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story.lead_photo.caption With first lady Teresa Parson and Gov. Mike Parson standing behind him, Bishop Shawn McKnight delivers the benediction at Monday's Bicentennial Inauguration ceremonies at the Missouri Capitol where Parson was sworn in as the state's 57th governor. Photo by Julie Smith / News Tribune.

Family members, faith leaders and local figures took the stage at Monday's inauguration ceremonies at the state Capitol alongside statewide elected officials.

Several people in the life of Gov. Mike Parson were central to the ceremonies.

The governor's granddaughter, Alicia House, and son-in-law, Jonathan House, performed the National Anthem. 

Gallery: Missouri Inauguration Day 2020

The Bible used by Parson as he was sworn in as the 57th governor of Missouri was a gift from his wife, first lady Teresa Parson.

Parson was sworn in by Judge Sarah A. Castle — the only judge to be appointed twice by Parson, according to his office. Castle had been appointed in January 2020 to serve as Associate Circuit Judge of Division 27, and then was appointed in October as Circuit Judge for the 16th Judicial Circuit (Jackson County).

Local figures who also swore in other statewide elected officials Monday included Cole County Circuit Judge Jon Beetem, who swore in Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, and Missouri Supreme Court Judge Mary Russell, who swore in longtime friend Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe.

State officials had their spouses, children, parents, and other family members at their sides or nearby during their swearing-in ceremonies — and symbols of faith were also familiar threads.

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Ashcroft was sworn in on a stack of Bibles held by his eldest son — his personal Bible, the personal Bible of his father, former Missouri governor, U.S. senator and U.S. attorney general John D. Ashcroft, and the Bibles of his children, a tradition carried on from his father.

Kehoe's Bible was his mother's.

Faith leaders also were part of Monday's ceremonies.

Ray Leininger, Pastor Emeritus of First Baptist Church in Bolivar — Parson's hometown, delivered the invocation.

The Most Rev. Bishop Shawn McKnight, of the Catholic Diocese of Jefferson City, delivered the benediction.

McKnight prayed for "sacred assistance" for leaders to serve the constitutions of the U.S. and the state. "May they protect our civil freedoms; guide and foster our unity in times of uncertainty; nurture social comity, justice and peace; and lead us all into prosperity."

Scripture readings were recited by Rabbi Yosef David and Pastor John Modest Miles, of Morning Star Baptist Church in Kansas City.

Gary Kremer — executive director of the State Historical Society of Missouri, remarking on the state in its bicentennial year — said "Our diversity is one of our greatest assets as a state."

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