After publicly acknowledging God’s call on his life in 2002, Ronnie Farmer, Jr., the 2016–2017 OMSC artist, moved from Augusta, Georgia, to Kentucky and enrolled in Berea College, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in Religion with an emphasis in Biblical Studies. “While at Berea College I became very involved with campus ministry through InterVarsity and developed a great zeal for cross-cultural missions and discipleship ministry,” says Ronnie.
His desire to be fully prepared for ministry led him to enroll at Asbury Theological Seminary, where he began to explore the intersection of theology and art, a concept that soon became a passion of his life.
Drawing inspiration from Psalm 27:4, Ronnie states that “people are naturally drawn to beauty. As an artist, I believe I can direct people to God’s beauty by creating art that is aesthetically engaging.” He describes himself these days as “an aesthetic evangelist” and challenges “communities of color to participate in discipleship ministry, both locally and globally.”
While completing a Clinical Pastoral Education course, Ronnie served as a chaplain at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Later, he became associate pastor of Bezalel Church, a congregation being started in urban Atlanta where he explored the ways in which art could be used in pastoral care and discipleship ministry.
Following those experiences, Ronnie invested three-and-a-half years (2013–2016) with TEAM, The Evangelical Alliance Mission, as a missions coach and as the founding director of The Art and Justice League, a collaboration of five artists who created “artistic expressions focused on the death and resurrection of Jesus, with the expressed intent of mobilizing young adults to unreached and unengaged countries.”
He and his wife, Sarah, are the parents of two young boys. They moved to the New Haven area so she could become a research scholar at the Yale Center for Faith and Culture.