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Obamas Attend Church Service on Eve of MLK Day

Photo Courtesy - The White House/Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- On the Sunday before Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the first family visited Metropolitan A.M.E. church, just a few blocks away from the White House.  This is the second time the Obamas have visited the predominantly black church, which extended an offer of membership to the first family.

The Metropolitan congregation stood and applauded when President Obama, the first lady and the first daughters took their seats.

The sermon dealt with how God has a plan for all men and women.  God has singled out individuals throughout history to do extraordinary things, Rev. Ronald Braxton told the congregation.  Braxton highlighted the remarkable works performed by Noah, Rosa Parks and Dr. King after they were called to service by God.

Before the sermon, several church leaders acknowledged that the Obamas were in attendance.  One church leader praised the president for his speech last week after the tragic shooting in Tucson.  Another, invited the Obamas to join Metropolitan.  "It would be a good thing if you could join the church," the person said.

Pastor Braxton said Metropolitan has been praying for the president and the first family.

During acknowledgment of birthdays coming up this week, the congregation sang happy birthday to the first lady and others.  Her birthday is Monday.

The first family does not regularly leave the White House for Sunday church service, which critics who question President Obama's faith make a point of reminding the public.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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