Donald and Melania Trump Join Family for Easter in Rare Post-White House Gathering
Since leaving Washington, D.C., the former president and first lady have spent the bulk of their time at Mar-a-Lago
Former President Donald Trump joined his family for a rare post-White House appearance on Easter Sunday, attending a church service in Palm Beach, Florida, before participating in an annual egg hunt at his private club.
Since leaving Washington, D.C., Trump, 74, and former First Lady Melania Trump have spent the bulk of their time at Mar-a-Lago — which now serves as both their home, after some local objections, and the site of their post-White House offices. (The former president was booted from mainstream social media websites, his preferred platform, in the wake of the U.S. Capitol attack.)
Mrs. Trump, in particular, has remained largely under the radar, though the couple and their 15-year-old son, Barron, have made it a point to spend certain special occasions in the public dining room at Mar-a-Lago.
Indeed, the three could be seen enjoying dinner in the club dining room on Good Friday.
The former president and first lady then attended a Sunday worship service at the Christ Fellowship Church in Palm Beach Gardens, where they were publicly greeted with rousing applause from the roughly 1,500 congregants and a welcome from senior pastor Todd Mullins, who told parishioners, "It is also our privilege, my privilege, today to welcome the president and Mrs. Trump, too."
Christ Fellowship Church is part of a "chain" of 11 locations in South Florida — all of which are well-attended.
"Going to church there is an open call, like a reality show with everyone welcome," a source tells PEOPLE.
Sitting in the front row of the service, photos show the Donald and Melania (who was pictured wearing a black and white sleeveless, dotted spring dress) among the congregants that were not wearing masks.
In a statement issued following the service, in an implicit acknowledgment of the Trump's political reputation, Mullins said "everyone" was welcome to his church's Easter service.
"We always welcome everyone to join us at Christ Fellowship in celebrating the resurrection of Jesus. This year, perhaps more than ever, we hope that Jesus' message of hope and salvation spreads widely and brings joy to all who hear it," the statement read, according to local station WPTV.
Don Jr. — whose girlfriend, Kimberly Guilfoyle, was also in attendance — also posted several photos of the family for the occasion. While the former president was pictured with the grandchildren, a club source tells PEOPLE: "I did not see Melania with any of the grandchildren."
"I saw the president, and he was in a pretty good mood," the source continued. "The children love this Easter Egg Hunt. It's always very popular with the membership."
In a video posted to Facebook, Don Jr. said that he and Guilfoyle were celebrating the holiday in Florida with their kids, who include Donald Trump III, 12, Chloe, 6, Spencer, 8, Kai, 13, and Tristan, 9, and Guilfoyle's 14-year-old son, Ronan, whom she shares with ex-husband Eric Villency.
Don Jr., 43, said that "after this sort of crazy year, just being able to spend time with the family, I mean that's No. 1."
Guilfoyle, 52, added that she encouraged followers to "take a moment to reflect on this past year and the blessings that we have," and for the "friends and family members that we lost" due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which dominated the final year of President Trump's time in office as he knowingly downplayed it.
In the video — filmed ahead of the Sunday festivities — Don Jr. and Guilfoyle noted that the Easter egg hunt had a family reputation as "a little competitive,"
Trump Jr. continued: "We're going to experience the same with our kids. I feel bad for Ronan, because he's so nice. My kids may eat him alive in this one. It could get rather rough and exciting."
While the family appeared to be all-smiles on Sunday, a source tells PEOPLE that Mrs. Trump has appeared to be in somewhat of a sour mood in recent weeks.
"Melania acts as if she is not truly happy but has accepted what is required of her to live the lifestyle she relishes," the social source says. "She loves the spa, the outdoor beauty and the European ambience so many enjoy at Mar-a-Lago. It is safe to say she plays the game for personal gain. Around here that is not a bad thing."
Another club source says she has not seen much of Mrs. Trump lately, even before the club's recent COVID-19 closure.
The former president, meanwhile, has been teasing a 2024 run even as he has become increasingly embroiled in legal trouble since he left office.
President Trump faces two lawsuits over the Jan. 6 Capitol riot by a mob of his supporters, while New York's court of appeals ruled recently that he must also face a defamation lawsuit brought against him by former Apprentice contestant Summer Zervos.
In New York, officials have been ramping up their investigations of his family's business dealings.
Trump has denied all wrongdoing.
• With reporting by LINDA MARX