When was the last time a US president spoke in a church?

(obviously, the question is prompted by Obama’s eulogy.)

The question has two parts: 1: when did any president in office speak at a church, whether at a religious ceremony , or on a secular occasion (example: Memorial Day)?
and 2: when did any president in office take an active part in the prayer service, singing hymns, etc?

It was a great speech…but it got me thinking: how many Presidents have ever taken an active part
in a religious ceremony? Presidents are usually described as having “visited” or “attended services” at a religious institution.
And they routinely send vaguely worded statements of greetings on Jewish and Muslim holidays.
Obama has attended the festive meals of Jewish Passover Seders and Muslim post-Ramadan feasts.
But in Charleston, he didn’t just “attend” the funeral like politicians often do…he actively spoke with religious fervor…
He used the word “Grace” a hundred times, (and not just in its poetic meaning; he specifically mentioned its definition in Christian theology.This is pretty unusual , I think.
Are there any precedents from previous Presidents?
Jimmy Carter was proud of his Baptist faith…but I don’t remember him actually preaching from a pulpit in a church while in office. Am I wrong?

Obama gave a eulogy for Beau Biden at a Catholic Church just a few weeks before he spoke at Charleston. So it doesn’t seem to be that uncommon. I think most of them end up giving at least a few eulogies. I’m pretty sure I remember Clinton giving a eulogy for Nixon, though I can’t remember if that was actually in a Church or not.

When Ford was president, he participated in services, including singing the hymns, at Saint John’s Episcopal Church in Washingtong, DC. I know this because I wa an acolyte at that particular church at that time.

President Obama wasn’t just attending that funeral service. He was invited to give a eulogy.* That’s different than simply attending; it’s also different than preaching.

IIRC, President Carter taught Sunday School at a Baptish church in Washington whe he was president.

*And, apparently, the fact that President Obama gave a eulogy at this funeral but not at a particular SEAL’s funeral has causd outrage in certain quarters.

Bush delivered a eulogy for Reagan at the National Cathedral. His eulogy at Ford’s funeral may have been there too.

From the NYT:

"In the coming days, the calendar will bring the anniversaries of two signal events. One, of course, is Sept. 11, a Tuesday this year, as it was in 2001, when Al Qaeda terrorists in four hijacked planes killed more than 3,000 Americans. With public memorial services and private tears, those deaths will be recalled and mourned.

The other anniversary is of the visit President George W. Bush made to a Washington mosque just six days after the attack, where he spoke eloquently against the harassment of Arabs and Muslims living in the United States and about the need to respect Islam."

Jimmy Carter actually taught Sunday school at the First Baptist Church in Washington while he was President. Bill Clinton gave the eulogy for Commerce Secretary Ron Brown at Washington National Cathedral in 1996. George W. Bush gave the eulogy at Ronald Reagan’s funeral at the National Cathedral in 2004. Obama gave the eulogy for Ted Kennedy at Our Lady of Perpetual Help church in Boston in 2009.

Nothing new to see here.

Based on some online research, here’s a list of which Presidents attended church services of a regular basis and which didn’t:

Did: McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, Wilson, Hoover, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Clinton

Did Not: Coolidge, Franklin Roosevelt, Truman, Reagan, George HW Bush, George W Bush, Obama

Johnson? LBJ?

*That *Johnson?

Hunter S. Thompson wrote a eulogy for Nixon that I like much better. (TL;DR: He didn’t mince his words.)

I don’t know about other sects, but at Catholic services, there’s generally a layperson who reads a couple of passages from Scripture. People who are good public speakers are often drawn to this particular form of service. Politicians, as a general rule, are good public speakers. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if a churchgoing Catholic president continued to serve as a lector after election.

Johnson was raised a Baptist but he became a member of the Disciples of Christ. He would normally attend service at the National City Christian Church when he was in Washington. But he sometimes accompanied family members to other churches. His wife and his daughter Lynda were Episcopalians. His daughter Luci had been raised an Episcopalian but converted to Catholicism. So Johnson attended Episcopalian and Catholic services. And he attended Lutheran services as well.

Was he invited and declined to do so? Normally one doesn’t give a eulogy unless asked.

Yep. I even got to sit next to him during one service at the Saint John’s Episcopal church by the White House. I was just a little kid at the time but I did know who he was and I thought it was cool.

Sorry about the unintended hijack.

Do you really think facts like that matter to the outraged?

What SEAL and why should Obama have been expected to speak?

I remember reading that Washington was C of E / Episcopalian, regularly attended services and was a vestryman at some point, but rarely took Communion. This is often interpreted as him being a Deist rather than a Christian.