West Ky. bivocational pastor makes most of atypical situation

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PRINCETON, Ky. (KT) – Most mornings in Kay’s Kitchens, the griddle is hot and the bacon is sizzling as the most mouth-watering breakfast you’ve ever tasted is being masterfully assembled.


Sounds of laughter, the clicking of silverware on the glass plates and the slurping of coffee make for a symphony and a good groove to start the day. Cups of coffee are warmed up three or four times as friends talk about the previous night’s ballgame, or politics or even the weather.


That’s a typical morning in Kay’s Kitchen.


But these days aren’t typical for anybody. An invisible enemy, the coronavirus, has invaded, bringing stress and uncertainty to every nook and cranny of our lives, even to Kay’s Kitchen. Restaurants are closed, except for takeout, and even the church houses are empty on Sunday mornings, the day we always worshiped the Lord, for fear of spreading the disease.


No matter what, though, bivocational pastor Mark Faughn, one of Kentucky’s finest, said he’s going to preach the word. That’s all he knows to do. He wanted to have the service at church Sunday and was there with his wife and another couple to try something different, a livestream. But the cell signal wasn’t strong enough.


So they went into town, right there in Kay’s Kitchen, which is owned by Faughn’s wife. A podium is set up, he’s dressed in a brown suit with a yellow shirt and his ancient iPhone 5 is aimed at him as Faughn dips into the world most pastors are finding themselves in this day.


3…2…1 and it’s Facebook Live!


The 64-year-old Faughn looks into the tiny iPhone camera and the other three people in Kay’s Kitchen become his in-person audience, and he begins delivering the word like he’s done every other Sunday for almost 21 years at Cedar Bluff Baptist Church. It comes easy and it’s powerful, like always, because Jesus is always preached when Bro. Faughn delivers the message.


“The devil, or no one or nothing is going to stop the gospel from getting out,” he said with a certain voice inflection.

Faughn always asks his congregation to stand when he reads scripture in church and he asked them to stand in their houses as he read it on Sunday.


“I just did it the way we would do it if we were in the (church) building,” Faughn said.


This Sunday, if the rain holds off, he may try the drive-in approach where cars assemble on the parking lot - and stay in them - and listen to the preaching of Bro. Faughn, that is if his brother can find the karaoke machine.


“You have to be creative these days,” he said.


Faughn’s life has been hit hard by the coronavirus even though nobody he knows has it. He and his wife have felt the economic gut-punch with her restaurant having to make curbside deliveries. Kay’s Kitchen is one of those popular small-town Kentucky restaurants that lives and breathes its people and needs those regulars to survive. It’s not exactly set up with a drive-thru audience. But God is good, he said, “all the time.”


“Our business has been very slow,” he said. “We did better today, about double the previous day. It’s home cookin’, breakfast and lunch and Friday evening she has fish.”


Faughn’s job is as a bus driver for the Caldwell County school system, a position he has held for nine years. He’s still driving, taking meals to the kids in the town and ministering to them whenever they may happen to ask him about Jesus. Let’s just say he appreciates the opportunities that present themselves. Previous to driving the school bus he worked a dozen years for a cattle company, which he described as “real hard work.” The Lord’s work, though, that’s way he lives for.


Faughn, whose wife told him it was time to upgrade his iPhone 5, said he googled how to do Facebook Live, then used some help on the Facebook page and – Viola! – he was in business broadcasting the sermon to an audience that more than doubled his normal Sundays at Cedar Bluff Baptist Church.


But then, nothing seems normal these days.

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