Conservative Atlanta pastor to deliver benediction at Obama inauguration

President Barack Obama’s second inauguration will be book-ended with prayers from the widow of slain civil rights activist Medgar Evers and the conservative pastor of an Atlanta mega-church.

The  Rev. Louie Giglio of Passion City Church in Atlanta has been tapped to give the benediction at President Barack Obama’s second inauguration.

The Rev. Louie Giglio of Passion City Church in Atlanta has been tapped to give the benediction at President Barack Obama’s second inauguration.

The Rev. Louie Giglio, whose Passion City Church just hosted a youth-oriented event that attracted 60,000 to the Georgia Dome, will offer the benediction – a duty assigned four years ago to the Rev. Joe Lowery.

The invocation will be offered by Myrlie Evers-Williams, whose husband – a field director for the NAACP – was gunned down in 1963 in the driveway of his Jackson, Miss., home. Myrlie Evers-Williams served as chairman of the NAACP from 1995 to 1998.

Here’s the Washington Post take on the pairing:

The contrasting choice of speakers are typical of a president who has walked a sometimes complicated path when it comes to religion — working to be inclusive to the point that critics at times have questioned his faith.

In a statement released by the inaugural committee, the president said the careers of Evers-Williams and Giglio “reflect the ideals that the Vice President and I continue to pursue for all Americans – justice, equality and opportunity.”

Passion City Church came to Obama’s attention last year, according to my AJC colleague Chris Quinn:

Giglio international conferences draw between 20,000 and 40,000 young Christians. This year the largely student crowd at the Atlanta conference raised $3.3 million to combat human trafficking, which went to the cities of Atlanta and Vancouver and to establish a 24-hour hotline in Greece, three hot spots for sexual and other trafficking.

Passion City Church led a drive to gather more than 72,000 names on a petition delivered to President Barack Obama calling for the U.S. government to take a lead in combating sex and labor trafficking.

Obama will be sworn in at a private ceremony on Sunday, Jan. 20. The public ceremony will occur the next day, coinciding with the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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37 comments Add your comment

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Aesop's Fables and other Lib Economic Theories

January 8th, 2013
10:49 am

The words Justice and Equality are dog whistles for the weak minded.

Jon Lester

January 8th, 2013
3:49 pm

I wish we wouldn’t have an inaugural benediction at all. The Constitution doesn’t require it, so why have it?


January 8th, 2013
3:57 pm


Why do you think he would start caring what the Constitution requires, now?


January 8th, 2013
4:11 pm


It’s tough being a sore loser.


January 8th, 2013
4:16 pm

Do you people have a life? Are there any good comments left in our society? Why must you always try and degrade someone? May God have mercy on your souls…………….because one day you will need it. BE POSITIVE FOR ONCE IN YOUR LIFE……………………………………….


January 8th, 2013
4:27 pm

This is why “Society” is bonkers because of comments like….Who Cares…Sore Loser…You people need to get a life, and stop complaining….DUH?????


January 8th, 2013
4:28 pm

That’s really good. I will watch this again. Just like I did 4 years ago. :) I can’t wait!


January 8th, 2013
4:56 pm

The US Constitution neither requires nor prohibits exhibitions of religion, so our Christian President may freely have an invocation and benediction at his inauguration, delivered by the Christian brother or sister of his choosing. In fact, Article 6 includes, “The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.” And we know that our Constitution’s First Amendment protects the free exercise of religion, and prohibits Congress from establishing religion by legislative means.

No secular organ should criticize President Obama for working for inclusion, nor give vent to that criticism as the Washington Post has done. Christian means Christ-like, hence Christians should be the best workers, scientists, business people; we repent and are forgiven when we are not. “We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1Thes1:3)

In light of Scripture, Christians must judge other Christians’ behavior. “Now about your love for one another we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other. 10 And in fact, you do love all of God’s family throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers and sisters, to do so more and more, 11 and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, 12 so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.” (1Thes4:9-12)

Christians must not judge other Christians’ faith. “Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand. 5 One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind. 6 Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord. Whoever eats meat does so to the Lord, for they give thanks to God; and whoever abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. 7 For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone. 8 If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. 9 For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.” (Romans 14:4-9)

I thank God for our American freedoms, personally the most precious being the ability to worship. Daily, I pray for our nation and its people, that God will continue to bless us, every one.

A.B. Normal

January 8th, 2013
4:59 pm

Who did you expect him to pick? Fat a$$ Roseanne Barr and shock-jock Howard Stern?? How about Greta Van Cistern and Neal Boortz?


January 8th, 2013
5:41 pm

get over it twoooo termss!

A Moderate

January 8th, 2013
6:07 pm

Religion has no place in politics. I don’t go to church anymore because I have gotten my fill of the Christian right wingnuts, and my grandfather was a Methodist minister. The anti-Obama retoric by so-called Christians, the fight for the right to carry guns in church, the full-page ad by Billy Graham in the USA Today (hope he paid for it out of his own personal funds) the day before the election trying to swing the vote for Romney are all enough to make me want to stay as far away from these people as I can. So-called Christians not acting very Christ-like – this city and state if full of them.


January 8th, 2013
6:57 pm

So, choosing two Christians who happen to be different colors is a “contrasting choice of speakers” and indicates “a complicated path when it comes to religion” and that the President is “working to be inclusive”?

LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL That is comedy gold. We’re really on the cutting edge of diversity here, eh?


January 8th, 2013
7:20 pm

Could it be, windu, that the article is referring to their different approaches to Christianity, and not the color of their skin?


January 8th, 2013
7:30 pm

I defend his right to have prayers if he wishes and believe both speakers are people of high integrity who appear to be living sacrificial service filled lives.

However, let’s be real here. Obama is a lot of things, but one thing he is not is a man of Christian faith. He is the first truly post Christian President which is his right, but it would be nice he were honest about it.

Hugh Jass

January 8th, 2013
7:37 pm

Giglio is it on a stick and a true man of the one, true God.


January 8th, 2013
7:40 pm

So does this mean that Louie is going to put on a suit and tie? :-)


January 8th, 2013
7:47 pm

Imagine….imagine….imagine a world without religion.


January 8th, 2013
7:53 pm

May God bless and keep you . you will need it


January 8th, 2013
8:06 pm

Louie is awesome! So happy for him to have this opportunity.


January 8th, 2013
8:37 pm

A Moderate, you hit the nail on the head! However, I continue to go to church because I consider myself a Christian, and I need Sundays to ‘recharge.” And, by the way, Elisha, you are one of the right wingnuts that have poisoned religious and political discourse in this country. Obama is a Christian. Certainly, more so than you right wingers’ hero Ronald Reagan.

Big Whoop!

January 8th, 2013
8:41 pm

Big Whoop – a real no name……..

Frank Skeezy

January 8th, 2013
8:50 pm

He heard about that $3 million donated last week and wants to find a way to tax it.


January 8th, 2013
9:03 pm

If president obama had as much time in office as Franklyn D Roosevelt our country would be a greater nation. I salute his choices


January 8th, 2013
9:54 pm

Obama is a Christian. Certainly, more so than you right wingers’ hero Ronald Reagan.

Obama is a christian??? Christians support abortions??? Christians support gay marriage??? Damn good to know that you clowns don’t practice what you preach. Society is so screwed up today that Mormons are considered Christians when in reality they are nothing more than a cult.

Heck even the clown Bush Jr. thought that Muslims are a peaceful group of murderers.

Baker girl

January 8th, 2013
10:00 pm

Great job. Every effort to unite this nation is exactly what’s needed in 2013!


January 8th, 2013
10:14 pm

Elisha, you are not a judge of who or who is not a Christian. That is left up to God. Now, something positive. I voted for Obama both times, and I do not regret my choice. In particular of late our President has made me proud. He has led this country through some difficult times. Yes, there have been tragedies, but he has shown himself to be a man of great compassion for those who have suffered great loss. Why is there so much negativity? I have great faith the President will lead us through these hard times. I support him.


January 8th, 2013
10:54 pm

I cannot think of a more befitting pastor than Louie Giglio to pray, pray, pray!! I love Passion City Church and all that it does for not only the local community, but for the entire planet!! I’m so happy to have found this church, and my life is so much better because of it!! Thank you to all the staff and volunteers at PCC!! :)


January 8th, 2013
11:01 pm

If we could all think in terms of “One nation under God,” and live as such, we’d all be in a better place and much stronger because of it!!


January 8th, 2013
11:06 pm

Extremely disappointed the article invoked criticism of the President and/or his religious beliefs while also becoming a sounding board for the ill-informed. The article merely states that the inauguration will be book-ended by two divergent views; it DID NOT say President Obama chose those book ends. In fact, Mr. Obama himself does not organize the inaugural program. Please google the Congressional Inauguration Committee to learn the facts. According to its website, “Since 1901, the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies has been responsible for the planning and execution of the swearing-in ceremonies and the luncheon for the Inauguration of the President of the United States at the U.S. Capitol.” Please be informed before sounding off.

Pure Texas

January 9th, 2013
12:18 am

It is a real treat to listen to all of your out of control comments…Every knee will bow..we all die someday and stand before the Judgement seat of Christ…hope you get a grip on the Truth….our wonderful President will have to do the same..shame on the future of this country when 300,000
abortions by Planned Parenthood is OK…and funded by the Government…


January 9th, 2013
3:06 am

God has raised up a leader for such a time as this. But without faith it is impossible to please God. This is the President’s time to fulfill the office to which he has been called, chosen and appointed by God, elected by man and justified by faith. The just shall live by faith. A lifestyle of faith is rooted and grounded in prayer. Men should always pray and not faint. This nation was founded on prayer. Although some have desired to remove and exclude this from politics, school and their homes. God is yet raising up Daniels, Esthers, Jeremiahs, Isaiahs, Amoses, Moseses, Joshuas and Baracks to speak truth to power. Prayer will open the heavens and establish the kingdom of God on earth in every arena including politics. The kingdoms of this world will become the kingdoms of our God. The opinions of man will not make the word of God ineffective. The fervent effectual prayer of a righteous man avails much. Power belongs to God and when we pray, we invoke God’s power to intervene in the affairs of man. God bless you and may you have a prayerful and faith filled 2013!


January 9th, 2013
5:53 am

it is popular today to claim to be a Christian ,even some in that Hollywood crowd claims to be Christian while living together and having babies out of wedlock and covered up in tattoo’s ,the truth is there are few BORN AGAIN Christian’s out there and we are the true Christian’s


January 9th, 2013
7:14 am

Burntgrassroot- obama works for inclusion? That’s a laugh. He doesn’t listen to the American people when they said they didn’t want obama-care. He didn’t listen to Americans when we said no stimulus.

“You didn’t build that!” Inclusion? give me a break.


January 9th, 2013
7:21 am

I work at northpoint and i get paid to listen to people like this. #soblessed DRINK VEEMA


January 9th, 2013
1:19 pm


so youre the true christian and anyone who doesnt believe/live like you are false christians
? did god or FAUX NEWS tell mu this? so being a racist birther who hates the president is a sign of being a true christian, right,,,,


January 9th, 2013
1:20 pm


if americans didnt want OBAMACARE they wouldnt have reelected him…DUH…stop watching FAUX NEWS