Obama Searches for New Church Home

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WASHINGTON - In just over two months, the Obama family will make the White House their new home. But they'll also be looking for a new church home.

Presidential Church Hunt

Since the Obamas left Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ over the Reverend Jeremiah Wright controversy, they haven't had a church home.

President-elect Barack Obama has been spending his Sunday mornings at the gym. Some DC churches hope that'll change once the Obamas hit town.

Saint John's Episcopal has the advantage of being just feet away from the White House. So many Presidents have worshipped there that Pew 54 is permanently reserved for them.

Metropolitan AME Church is hinting it would be a good thing for the Obama family to attend a church rooted in the African-American community.

"First of all the members of the church will welcome him and his family and surround him with love and also generate praise that will cover him those four years he is in office," Metropolitan AME worshipper Toni Roy said.

Foundry United Methodist thinks the liberal Obama should come to their liberal church.

"Well, it is definitely inclusive, they welcome all kind of people; gays, straights, all races and I think that would be a good message for him to send - that's my opinion. But I think his church should be his decision," said Foundry worshipper Lance Etchison.

"Sunday is one of the most segregated days in America, so to attend a United Methodist Church that is multi-cultural and unifying - all worshipping God is a testimony," DC resident Laura B. Njanga said.

Sunday School the Deciding Factor?

But with two young daughters in the Obama family, the church with the best Sunday school might well get the nod.

"I hope that Presidents find a place of worship where they will feel comfortable, where they - especially if they have children - will be able to bring their children up and feel like their children are getting a good education in the faith tradition," Foundry Senior Pastor Dean Snyder said.

If Obama ends up in their pew, these pastors realize their sermons will get much more scrutiny, but all say they won't change what they preach.

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Paul Strand

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