Life can take unexpected turns, something Barb Farrow knows personally. She was with her husband, Casper, on the day he opened the doors for the first service at Grace Community Wesleyan Church in Buffalo, NY. Barb and Casper served together through the nearly four decades of their marriage until his recent death. Throughout his prolonged illness and death, Barb learned how to suffer with dignity. She testifies to how wonderful it is to have powerful love on this earth and how God’s grace really is sufficient.

It was towards the end of her husband’s illness that Barb felt God confirm that He had a new calling on her life. Working co-vocationally as a social worker in Buffalo, Barb stepped out in obedience, signed up for ordination classes through Kingswood Extended, and embraced the role of solo pastor of Grace Community. She continues to serve the people who have become her family.

For her outstanding leadership at Grace Community, Barb was recently awarded the Claude A. Reis Pastor of the Year award by her undergraduate alma mater, Houghton College. To better serve the community to which she had been called, Barb moved from her upper middle class suburban community to an urban neighborhood impacted by a high crime rate, poverty, and a high dropout rate for people of colour.

Barb has a passion to be a voice for the voiceless. She serves a community of people who have experienced trauma, social injustice, and poverty, but who are strengthened by the God they serve. “Do life together” is the mission of the church, and they live it out by giving generously of their limited resources to show God’s love to single mothers, widows, and vulnerable children and youth.

Barb, also a Kingswood trustee, is committed to serving God out of faith, not comfort, following Jesus’ example of how to love a world that is broken, hurting, and in need of restoration, and she invites others to do the same.