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Photo Essay: Sundays are busy work day for local pastor

February 20, 2020

Sunday mornings can be relaxing or hectic depending on your family or vocation. For Mark Cress, a pastor at First Southern Baptist Church in Liberal,  Sunday mornings get very busy. It involves meetings — both planned and unplanned — plenty of studying, counseling and preaching.

Calen Moore

First Southern Baptist went without a full-time pastor for two years. Cress started at his new job at the beginning of the year. The new pastor is settling into not only his job but his office and community, as well.

Calen Moore

The church desires to engage relationally with God and their neighbors. With a new pastor, they hope to reach out even more to the community. The church offers a full range of ministries such as Awanas, Sunday school, music, children’s and youth ministries. Cress had a lot to catch up with and learn when he first arrived.


Calen Moore

Cress’s passion for what he refers to as his “calling” stands out. While studying for a sermon, he runs up to the white board, telling anyone in the room his new discovery. He then plots it out on the board. Preparing for a sermon can take all week and a lot of refinements.



Cress’s office is normally filled with people asking questions as activities at church begin. Some stop in to say hello while others might seek some prayer. Others stop in to pray with the pastor for Sunday services. When it is quiet, he goes back to studying. He sits down and highlights special words in Greek, to better translate the original language the Bible was written in.


Calen Moore

Despite the chaos of a Sunday morning and running a church service, Cress does not exclude himself from what the rest of the congregation is doing. He listens quietly to announcements while he waits to give his sermon.



All of the preparation comes to fruition as Cress addresses the church about the balance between love and tolerance. He gets very animated during sermons and talks with his hands a lot.


Calen Moore

When the service is over, Cress mans the door and talks to everyone as they walk out. It’s a chance to see members of the church and meet new people. It’s also a time for church members to get to know him better.


*Editors note: This photo essay was part of a class project for Photography II.

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Calen Moore, Club Multi-Media Reporter

Calen Moore is a sophomore at SCCC and is from Liberal. He discovered his love for writing through writing for Crusader News....

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    Brian GodfreyFeb 20, 2020 at 6:39 pm

    I had the honor of knowing Mark in Virginia and the great opportunity to hear him preach on several occasions. God has given him a wonderful gift of preaching His Word. My loss is your gain. I pray that God uses him in great ways!!!