(June 28, 2012) First Lady Michelle Obama spoke June 27 at the same National African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church Quadrennial Session of the General Conference at which her husband appeared four years ago when he was a senator on the campaign trail.

She was given praises and thanks, for both she and President Barack Obama, after delivering the 49th AME Quadrennial Session keynote address to more than 10,000 church members, according to The (Nashville) Tennesseean. She urged the audience to extend Jesus beyond the four church walls and said that faith is commanding a dynamic role in the members’ community lives.

“Our faith journey isn’t about just showing up for a good sermon and good music and a good meal,” she said in her speech to AME Church leaders and members.

Every four years, AME churches congregate for the week-long conference. Held in Nashville, Tenn. this year, 30,000 are expected at Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center, according to the Tennesseean.

According to a press release from the AME Church, the nation’s oldest black religious domination started in Philadelphia in 1787 and became an official denomination in 1846. Since then, three million people have joined and there are 7,500 AME churches in North and South America, Africa, Europe, and India.

“We are extremely honored that First Lady Michelle Obama will be sharing her thoughts at this quadrennial meeting,” bishop Presiding Prelate Vashti Murphy McKenzie said in a statement, prior to Obama’s speech. “Mrs. Obama’s commitment to family as the Mother-in-Chief is encouraging women around the world and her leadership in fighting childhood obesity has been embraced by many of our congregations in the United States.”

Obama said during her speech that tackling childhood obesity issues starts at home.

Before introducing the First Lady, McKenzie said “America needs this team. We need this team to lead us for the next four years.” According to the Tennessean at one part of Obama’s thirty-minute speech was a sermon and the other was a “call to vote.”


Jessika Morgan

AFRO Staff Writer