K.C. Congressman Cleaver, a minister, is leaving his church

The Rev. Emanuel Cleaver II — eloquent preacher, outspoken U.S. congressman — paced silently in front of 1,000 people packing the pews of his church, St. James United Methodist. For a rare few minutes Sunday morning, the preacher, whose well-chosen words always carried his message, simply could not speak. He wiped tears from his face with a handkerchief.

The people — like family to him now after 35 years of leading this congregation — applauded and wiped their own tears.

Cleaver, a former two-term Kansas City mayor, had just told them the bittersweet news.

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