Gov. Chris Christie began his inauguration day in the city of his birth, attending a church service with his family and hundreds of onlookers at New Hope Baptist Church in Newark Tuesday.
The controversies that have plagued Christie in recent weeks—over the closure of traffic lanes to the George Washington Bridge and more recently over disbursement of Superstorm Sandy aid to Hoboken—were muted during the hour-long service.
“God will show up in your midnight time,” Rev. Joe Carter said to a crowd that included Christie Essex County allies such as County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo. Students from Newark schools as well as members of the military also attended the service along with Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno.
Christie, his wife Mary Pat, and their children, were seen keeping time to the gospel music during the service held at the church, which Christie last attended in October on the first anniversary of Sandy.Christie gave a curt wave to a bank of television cameras assembled across the street from the church before being whisked off in his motorcade to his next stop, the inauguration at the Trenton War Memorial. A planned gala at Ellis Island was cancelled due to the snowstorm that began right around the same time as the service.
Christie was elected to a second term as governor in November after handily defeating state Sen. Barbara Buono.