Farr begins term as United Methodist bishop

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

New bishop relates to all of the more than 800 United Methodist Churches in Missouri


For the first time in 12 years, the 800 United Methodist Churches in Missouri will have a new bishop at the helm. For the first time in its history, it will be one of their own.

Robert Farr was elected to serve as a Bishop in the United Methodist Church at the South Central Jurisdictional Conference in Wichita, Kansas in July and started serving as the Bishop of Missouri on September 1. The South Central Jurisdiction covers Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. The churches in those states are served by 10 bishops. When a pastor is elected Bishop, he or she is assigned to serve an area by a committee. This is the first time in the history of the jurisdiction that a bishop was assigned back to his home area.

"I could not be more excited to serve the people of Missouri through the United Methodist Church," said Farr. "We are going to continue to be a Church dedicated to creating disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world."

Robert Farr grew up in Creighton, Missouri. He earned a bachelor's degree at Central Missouri State University in Warrensburg, and his Masters at Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University in Texas. He was awarded an honorary doctorate from Central Methodist University in Fayette. In Missouri he served as a pastor in Lee's Summit and St. Charles. For the past several years, Farr has worked with new church starts and revitalizing existing churches. He has also authored books on church revitalization, including Renovate or Die, Get Their Name and The Necessary Nine.

As Missouri's Bishop, Bishop Farr is ultimately responsible for the appointment of clergy to United Methodist Churches in Missouri. He is also the person who sets the vision and strategy for United Methodism in Missouri.

"In the coming year, I plan to be intentional about listening to the needs of our diverse local churches, and our pastors and lay leaders," Farr said. "That is the group of people best positioned to share what the vision of our next four years together will be."

Bishop Farr is passionate about all United Methodist Churches being places where people go to find and follow Jesus Christ. He's also a regular guy. He is a former fire fighter, often serving in the local fire department in his early days in ministry. He rides a Harley, goes on fishing trips, loves camping with his wife Susan, and is a huge Kansas City Chiefs fan.

Bishops are assigned areas for four year terms, and can serve one area for a maximum of 12 years.