United Methodists were among the throngs of people who descended upon the nation’s capital to witness the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th president of the United States of America.
When Obama placed his hand on the 148-year-old Lincoln Bible and said, “I do solemnly swear,” he became the first African American to ascend to the highest office in the land and added another layer to the foundation laid by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
Michelle Gilstrap, 17, came to Washington with a group from Cascade United Methodist Church, Atlanta. She told her mother that she wanted to attend the inauguration because “Barack Obama is the George Washington of our generation.”
The significance of the day leaves Bishop Gregory Palmer “breathless and feeling like I’m walking on air.”
“It is unbelievable that this is happening, and I am so grateful to be a witness to it,” said Palmer, president of the United Methodist Council of Bishops. “The barrier of race has been removed from the highest office in the land.” He urged prayers for the president and Congress as they face the challenges ahead.