Attending Sunday church services is a ritual for many families, but when you’re the president of the United States, it can be somewhat of a challenge attending church and finding a good place of worship.
President Barack Obama has been visiting churches for the past five months with the hopes of finding a perfect church home for his family. According to published reports by Time, the president has chosen to attend Evergreen Chapel, a nondenominational church at Camp David in Frederick County, Maryland.
The magazine reported key factors that played a role in the Obama’s decision were based primarily on financial, political, personal considerations, as well as the desire to worship without being on display by the media.
“I think there are so many factors when anyone is looking for a church home, even more so when you are in politics,” said Brian Bradley, minister and religion studies major at Indiana Bible College.
High speculations were suggesting the president would likely choose a Black church after resigning his membership from Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago. President Barack Obama and his former spiritual advisor and pastor, Jeremiah Wright became estranged after the minister’s controversial remarks during the president’s 2008 campaign.
President Obama has made incessant comments stating that the historically Black church moved him from a skeptic to a believer. Noel Erskine, associate professor at Chandler School of Theology in Atlanta said he would be surprised if the president chose not to attend a Black church in the D.C. area.
“The president shouldn’t choose a church because the majority of the congregation is Black, but he should pick a church home that is best for him and his family,” said Bradley.
Alongside choosing a church home that fits the First Family, they also wanted to decrease the media attention. During a visit in January at 19th Street Baptist Church in D.C., congregation members formed a two hour line outside the church to see the president and his family, but some church goers were left out in the cold.
Bradley believes the Obamas made the right decision. He said political leaders find it a challenge to attend church because of the high display, and they just want to be treated like regular members.
Though his decision is a shock to many, Erskine said he doesn’t think the president is going to give up the liberal and progressive theology.
“This is who he is –before he came to Trinity, when he joined Trinity and after he left Trinity.” said Erskine.