Obama’s Pastor: Rev. Jeremiah Wright
Born on September 22, 1941, in Philadelphia, PA; son of Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Sr. and Dr. Mary Henderson Wright; married Ramah Reed; children: Janet Marie, Jeri Lynne, Nikol, Nathan, Jamila. Barack Obama first met Wright in the late 1980s, while he was working as a community organizer in Chicago before attending Harvard Law School. Wright officiated at the wedding ceremony of Barack and Michelle Obama, as well as their children’s baptisms. The title of Obama’s 2006 memoir, The Audacity of Hope, was inspired by one of Wright’s sermons, which was also a theme of Obama’s 2004 keynote address to the Democratic National Convention. Wright served as both a role model and a spiritual mentor for Obama, and the senator would check with Wright prior to making any bold political moves.
According to the Reverend Jim Wallis, who is a leader of the religious left, “If you want to understand where Barack gets his feeling and rhetoric from, just look at Jeremiah Wright. Wright was scheduled to give the public invocation before Obama’s presidential announcement, but Obama withdrew the invitation the night before the event. Wright wrote a rebuttal letter to the editor disputing the characterization of the account as reported in an article in The New York Times. In 2007 Wright was appointed to Barack Obama’s African American Religious Leadership Committee, a group of over 170 national black religious leaders who supported Obama’s bid for the Democratic nomination. However, it was announced in March 2008 that Wright was no longer serving as a member of this group.