Tag Archives: Barack Obama

Berry Alumni at the White House

Two Berry alumni, the Rev. Luis Leon (67A), far left, and Carlos Whittaker (96c), standing third from left, join President Barack Obama for a photo during the White House Easter Prayer Breakfast.

President Barack Obama was front and center April 14 as Carlos Whittaker (96c), a Nashville-based singer/songwriter and author, led worship at the annual White House Easter Prayer Breakfast. Among the Christian leaders in attendance was the Rev. Luis Leon (67A), rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church. Leon has had a role in the last four presidential inaugurations, most recently delivering the invocation preceding the 2013 inaugural address.

Here’s a brief video clip of Whittaker’s performance.

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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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