About the Author

Gary Farley Gary Farley is the Director of Missions for the Pickens Baptist Association. From 1984 to 1996 he worked at the Home Mission Board in the Rural Church Program of the Southern Baptist Convention. In that role he published many articles pertaining to rural church and community life. Many of these articles have been collected here as a small library. In addition,the text of both earlier and subsequent articles and books are present here. For your convenience, all of these articles and other works have been converted to the Adobe Reader format.

We invite you to freely distribute these materials— both in their electronic and printed form. Very likely they will prove useful to many in the rural church field. We expect that this library of resources will continue to grow.

Many of the articles were originally developed to address needs expressed by rural church leaders—if you sense a need that we might address, please e-mail Gary Farley at pbaATpickensDOTnet

3 Comments so far ↓

  1. Danny Gilliam says:

    Dr. Farley,

    My name is Danny Gilliam and I am a DMin student at NOBTS. I also serve as pastor of FBC Hillsboro, TX. I am currently working on my DMin project and I was hoping you could help me.

    I am researching church rural church health criteria in order to develop an alternative assessment tool for church located in rural communities with stagnated or declining populations. As I have served churches in rural areas most of my ministry, it has become apparent to me that many of the assessment criteria we use to measure churches seem to leverage churches in communities with stagnant and declining populations in a losing position.

    When the only measures used are the traditional Sunday School attendance, baptisms, and offerings, many of these churches will always appear behind because often demographic changes, population declines, and other factors are at work.

    Could you point me to current resources for rural church health and assessment? Since Hillsboro is only an hour south of Ft. Worth, I have been utilizing the library at Southwestern Seminary. When I searched the shelves for books on rural churches I was shocked to discover the latest book I could find was published in the late 1980’s. Most of the books on the shelves were published between the 1930’s and the 1950’s (I think this could reveal part of the issue I am researching).

    Also, there will come a time when I may need an expert to validate an annotated bibliography on this subject. If you were willing to work with me I would be honored.

    Thank you for your time and any way you may be able to assist me would be greatly appreciated. Please reply via the email address attached to this form.

    Sincerely,
    Danny Gilliam

    P.S. Did you ever teach at Oklahoma Baptist University? I had a professor my freshman year named Dr. Farley (1983)

  2. Rob says:

    I am conducting some research for a D.Min project on church revitalization in the rural context.

    I would like to cite some of the pdf article connected with your website. Were these articles published in other sources or here on your blog cite?

    Thank you

    Rob Hurtgen
    Pastor
    First Baptist Church Chillicothe MO
    (660) 646-2834

  3. ken hansen says:

    here are some free and donated resources ive used as a layman in nw Louisiana in ministry work and with chaplaincy projects hope you can share these with your churches

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