Churches respond to election with prayer and praise

Posted by Nick Dutton -

(AP) - Churches have responded to the election of Barack Obama with prayer and praise.

At Sunday services across the nation, Christian clergy asked God to give the president-elect the wisdom and strength to lead the country out of what many consider a wilderness of despair and gloom.

Black churches across the nation erupted in joy over the election of the first black president.

The congregation at Harlem's Abyssinian Baptist Church gave a sustained cheer when their pastor invited them to stand up "and give God praise for the election."

A pastor in Virginia who recalled the days of segregation said, "My eyes have seen the glory."

The mood was more subdued at Houston's First Baptist Church, where the pastor urged his mostly white congregation to "lift up President-elect Obama" in prayer, even if he wasn't their choice last Tuesday.

Barack Obama didn't go to church on Sunday. While congregations around the nation celebrated his election victory and prayed for God's blessing on the president-elect, but Obama himself went to the gym.

He doesn't have a home church in Chicago anymore. He left Trinity United Church of Christ last May after severing ties with his controversial pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

Obama said at the time that his family would be looking for a new congregation but wouldn't rush to find one until things had settled down after the election.

Now that he's won, his decision on a church in Washington will be closely watched.

Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan says President-elect Obama will need help from "God and people of good will" to make the positive changes the nation needs.

The once-ailing 75-year-old leader spoke today to more than 1,000 followers at Chicago's Mosque Maryam in an address called "America's New Beginning: President-elect Barack Obama."

Farrakhan admitted he stayed quiet about his support for Obama during the past few months out of fear his words would harm the Illinois senator's bid for the White House.

During the Democratic primary campaign, Obama said he objected to Farrakhan's past statements about Judaism, which many consider anti-Semitic. Nation of Islam officials have said Farrakhan's comments are often taken out of context.

Source: The Associated Press