Michael L. Parson, Office of Governor
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Monday, Jan. 11, 2021, Governor Michael L. Parson was sworn in to a full term as 57th Governor of the State of Missouri at the 2021 Bicentennial Inauguration.
Gov. Parson’s career in public service began with six years in the United States Army and over 22 years in law enforcement, including serving as Sheriff of Polk County from 1993 – 2005. Prior to taking office as governor in June 2018, Gov. Parson served as the 47th Lt. Governor of Missouri and a member of Missouri’s General Assembly.
Gov. Parson was sworn in by Judge Sarah A. Castle. Judge Castle was appointed by Gov. Parson as Circuit Judge for the 16th Judicial Circuit on Oct. 20, 2020. The Bible used by Gov. Parson during the swearing-in ceremony was a gift given to him by First Lady Teresa Parson.
Lt. Governor Mike Kehoe, State Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick, Secretary of State John R. Ashcroft, and Attorney General Eric Schmitt were also sworn in during today’s inauguration ceremony.
Dr. Jonathan House, son-in-law of Gov. Parson, and Ms. Alicia House, granddaughter of Gov. Parson, performed the National Anthem. The 135th Missouri Army National Guard Band and Missouri State University Chorale performed musical selections, and the Pledge of Allegiance was led by former Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) student and current Missouri S&T student Mr. John Sanders.
Dr. Ray Leininger, Pastor Emeritus of First Baptist Church in Bolivar, delivered the invocation, and the Most Reverend Bishop Shawn McKnight delivered the benediction. Rabbi Yosef David and Pastor John Modest Miles of Morning Star Baptist Church in Kansas City recited Scripture readings.
The Missouri National Guard also performed a 19-gun salute during the inauguration ceremony. The United States gun salute system has evolved today into a system of odd numbers indicating the rank of a military member or public servant. The 19-gun salute is reserved for the Vice President, Cabinet members, Chief Justice, governors of states, and general officers in the military of five-star rank, among others.
Today’s inauguration ceremony concluded with a special salute to Missouri signifying its entry as the 24th state in the United States 200 years ago. Approximately 2,000 guests were in attendance.