President Obama and his family are worshiping this Easter Sunday at Allen Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church, a 2,500-member congregation in the poorest section of the nation’s capital.
White House officials said that Allen Chapel, in Southeast Washington, was selected because the church has more than 50 programs that reach deep into the community that include an after-school tutorial program, a ministry to help ex-convicts reenter the community and a food pantry that helps hundreds of families each week.
“I can’t even get into the parking lot of the church on Wednesday, so many people are coming for food,” said the Rev. Michael Bell, the church’s pastor. “In Ward 8 there is a 28 percent unemployment rate.”