Metropolitan Hosts Archbishop Tutu

at CBCF Event Commemorating King and President Obama Feb 2009

By Dorothy Gilliam Bishop Desmond Tutu at Metropolitan AME

Washington, D.C.  - Amidst the millions of persons and abundance of events celebrating the inauguration of President Barack Obama, the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s gathering of African American leaders from around the world was a standout occasion. Given its momentous nature, it was appropriate that the event was held at historic Metropolitan A.M.E. Church—known as the “Cathedral of African Methodism”—located just eight blocks from the White House.

Bishop Desmond Tutu at Metropolitan AME

“This is a phenomenal day…what a day of rejoicing this has come to be,” declared the Rt. Rev. Adam J. Richardson, Bishop of the Second Episcopal District, in his welcome to the interfaith religious service. Senior Bishop John R. Bryant and eight other A.M.E. Bishops and their spouses were among the more than 2000 persons in attendance.

Congressional leaders set the tone for the occasion. House Majority Whip James Clyburn, the highest-ranking African-American in Congressional history, called the election of President Obama “V-Day—“not for victory, but for vindication. Not for victory, but for validation.”

Mary Mary at Metropolitan AMEArchbishop Desmond Mpilo Tutu, winner of the 1984 Nobel Peace Prize, began his commanding keynote sermon-address on a note of incredulity. “Hey, is this for real? Is tomorrow for real?”

No, no, no, it can’t be true. A black man, tomorrow he’s going to become president of the United States, in the White House! No, I pinch myself!” The congregation roared with laughter, shouting: “Yes, Yes, Yes.”