By STACY A. ANDERSON (Associated Press)
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama and his family attended Easter service Sunday at a Washington church founded in 1863 by freed slaves.
The first family entered Shiloh Baptist Church to a round of applause on a sun-splashed day in the nation’s capital as members of a choir dressed in black, white and gold sang “Total Praise.”
Obama shook a few hands and hugged some members of the congregation as he and his wife, Michelle, and their daughters, Malia and Sasha, walked to a second-row pew.
According to the church’s pastor, Dr. Wallace Charles Smith, 21 freed slaves made it to the nation’s capital from Fredericksburg, Va., to establish a place where they could worship freely and where “they could reach others with the good news of their salvation.”
Smith wrote last September, on the church’s 147th anniversary, that the group “could not see the way ahead … but went forth to a land they felt God had given them.”