Obama Worships at Historic DC Church

The service celebrated the president's inauguration and Martin Luther King Jr.

Posted: 01/20/2013 10:00 AM EST

President Obama takes a moment to reflect after placing a wreath at Arlington Cemetery before attending church.  (Photo: AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama worshipped and celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Sunday at the historic Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Obama and first lady Michelle Obama attended services with their daughters Malia and Sasha at the downtown Washington church. With them were Mrs. Obama's mother and brother, Marian and Craig Robinson, andObama's sister, Maya Soetoro-ng.

The church, celebrating its 175th anniversary, was draped in the reds, greens and golds found in African Kente cloth. The program said Sunday's service was a dual celebration of Obama's second inaugural and of the anniversary of King's birthday.

Parishioners must have known the first family was coming; pews were full, and the back cover of Sunday's program was printed with an official photo of the Obamas. Church goers rose to their feet, and those in the upper level leaned over to catch a glimpse, as the Obamas entered the church. They sat in the second row, and Secret Service agents sat in the third row.

The same church hosted prayer services before the inauguration of former President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore.

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