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The First Family woke up early to attend Easter Sunday services at the Nineteenth Street Baptist Church, the same Northwest Washington congregation that welcomed President Obama on the eve of his first inauguration. The POTUS, along with First Lady Michelle and daughters Sasha and Malia, arrived around 10 a.m. entered through a tented door. They sat in the second pew, where they received a warm welcome from churchgoers.
“Isn’t our First Family gracious?” Pastor Dr. Derrick Harkins said during greeting time, according to The Washington Post. As worshippers shook hand and exchanged greetings with the Obamas, he joked, “I didn’t know we had as many people seated in this front section!”
The paster offered prayers to the family. He asked God to give the Commander in Chief “every measure of encouragement” and “wisdom,” and “tend to his spirit” in the midst of chaos and criticism.
During the Resurrection Day sermon, Harkins spoke about supporting people “living in the shadows and the margins.” The message was similar to Presidnet Obama’s weekly address, where he said: “We recall all that Jesus endured for us – the scorn of the crowds, the agony of the cross – all so that we might be forgiven our sins and granted everlasting life. And we recommit ourselves to following his example, to love and serve one another, particularly ‘the least of these’ among us, just as he loves every one of us.”
According to the White House, “The President and First Family have also enjoyed worshipping with a number of other D.C.-area congregations, including those at the Washington National Cathedral, Allen Chapel A.M.E. Church, Vermont Avenue Baptist Church, Metropolitan A.M.E. Church, Shiloh Baptist Church, Zion Baptist Church, St. John’s Episcopal Church, and Evergreen Chapel at Camp David.”