June 1, 2018

New Mo. Governor Sworn In Amid Prayers

Missouri has a new governor. Mike Parson was sworn in during a private ceremony at 5:30 p.m., following a private prayer service at 4 p.m. at First Baptist Church in Jefferson City. I attended both to cover them for Word&Way.

Since Parson is Baptist, the short prayer service featured two Baptist preachers: his pastor at First Baptist Church in Bolivar, Mo. (Billy Russell), and his brother (Kent) who is pastor at Elkton Baptist Church in Elkton, Mo.

Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft leading the singing of "Great is Thy Faithfulness."

Billy Russell, pastor of First Baptist Church in Bolivar, Mo.

Kent Parson, pastor of Elkton Baptist Church in Elkton, Mo.

After the service, the tenure of embattled Governor Eric Greitens ended. Meanwhile, the group at First Baptist walked the two blocks - past the Governor's Mansion - to the Capitol for the swearing in of the 57th Governor of Missouri.

Mike Parson taking the oath of office.

Mike Parson making a few remarks after taking the oath of office.

A reminder that most of the crowd for the ceremony was media.

I interviewed Parson last year for Word&Way early into his term as lieutenant governor. That interview - in which he talked about issues like faith, politics, and dark money - has been cited by a couple of other media groups this week seeking to introduce Parson (including KRCG and Riverfront Times).

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