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California Pastor Sees Dream Realized, Extension of Ministry in Chaplaincy

 In All Church of God, Chaplain Ministries, CHOG, Western

By Kim Ousley

God knows the desires of our hearts. For Mike Farmer, pastor of Fourth Street Church of God in Madera, California, the desire to serve in the chaplaincy of his local community came to fruition in an interesting way.

Farmer came to Fourth Street Church of God with his wife Theresa and three young children in 2005. The route he took to serve in ministry actually started in construction with his father. “I started working for my dad’s construction company, then a pipeline company, until I injured my back,” shared Farmer. “I quit my job and decided to go to seminary to pursue a desire to minister.”

However, his first experience as a pastor wasn’t the experience he had pictured. Eventually, Farmer would serve at another church until he was called to Madera, California. He said he had always dreamed of serving in a wider capacity as a chaplain, but didn’t know what direction to take to achieve that dream.

But God Knew

Mike Farmer

In a meeting at the local Starbucks, someone from the police department approached him and asked if he would be interested in becoming a chaplain for their department. This is exactly what Farmer had been hoping to do. “In June 2017, I started the chaplaincy program here,” said Farmer. “I really enjoy my time with the officers. I’ve done weddings and funerals of loved ones for the officers.”

His greatest ministry at present is the Parent Project. This is a bigger program out of Los Angeles, and also nationwide. It is the largest court-mandated program and multidiscipline. Several counsels are involved including the police department, probation, community action partnership and the Madera Unified School District. Chaplains are part of the Madera Ministerial Association.

“This project involves helping parents of out-of-control-teens to learn ways to deal with them,” Farmer said. “There is an overall holistic approach used to help them.”

At this time, Farmer also serves at a children’s hospital on the board and with CPS to be on the committee for child slavery through the SCEC program. He also serves with suicide prevention program through the Unified School District.

“Our community involvement (as a church) is reaching out with God’s love. God is gracious. Our vision is to lead people to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and to develop believers into fully developed followers.”

Farmer and his wife, Theresa continues to serve in their community. Their three adult children are spread out among other states as the work and achieve their own dreams.

Kim Ousley serves as a freelance writer for Church of God Ministries.

Learn more about chaplain ministry in the Church of God at www.jesusisthesubject.org/chaplains.

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