Pastor to the presidents

The Rev. Luis León (67A) faced the nation – literally – as the man chosen to deliver the benediction at the Jan. 21 inauguration of President Barack Obama. Addressing a crowd estimated in the hundreds of thousands gathered on the National Mall and millions more watching on television, the Cuban-born immigrant echoed the words of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the prophet Micah as he prayed blessings over President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and the American people.

A star runner at Berry Academy who later attended The University of the South and Virginia Theological Seminary, the reverend today serves as rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C., known as the “Church of the Presidents.” He has played a role in each of the last four presidential inaugurations, overseeing prayer services in 2001 and 2009 and delivering the invocation at the second inauguration of President George W. Bush.

Click the video player at right to see and hear the benediction (courtesy of PBS).

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