The Rev. Marcus McFaul is leaving First Baptist Church.
McFaul, 46, has announced his last Sunday at the church, 1330 Kasold Drive, will be April 20. He's leaving to become senior pastor at Highland Park Baptist Church in Austin, Texas.
The pastor is a native Texan, but said it was a difficult choice to leave Lawrence. He's been at First Baptist since 1997.
"I love Kansas, and we have fallen in love with Lawrence," says McFaul, who has a wife, Amy, and two sons, Mitchell and Griffin. "It is such a spectacular town and the church here is extraordinarily healthy and solid and open, and it's the hardest decision of my life."
Associate pastors the Rev. Sandra Walton and the Rev. Steve Kawiecki will take over for now, getting help from retired clergy in the church before the church searches for an interim pastor.
McFaul says he expects the senior pastor position to be "very attractive to potential candidates" because of the church's members and reputation.