Sister Roberta Fulton attends White House prayer breakfast

Sister Roberta Fulton, SSMN, had what she called a once-in-a-lifetime experience when she had breakfast at the White House.

The principal of St. Martin de Porres School in Columbia was one of about 100 people invited to join the president for an Easter Prayer Breakfast on April 19.

Sister Roberta said she didn’t realize what a true honor it was until she arrived and saw the nationally known figures also in attendance, like Bishop T.D. Jakes, who gave the closing remarks. He is senior pastor of The Potter’s House, a global humanitarian organization.

Fredron DeKarlos Blackmon, Supreme Knight of the Knights of Peter Claver, was also there, along with Don King and others.

The prayer breakfast brought together people of different Christian faiths from across the country. Sister Roberta was invited for her work with education, the NAACP, and Knights of Peter Claver Ladies Auxiliary. She is also president of the National Black Sisters Conference, of which she has been an active member since the early 1970s.

But it wasn’t the people who made the biggest impact on the religious sister, or the food, which she doesn’t remember eating because she was so excited. It was the message.

“Everything was formed around the Spirit,” she said. “It was all so beautiful.”

Speakers covered many topics related to being good Christians, including health care, the environment, immigration, the scourge of human trafficking, fatherhood, and mentoring youth.

Sister Roberta said that President Barack Obama talked about the many challenges the nation faces, but said partnerships with faith-based people give him hope and encouragement.

After his speech, the president visited at each table, where he shook hands with everyone and talked for a bit, the religious sister said.

When Sister Roberta first received the exclusive invite, she wasn’t sure it was real, and called the White House to confirm.

She said her school will not receive any direct benefit from her attendance at the prayer breakfast, but will reap rewards in other ways. The principal said she brought back a lot of information on grants and programs that will benefit her community.

She is particularly excited about opportunities to promote responsible fatherhood, the mentorship of youth, and parental involvement.

“It really does take a village,” she said.

They will also look into environmental issues and various science projects.

It was the second annual breakfast, and Obama said he hopes it will continue.

“I wanted to host this breakfast for a simple reason — because as busy as we are, as many tasks as pile up, during this season we are reminded that there’s something about the resurrection — something about the resurrection of our savior, Jesus Christ, that puts everything else in perspective,” the president said in his remarks.