The Rev. Lee Roy Parks is shown with his wife, Marilyn. He has recently assumed the role of interim pastor at Preston’s First Baptist Church.  SUBMITTED PHOTO
The Rev. Lee Roy Parks is shown with his wife, Marilyn. He has recently assumed the role of interim pastor at Preston’s First Baptist Church. SUBMITTED PHOTO
The Rev. Lee Roy Parks is bridging the gap.

"I will be serving as the interim pastor at First Baptist Church in Preston," said Parks, who lives in Rochester and has answered a call to serve the Preston congregation until it can find another permanent pastor.

Parks noted he will be preaching on Sunday mornings and working with the congregation in developing worship services as well as leading a Bible study each Sunday morning during Sunday school hour on the Book of Acts.

Parks, who has over 40 years of working in children's and youth ministries across Minnesota, served as youth pastor at First Baptist in the early '70s. He was fortunate enough to be there at the same time as Marilyn Rodenz, who was a member of the church, along with her parents, Earl and Vivian Rodenz. The two were later married.

Parks is a 1979 graduate of Pillsbury Bible College, with additional studies completed at Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary. He was a member of Calvary Baptist Church in Rochester - led at that time by the Rev. Glen Armstrong -when he was ordained into the ministry in the late 1980s.

Lee Roy and Marilyn, now members of CornerStone Baptist Church in Pine Island, where they are Sunday school teachers, have spent "most of the last 30 years" working at secular jobs - Lee Roy has a contracted position at IBM, and Marilyn is a sign coordinator at HyVee North in Rochester.

Parks is pleased to be able to lead the Preston First Baptist flock.

"The challenge of a pastoral position is, like any true believer in Christ, knowing how to handling the Word of God correctly and in such a manner as to benefit the good people of First Baptist," he said. "If I can quote the Bible from Acts 17:11, 'These were more fair-minded than those...., in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.' For me, that is the greatest reward! Be it adults, or children, to see others grow in the Lord and have a desire to search the Word on their own, what a fantastic attitude!"

Parks added that he has already discovered enjoyment in his ministry at First Baptist, even if it is in the early stages. "There is happiness, a true enjoyment in the church," he added. "I know this comes from our Lord and the firm knowledge the He saved us and has brought us to worship here at First Baptist."

Parks extended an invitation from the congregation to those interested in joining them at First Baptist on Sunday mornings - Sunday school starts at 9:30 a.m., followed by the morning service at 10:30 a.m. All are also welcome on Wednesdays for the mid-week prayer service and King's Kids at 7 p.m. Those with questions or in need of guidance may call the First Baptist church office at (507) 765-4960.