President Obama, the First Lady, and their two daughters attended a historic black church in Washington, D.C. for Easter service on Sunday.
The first family sat in the second row of Shiloh Baptist Church, founded in 1863 by freed slaves originally from Fredericksburg, Va. The senior pastor, the Rev. Dr. Wallace Charles Smith, welcomed the first family and told Obama that the church began praying for him and his family every Sunday starting two years ago.
“So if you’re feeling blue and all of a sudden you feel a little better, that’s our prayers,” said Smith, according to Talking Points Memo.
Obama, wearing a dark suit with a lavender tie, put his arm around his oldest daughter Malia and swayed to the 120-member strong choir – which included trumpeters, two drummers, an organist, a pianist, and a keyboardist – during the worship time. First Lady Michelle Obama wore a green and white print sundress with gray sweater and sat next to younger daughter Sasha.
The pastor asked audience members to refrain from taking photos of the first family, saying “we are here first and foremost to worship God.”
This is the second year in a row that Obama and his family have attended a historically black church for Easter. Last year, the first family celebrated Easter at Allen Chapel AME Church in Southeast Washington.
In 2009, the Obama family walked across Lafayette Square to the historic St. John’s Church near the White House.
On Tuesday, Obama hosted an Easter Prayer Breakfast at the White House during which he reflected on the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
"I wanted to host this breakfast for a simple reason – because as busy as we are, as many tasks pile up, during this season, we are reminded that there’s something about the resurrection ... of our savior, Jesus Christ, that puts everything else in perspective," Obama said in his remarks.
Some of the prominent Christian leaders that attended the prayer breakfast included Bishop T.D. Jakes of The Potter’s House, Tim Keller of Redeemer Presbyterian Church, and Joel Hunter of Northland Church.
Since becoming president, Obama has not picked one church to attend regularly. Instead, the first family opts to visit different churches in the D.C. area and sometimes attends Evergreen Chapel at Camp David, the president’s country residence in Frederick County, Md.