The Rev. Richard Allen Farmer has a spirit that cannot be bottled, spoiled or shamed.
A self-described, “vibrant lover of Jesus” who doesn’t’ drink coffee, but “can keep coffee awake,” Rev. Farmer’s leap into the pulpit of Crossroads Presbyterian Church (USA) nearly nine months ago has re-energized a congregation stunned by the death of a long-time, beloved leader.
“I’m high energy,” says the 62-year-old pastor of the Stone Mountain church. “The alternative is just not attractive to me.”
Rev. Farmer will be formally installed on Saturday, Sept. 27, followed by a "Friends and Families Day" on Sunday, Sept. 28, 11 a.m., to officially introduce him to the community.
Some may call it coincidence that Rev. Farmer now teaches and preaches from the pulpit of his long-time friend and colleague, the Rev. Elward Ellis, who at 63, died in a car accident on May 12, 2012. But Rev. Farmer knows differently. He says there are no coincidences with “Papa God.”
“I’m here because of a very strong pull to this very specific church, once Elward was called home to be with the Lord,” he says.
The two men shared a personal and professional friendship that spanned...
DECATUR—Songs of praise filled the Porter Sanford Performing Arts Center as dozens of deacons from throughout South DeKalb lifted up their voices. The men were part of the fourth annual Deacons in Devotion program presented by DeKalb Commissioner Stan Watson.
Watson, a long-time deacon himself, holds the free program every year to pay homage to African American men in the gospel music industry and the tradition of deacons leading church congregations in “devotion.” Watson said the culture of deacons leading “devotion” dates back to the 1700s.
“With the Missionary Baptist Church shifting in the way we praise, we are moving away from the traditional form with deacons and devotion to praise teams,” said Watson, “Traditional hymns and deacon ministries are becoming extinct in many of our African American churches, so it’s imperative that we take the time to capture and preserve this significant historic piece of culture.”
The Sept. 21 event featured gospel legend Bobby Jones, who served as the emcee of the program. The Sunday evening event drew a packed house, which included deacons and congregation members from eight South DeKalb churches: Clarkston First Baptist Church; Fairfield Baptist Church; First Baptist Church Gresham; Greater Piney Grove...
A future physical therapist, architect, civil engineer and global neonatal nurse are getting a helping hand with college, thanks the 50+ Ministry at Voices of Faith Ministries, whose main campus is in Stone Mountain.
Every year, the ministry gives $500 scholarships to deserving college-bound members of the church. This year, four students received the scholarships: 17-year-old Francisco Clark, Jr., a graduate of Archer High School, who will be attending Georgia Southern University; Andrew Green, an 18-year-old graduate of Arabia Mountain High School in DeKalb County who will be attending Atlanta’s Morehouse College; Asia Howard, an 18-year-old graduate of DeKalb Early College Academy who will be attending Valdosta State University; and 17-year-old Leah Smith, a graduate of DeKalb’s Stephenson High School who will be attending Kennesaw State University.
All of the high school graduates received their scholarships at Voices of Faith’s July 27 worship service.
“These four extraordinary recipients of this year’s award had outstanding church and extra-curricular community activities, remarkable essays, excellent school standing and have strong faith,” said Bishop Gary Hawkins, pastor of the church. “We have taught these students to reach above and beyond their expectations in their future endeavors. We thank God for the 50+ ministry. They...