OBAMA/WASHINGTON - Barack Obama attended his first Sunday church service as president on Easter Sunday, greeted by hundreds of onlookers at an Episcopal church a block from the White House.

Obama, wife Michelle and daughters Malia and Sasha sat about halfway down the first row in the packed but intimate St. John's, across Lafayette Park from the White House.

Throngs of onlookers packed the streets around the church and behind police barricades, even though, according to a White House official, the location was not disclosed until Sunday.

There was intense competition among area churches to lure the Obamas, according to reports.

Known to many as the "Church of the Presidents," every president since James Madison has attended the church, either on a regular or occasional basis, according to St. John's.