Fw: In town pool report #3

From: Matt Viser [mailto:xxx@email.com]
Sent: Sunday, April 05, 2015 11:03 AM
To: Allen, Jessica
Subject: In town pool report #3

When the pool entered into the church from the back it was a jubilant congregation packed full. Everyone was swaying, singing, and clapping to music played by a band that includes a drummer, bass player, and keyboardist. Some raised their hands up high.

A choir of about 70 people is up front, nearly everyone clad in purple. Two banners, on either side of a wooden cross, read, "Hallelujah" and "He Lives." There are two large television screens showing video from the service, and lyrics to the hymns. The congregation is predominantly African American.

After the singing stopped, the pastor Dr. Howard-John Wesley came to the front.

"How fitting that on the day we celebrate the rising of our Lord and savior, we also welcome our sitting president," he said, as the congregation began to applaud and also welcomed the First Lady.

The pastor encouraged the crowd to stay in their seats.

"This is not selfie time," he said to laughter. "Let the brother worship in the house of God."

The pool is in the last row of the church. The first family is up front and we don't have a great view.

During an infectious rendition of the hymn "He Lives," the congregation rose as a soloist sang with passion and the keyboardist took a solo. POTUS rose to his feet, too, and he could be seen from behind bobbing his head, clapping, and swaying a bit.

Singing continues. We are told we will be here until right after the sermon.


Matt Viser
The Boston Globe, Washington bureau
cell - xxx-xxx-xxxx
office - xxx-xxx-xxxx

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