CLEVELAND – From the moment Oprah Winfrey (search) appeared at Olivet Institutional Baptist Church, she presented herself as a simple churchgoer who merely wanted to visit the church of her favorite minister, the Rev. Otis Moss.
Winfrey, the guest speaker for Olivet's Christian Family Unity Day (search) observance on Sunday, made it clear she's a fan of Moss. In 2002, she accepted his invitation to speak at a Cuyahoga Community College luncheon and donated $600,000 to the school.
The talk-show host, who also visited Olivet in the 1990s to speak at a Women's Day (search) service, said she has known and admired Moss for years.
"I invited myself," she said. "That's the truth."
Winfrey spent her first moments in the pulpit teasingly scolding Moss, claiming he had spurned her for years when she asked about coming back to speak. In a conspiratorial tone, she told the congregation that their pastor always came up with excuses. She sent the church into belly laughs with her imitation of Moss equivocating in his bass voice.