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Joshua Dubois

29 minutes
First broadcast:
Saturday 30 November 2013

Every morning, one particular email pinged into the inbox of President Barack Obama, it was sent by a young pastor Joshua Dubois. President Obama has many advisors, fighting for his ear throughout the day, but for a few quiet minutes every morning, he got inspiration and guidance from this email, which he has described as having ‘meant the world to him’.

Jane Little meets Joshua Dubois, who tells her about that first email he sent to the then Senator Obama, as he prepared to run for the White House. In the email was the 23rd Psalm, ‘The Lord is My Shepherd’. Five minutes later, Dubois got a reply from Barack Obama thanking him for the thoughts, and asking whether he could do the same the next day, and the day after that.

He says, the devotionals have meant the world to Barack Obama, so much so that Dubois recounts how when he took the some time off, he received a call from the president’s office asking where that morning's email was.

Five years and thousands of early morning emails later, Joshua Dubois has published 365 of those daily spirituals in a book.

With Jane, Joshua Dubois chooses five of the most significant spirituals he wrote for the president, covering some of the events that made headlines around the world, such as the school massacre at Sandy Hook in the USA. Jane questions Dubois about the president's faith and how he is regarded as the most secular president in history, rarely attending church as presidents have for generations before him.

Dubois tells Jane why he chose the particular words he did, and also discusses the Bible passages, stories and meditations from other less likely sources such as Abraham Lincoln, Nina Simone and Johnny Cash, which President Obama used to start his day.

  • Joshua Dubois

    Joshua Dubois
    President Obama's faith advisor.



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