Bush and his wife, Laura, were joined by former President Bush and his wife, Barbara, at the service at Lincoln Park United Methodist Church on Capitol Hill, where the minister preached himself hoarse and a band belted out hymns.
The new president, who is a Methodist, bobbed his head only slightly during the first musical number, ``This is the Day,'' as some congregants around him danced.
By the end of the one-hour, 45-minute service, Bush and his whole family were up and moving for a song whose refrain went: ``I've got a feeling everything's going to be all right.''
On a day when president-watchers sought to see which church Bush would attend, Pastor Harold D. Lewis Sr. delivered a sermon cautioning his listeners not to forget the true purpose of the church.
He said there is more to a house of worship than a Sunday service, singing and bake sales. His voice booming, Lewis stabbed the air with a finger as he stood just two paces in front of Bush, who sat front and center.
``The church is not only an organization, it is an organism!'' he said. ``The first purpose of the church is to magnify the Lord!''
As he preached, members of the congregation shouted back, ``Teach us!'' and ``Amen!''
Lewis introduced the Bush family to his parishioners as a pianist played ``Hail to the Chief.'' The congregation gave the family two standing ovations. Joining the Bushes was Jane Levin, wife of Yale University's president, Richard C. Levin.
Lewis misidentified Bush as the president-elect, prompting an outcry of corrections from his audience. ``Did I miss something?'' Lewis deadpanned.
Worship leader Norma Belt offered a prayer for Bush from the altar, asking God as well for peace in Israel.
``We need you, Lord, these are dark and evil times,'' she said.
Bush's visit came after a week of quiet lobbying by area churches seeking a presidential parishioner.
A Methodist church leader recommended Lincoln Park, said spokesman Gordon Johndroe. He said he could not identify the person.
Nationwide, blacks voted for Bush's opponent, Al Gore, by a 9-1 margin in November, and Bush has sought to reach out to the community since then.
Johndroe said that was not one of the considerations as Bush selected the church Sunday.
The first couple has not settled on a permanent church, he said. Last Sunday, the day after Bush was sworn in, he attended services at the Washington National Cathedral, an Episcopal church.
Asked as he entered Lincoln Park United Methodist why he chose it, Bush said simply, ``It's a good one.''
On leaving, former President Bush shook his head and offered a thumbs-up when asked about the service. ``Beautiful, beautiful,'' he said.