President Obama spent Easter at St. John’s Episcopal Church, just across Lafayette Square from the White House.
The first family most recently attended St. John’s on March 18, according to the White House. They have also attended services at 19th Street Baptist Church, the Washington National Cathedral, Allen Chapel A.M.E. Church, Vermont Avenue Baptist Church, Metropolitan A.M.E. Church, Shiloh Baptist Church, and Zion Baptist Church since moving into 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
The congregation offered a prayer for “Barack, our president, the leaders of Congress, and the Supreme Court, and all who are in positions of authority,” according to the pool report.
Obama was spotted sitting on the right side of the aisle, about six rows back from the front.
The Rev. Luis Leon began his sermon by needling congregants who just show up to church on Easter.
“Sometimes I wish I didn’t read the newspapers or watch the television news,” the reverend said when talking about the state of the world today. He cited, however, an article last week in The New York Times about the rebirth of Mogadishu, Somalia, as a metaphor for the miracle of Easter.
“Now you may say, ‘they’re all Muslim,’” Leon said. “But so what? That is evidence of the resurrection.”
About 80 people outside the church were unable to get in despite getting in line 45 minutes before the service and waiting 40 minutes into the service to see if space opened up.
In the afternoon, Obama left for the FBI headquarters to play basketball with friends and family. Tomorrow is the annual Easter Egg Roll at the White House.
Obama spent Saturday golfing with usual partner and trip director Marvin Nicholson; Eugene Kang, the special projects coordinator and confidential assistant to the president; and Michael Ramos, identified in press reports as a businessman and friend of Obama’s from Punahou School in Hawaii.
On the return trip, the White House pool reporter noted that a man with a cup, probably asking for change, approached the stopped motorcade and one of the SUVs filled with heavily armed agents. “He got the message, held up his arm, and backed away immediately,” the report said.