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St. Mark pastor: ‘We have reason to be filled with joy’

St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church Pastor Lauria “Ray” McDuffey is ready for a revival.

“We here at St. Mark are very grateful to the Lord,” McDuffey said. “We understand that even when the world around us is chaotic and times are uncertain, we still have one on whom we certainly can rely. I want to encourage every person to rely on God, and know that Jesus has given us ultimate and certain victory through his death on the cross. We also have a great reason to be filled with joy and hope, knowing that Jesus is our risen Savior. So, I want to encourage you to, ‘Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.’”

Lauria “Ray” and Latoria McDuffey

McDuffey began preaching at St. Mark five months ago in late October. He was officially instated as pastor on Nov. 22.

“My time at Saint Mark has been very rewarding,” McDuffey said. “It has been a rich season in my life. The Lord has blessed me with great relationships and great support. Through those relationships we have grown stronger and closer to the Lord.”

McDuffey said his approach to ministry is to be totally committed to following Jesus.

“Mark 8:34 says, ‘Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me,’ and that’s Jesus talking to his disciples,” McDuffey said.

St. Mark Missionary Church is located at 627 E. Monticello St. in Brookhaven. Sunday school starts at 9:30 a.m., and services start at 11 a.m. Revival services will begin in April.

“We are a church with an open heart and an open door,” McDuffey said. “We want to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world, which is what Jesus commands us to do. We pray that anybody that feels a desire to stop by, we want them to just stop on by.”

McDuffey is married to his wife Latoria. They have four children.