NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- First lady Michelle Obama has urged 10,000 members of the African Methodist Episcopal Church to get involved in the issues that affect their lives.
Speaking at the denomination's 49th General Conference in Nashville, Obama praised the AME Church for its role in fighting slavery, segregation and disenfranchisement of blacks, but she told them the struggle is not over.
She said the challenges today include childhood obesity, poor schools and unsafe neighborhoods.
The first lady said, "Doing the impossible is the root of our faith." Speaking of the apostle Peter, she added, "If a simple fisherman could become the rock upon which Christ built his church, surely we can do our part."
After the speech, church members expressed admiration for Michelle Obama and her family. Several said they were not bothered by President Barack Obama's recent expression of support for same-sex marriage, although they still believe homosexuality is a sin.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)