The Reverend David Albert Farmer, Ph.D., recently celebrated fifteen years of service with and to Silverside Church. His doctoral degree earned at Southern Seminary was centered in the study of homiletics, a theological discipline concerned with the history, theory, and practice of preaching. He has written four books and about a hundred articles, most of them related to some dimension of preaching. He has taught preaching at Southern Seminary, the International Baptist Theological Seminary in Rueschlikon, Switzerland; and for the last decade at Palmer Theological Seminary in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. Preaching remains Dr. Farmer's professional passion.
His compassion for people who are struggling and hurting makes him at attentive pastor. He has mastered modern technology enough to be able to be in touch with members and friends of Silverside Church by every means except carrier pigeon: telephone, email, texting, Twitter, and--somewhat reluctantly--Facebook. Admittedly, he initially pressed himself to learn the texting and social media tools to be able to stay in touch with his two young adult sons who live in other states. The privilege of parenthood is his greatest joy in life.
Like a significant number of Silversiders, Farmer is a theological liberal. This becomes quickly clear to anyone who listens to even a few of his sermons. His liberal bent has made it simple to accept and affirm those who feel that they have fallen too far away from their ethical foundations to be accepted and acceptable, especially in a spirituality community. Perhaps, too, it has been his liberal inclinations that caused him to embrace joyfully opportunities to become engaged in social justice challenges such as absolute equality for LGBTQ persons and demonstrating his values by being one of the first clergypersons to perform unions and finally weddings beginning very soon after each became legal. In addition, for example, Farmer and his former grad student, the Reverend Charles Peter Gibson of Macon, Georgia, began an initiative called Fathers Against Racism in response to the fatal shootings at Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, during the summer of 2015.
At Silverside, Dr. Farmer is always engaged in developing new, creative sermon series themes. He is excited about the sermon series in the works for March and April 2016, "Spiritually Fashionable."
Some recent sermons. The bio continues below these titles.
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As far as front burner projects at Silverside, he is excited to be working with the church's Green Group to refresh the congregation's active involvement in "creation care," to borrow a name used by a similar group at a church in Richmond, Virginia. Furthermore, he is developing Bible studies for those who are not interested in traditional approaches to biblical study, but who are, nonetheless, interested in learning more about the teachings of the Judeo-Christian scriptures.
In 2009, Delaware Today named Dr. Farmer one of 15 professionals of influence in our state. In the spring of 2015, Judson Press Publisher, Laura Alden, visited his classroom at Palmer Seminary to present him with a certificate of recognition commemorating the twenty-fifth anniversary of the publication of his first book, still in print, And Blessed Is She: Sermons by Women. He continues to long for the opportunity to portray Dame Maggie Smith's Dowager Countess's personal chaplain on "Downton Abbey" and was shocked to learn that the final season has already been filmed; he can only hope, therefore, that the rumored feature film picking up where the series left off will offer him the opportunity to fulfill his acting ambition.