Obama, Family Cause a Small Stir at Easter Service

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US President Barack Obama (C) and first lady Michelle Obama depart from the White House in Washington, DC April 20, 2014 as they head to Easter services at St. John's Episcopal Church. AFP PHOTO/YURI GRIPAS (Photo credit: YURI GRIPAS/AFP/Getty Images)

US President Barack Obama (C) and first lady Michelle Obama depart from the White House in Washington, DC April 20, 2014 as they head to Easter services at St. John’s Episcopal Church. AFP PHOTO/YURI GRIPAS (Photo credit: YURI GRIPAS/AFP/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama may have expected a quiet Easter, but his presence rallied a congregation eager to greet him and his family to the front of the church.

Obama, wife Michelle and their daughters sat in the second row at Nineteenth Street Baptist Church, nearly two miles north of the White House.

They received a standing ovation during the welcome, with dozens of worshippers gathering around to shake the Obamas’ hands and take pictures.

The senior pastor, Rev. Dr. Derrick Harkins, joked that he didn’t realize so many people were sitting in the front section. The pastor repeated “Amen” in a call for people to return to their seats.

The service included a sermon titled “Resurrection Realities” and a praise dance and trumpet-led hymn.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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