
  19. Dm

    Here is the truth on the Ivory Coast

    May 2, 2011 at 3:48 pm |