10/09/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Palin's Church Congregation Tight-Lipped Around Reporters

WASILLA, Alaska -- In my quest to understand Gov. Sarah Palin, I attended services at her church, the Wasilla Bible Church, Sunday morning. I ended up being shooed out of the parking lot -- but I'll get to that in a minute.

It felt a bit like a high-school gym or auditorium, with wood floors and an unfinished ceiling. The church was founded in the 1970s, though this building was completed in 2006.

A nine-member acoustic band opened the service with 30 minutes of Christian-themed songs -- think loving God, forgiveness, humility, etc. It was a sea of about 500 folding chairs -- all filled. Lights were dimmed so that the lyrics of the songs were easy to follow along with on the two large projector screens suspended from the ceiling on either side of the stage. The room's focal point was a large, back-lit wooden cross.

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