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Fourth Street Baptist celebrates Obama

The main sanctuary of Fourth Street Missionary Baptist Church was about three-quarters full Tuesday, as moments of worship combined with watching the inauguration via large screen, where the choir would normally be sitting. Worshipers watched the live feed from CNN.

The Rev. Johnny Flakes III, Fourth Street's co-pastor, led the three-hour event. The beginning, around 9:30 a.m., was marked with prayers and hymns. The hymns included "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms" and "Walk with Me," from the Baptist Standard Hymnal.

Flakes' co-pastor father, the Rev. Johnie Flakes, watched the activities from a friend's D.C. apartment; but as the noon hour neared, he was thinking of trying to get a closer look, according to his son. The two were keeping in touch through the morning by phone.

When Sen. Barack Obama took the oath as the nation's 44th President, most at Fourth Street jumped to their feet, clapped and cheered. "Thank you, Jesus!" one man said.

Betty Jackson, a member of Fourth Street since 1981, viewed the occasion as historic, so she wanted to be a part of it. The widow of Lonnie Jackson, who was given a Presidential Award in 1993 by Bill Clinton, Betty Jackson thinks her husband would have been in D.C. if he were still alive. "I wish I could be there," said Jackson.

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