Rotary Club will present Community Service Award to Rev. John Howard Farmer

 

The event, an upscale social gathering, will feature a dance competition, heavy hors d’oeuvres, cash bar, raffles and door prizes. Ticket order forms can be obtained from any Northern Neck Rotarian, or 435-4169.

KILMARNOCK—The Rev. John H. Farmer, pastor of Irvington Baptist Church, has been named the recipient of the 2017 Community Service Award by the Northern Neck Rotary Club.

The award is given annually to leaders in the community who best exemplify the Rotary Motto “Service above Self.” The award will be officially presented at the club’s annual CAPINNÉ event July 15 at the Boys & Girls Club of the Northern Neck (see sidebox for ticket information).

While Farmer likes to say he holds the position of “Interim Pastor” at Irvington Baptist Church it is pointed out that he has held the position for a bit over 30 years, reported Roy Cameron. He also holds the title of the “Praying Santa” bringing joy to children of all ages throughout the area.

The Jessie Ball duPont Fund was originally formed to continue the philanthropy of its founder. In this role, the trustees compiled a list of churches to whom Mrs. duPont had given money in the last years of her life, explained Cameron. Over the years the procedures changed to the extent that grant requests were required to secure funds.

Farmer said that he became a grant writer by default. Many of the area churches had very limited and many times part-time staff and he began to assist with the grant writing. As a result, he became one of most active grant writers in the Northern Neck.

Agencies and programs benefiting from the grants include Dream Fields, the Boys & Girls Club of the Northern Neck and Partners for Sacred Places.

He was active in the initial planning of Mercer Place, getting a new residential facility for The Haven, established the Church Resources Council (to assist churches not on the duPont list), Interfaith Council and worked to fill the void when the Kilmarnock laundromat burned.

Farmer also served on the board of Hospice Support Services of the Northern Neck and president of the Lancaster High School PTA and Band Boosters.

As Santa, Farmer’s appearances have assisted in charity fund raising efforts and provided a thrill to children.


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