Down the Lane: There’s a new pastor in Winchester

Published 8:09 am Thursday, January 26, 2017

By Sue Staton

Sun columnist

There is a new guy in the Winchester area. Farley Stuart III is the new pastor at the First United Methodist Church in Winchester. Since there has not been a formal public welcome to our church, I decided to interview him and give you a little insight as to who he is.

First of all, I would like to tell you my first impression of him and his preaching, was I wanted to hear more of him. I loved his style of preaching. I loved that he could have humor and laugh at himself, such as joking about his bald head, but hold your attention throughout a very meaningful sermon all in the same hour.

Since I have learned we share a love of traveling and going to new places, I decided to begin my interview with him with a question my daughter Shanda asked me to ask him: “What were the most interesting places he had ever traveled to?”

Evidently, it was a very hard decision for him to choose so I tried to help him out on the answer. I said, ”Just tell me what popped into your head when I first asked you that question.” His answer was Norway and Teraminia, Sicily. I did not have him to go into detail why  because I had other questions to ask but it is a question I want to know.

Farley grew up in the small town of Catlettsburg, Kentucky. When I asked him at what age he was when he made the decision to become a minister, I was told it was the result of going to a revival at the age of 14 when he made the decision that would change his life forever.

I was shocked that he was so young, but even more shocked when I learned that he actually began preaching in church at the age of 14. Since that day he has spent the past 44 years of his life working for the Lord.

At the age of 18, he was asked to either pastor a church in the area or to accept the position of youth director. His choice was to accept the youth minister position. At the time he held that position, two of the youth in his charge were two years older than him.

First United Methodist Church in Winchester is the eighth church he has pastored. However, he has held the very prestigious job as a district superintendent in the Kentucky Methodist Conference.

At the same time, he was also the comfort superintendent of the Red Bird Mission Conference. With that job he oversaw 92 churches. He is no stranger to hard work.

He has a softness in his heart for a church near Iroquois Park in Louisville. This was where his children grew up. They were able to finish high school in the same school. This does not always get to happen with preacher kids.

I asked Bro. Farley what he would like to see happen at our church and then I said, “See the members come to church every Sunday?” He laughed and said yes.

Then he got serious and said that he would like to see our church to “live out the mission and vision of our church, and for others to be able to find God and find a place to serve.”

He also said a church should be the hands and feet of Christ.  He said if people are really growing with God in a church, then all other problems will take care of themselves.

Farley said he and his wife Terrie, felt a warm welcome when they came to First United Methodist Church.

Since pastors are always asked to pray for others, I asked what prayer would he like for me to pray for him for, and this was his request. “That he will feel God’s presence and power at work in him.”

Come and visit us at First United Methodist Church one Sunday and I think you can tell it already is.