Pastor Mark Hunsaker

HI! Pastor Mark here. Praise & Worship is a young congregation made up of all ages of people. We chartered as a congregation of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod on December 15, 2013. Before that our congregation consisted of a mission group that was started out of our mother church, Faith Lutheran Church in Branson, MO, by Pastor Dar Karsten.

I'm the new guy! I graduated from Concordia Seminary in 2015, and was then ordained and installed as pastor of Praise & Worship on June 28, 2015.

Pastor dar and pastor mark

I might be the new guy, but don't miss out on how Praise & Worship started and how it will move forward.  Pastor Dar Karsten, though now retired (well, he is supposed to be retired!), is still a part of our church family and continues as part of our disciple-making community when he and his wife Jan are not celebrating the Lord's blessings with their kids and grand kids.

And all this doesn't even begin to tell the story. The best thing to do is to plan a visit. Or, call or message me and we'll grab a cup of coffee together. I'll share more about our story, and seek to learn yours as well.

In the mean time, take a minute and consider these words below, written by David Yeago a few years ago as he pondered what it means to do, to be, church. This will give you an idea of what I'm hoping to be a part of in the coming years as Praise & Worship is built up into a new people, joining in the mission of Jesus Christ as He seeks and saves that which is lost, and proceeds to make all things new.

[An apostolic] community thus [bodily and visible] naturally understands itself as something more and other than the carrier of a true doctrine or an experiential enhancement of personal life. It inevitably develops traditions of practice and discipline through which there is sought the conformation of the whole person, body, soul and spirit, as Paul says, to the intensely corporeal salvation accomplished in the bodily dying and resurrection of Jesus. The mission of this community is therefore not fulfilled when something happens only in the heart, in the private inwardness of those it reaches, its aim is rather something that must happen out in public, out in the bodily world: the building up of a new people, whose life together is witness to the claim that the Crucified makes on the whole world, who likewise struggle to submit their own bodily lives in the world to that lordship.

David Yeago, “Sacramental Lutheranism,” Lutheran Forum. 34:3 (Winter, 2000) p. 7.