2019 Gathering of Orders Guest Speakers

Bishop Robert "Bob" Farr

Robert Farr serves as Bishop of the Missouri Area of The United Methodist Church. He was elected by the South Central Jurisdiction in July 2016. The Missouri Conference includes 800 local churches, approximately 1,000 clergy and 80,000 weekly worshippers, offering ministry through local churches, colleges, campus ministries, social services and mission projects throughout the world.

Before his work as Bishop, Rev. Bob Farr served as the Director of the Center for Congregational Excellence for the Missouri Annual Conference from 2007-2016, guiding 35 church starts into life and overseeing more than 150 Healthy Church consultations. He led 128 individual church consults in 29 conferences across the connection, serving on the Cabinet, Mission Council and as a Conference Director. He offered oversight of new church planting, church transformation, language-based faith communities and shared in leadership development.

From 2000-2007, he served as senior pastor of Church of the Shepherd in St. Charles, Missouri, where he led the congregation through relocation that increased worship from 450 to 1,200. Prior to that, Farr started Grace UMC in Lee's Summit in 1990 and Hope Church in Lone Jack, a daughter congregation of Grace, in 1998. Farr was ordained deacon in 1983 and elder in 1987 after attending seminary at Perkins School of Theology.

As a writer, he has co-authored several books with Kay Kotan published by Abingdon Press, including:

  • Renovate or Die: 10 Ways to Focus Your Church in Mission (2011)
  • Get Their Name: Grow Your Church by Building New Relationships (2013)
  • 10 Prescriptions for a Healthy Church (2015)
  • The Necessary Nine (2015)

Farr has also had the opportunity to share learning across the connection through the Healthy Church Initiative, School of Congregational Development, Path One and South Central Jurisdiction new church planting trainings. He helped form Route 122, a transformational church network and is a regular guest speaker across the connection.

He is a certified Fire Chaplain through Global Board of Higher Education and Ministry. Farr's passion for the global church has taken him to India, Mexico, South Korea, Russia, South Africa, China, Haiti and Mozambique. For the past five years, he and his wife have helped support Nhachengue UMC in southern Mozambique, including the drilling of a deep water well.

He and Susan have been married since 1979 and have two adult children and two grandchildren.


Rev. Dr. Candace M. Lewis

Rev. Dr. Candace M. Lewis is an Ordained Elder in the United Methodist Church. She currently serves as a District Superintendent of the Gulf Center area of the Florida Annual Conference, overseeing 89 pastors and churches. She started this appointment on September 1, 2016. From 2012-2016 she served as the Executive Director of Path1 New Church Starts at Discipleship Ministries in Nashville, Tennessee. Her work included serving as a chief visionary and relentless advocate for creating new places for new people through planting new churches and new faith communities. She also served as a consultant, coach and resource person to Bishops, Conference Developers and Church Planters in starting and maintaining New Churches.

She started ministry in the Florida Annual Conference as a church planter and is the founding pastor of the New Life Community UMC, where she served from 1997-2009 in Jacksonville, Florida.

Rev. Lewis received her undergraduate degree from the University of Florida in 1990, majoring in Speech Communications. Upon graduation she was awarded the Distinguished Outstanding Female Student Leader Award for excellent service in leadership.

Her call to ministry came when she was 22 years old and she obediently followed God, accepted the call and enrolled in Gammon Theological Seminary in Atlanta, Georgia. Four years later, she received the Master of Divinity degree with a concentration in Pastoral Care and Counseling. In June 2000, she graduated from the Harvard Divinity School’s Summer Leadership Institute on Faith-based Community Economic Development. She completed her Doctorate in Ministry degree in Church Leadership Excellence at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. in May 2014.

In 2004 and 2008 she was elected by her peers to serve as a delegate to the General and Southeastern Jurisdictional Conferences of the United Methodist Church. She has traveled extensively in mission and ministry to countries including South Africa, Zimbabwe, England, Hong Kong, China and Ghana, South Korea and Germany.

Dr. Lewis has been in full-time ministry for 20 years and is an excellent teacher and preacher. God has given to her a powerful message to the body of Christ, which she delivers under the power and anointing of the Holy Spirit. Candace co-authored her first book, Resurgence – Navigating the Changing Ministry Landscape, a church leadership resource, published Fall 2018.

She enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading, walking, listening to music, travel and meeting new people. She also jogs and participates in Fitbit challenges and 5k and 10k races to push herself.

Discover, Develop and Deploy Spiritual Leaders to Make Disciples of Jesus Christ for the Transformation of the World.