Rev. Dr. John R. McFarland

Parson John
Pastor John — December 2017

"Pastor John" comes to OUMC after a 26 year ministry at Fountain Valley UMC and the last 5 years in a two point charge with Surf City Church. [The revival at Surf City was launched with the support of the OUMC Latino Ministry with Pastor Sergio, Tommy Appleton, Alex Zúñiga and others.] Pastor John was the youth pastor at San Dieguito UMC in Encinitas from 1978 to 1981, and Calexico UMC from 1981 to 1988.

John and his wife Kathleen have 5 children, Ted (24) and Mikaela (21) Kendall (20) Forrest (17) and Chad (13) as well as their Hispanic foster son Gabriel (37 - Mexicali). John is an approved Evangelist in several retreat and camping circles. He is known for his enthusiastic and entertaining style of preaching that both inspires and educates youth as well as adults. He was the chairperson of the Board of Evangelism of the Cal-Pac Conference for many years.

He has been an active volunteer police and fire chaplain in Fountain Valley. His understanding of John 17:21 ("Father I pray... that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.") gives him a zeal for reconciliation among the races, denominations, and the unity of the Body of Christ. He combines humor and depth in the Biblical call to make "Disciple-Makers." (2 Timothy 2:2)

A key verse in his ministry is 2 Timothy 3:16-17: "All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work."

Pastor John and family
Pastor John McFarland and his family: Mikaela (21) Forrest (17) Kathleen & Ted (24) Chad (13) John & Kendall (20) 1

More about Pastor John: A fourth generation Californian, John grew up in North County San Diego at the San Marcos United Methodist Church. He got his Bachelors degree in Communicative Arts majoring in Television and film from the University of La Verne in 1974. He was student body president two years there, excelled in Football and Basketball, as well as drama and the campus radio station. John uses his guitar to lead singing in worship, camps and retreats. He has been the worship leader for Church of Savior in Washington D.C. for some of their outreach ministries.

He received his Masters of Divinity from Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California in 1978. It was there that his Love for the Lord, his commitment to the authority of Scripture and a call to the Hispanic community developed. He received his Doctor of Ministry from Fuller Theological Seminary, June 1999.

After being appointed as an Associate pastor at San Dieguito United Methodist Church for 3 years, John became pastor of the United Methodist Church in Calexico, California. In this border community in the desert of Imperial Valley, John learned the Spanish language and established a bi-lingual ministry. The vitality of that congregation provided shelter for the homeless, El Salvadorian Refugees and a powerful ministry to youth. Attendance went from 15 to 120 in his seven years there.

John has been a spiritual director in the United Methodist Walk to Emmaus, as well as a teacher at the California Pacific Conference on Prayer and Healing. He has recently served as Evangelist and Bible Teacher at the Christian Ashram movement. He has lived with the Sojourner community in the inner city of Washington DC where he worked with evangelical social activist Jim Wallis. John is active in the Confessing movement of the United Methodist Church. He is the Spiritual Aims Director of the F.V. Kiwanis Club and is a Police and Fire Chaplain for his city. He combines humor and depth in the Biblical call to discipleship.

John has been instrumental in the development of the "Wings Alliance" a unified expression of the Body of Christ that crosses denominational bounds. John is open minded yet strong in his faith. He combines the inward journey of personal growth with the outward journey of living out God's love with those on the margins of society. John is a dynamic individual with expertise in fields of Theology, Ministry, and Out-reach. He has a very winsome personality, is well-spoken, engaging, and energetic. With his background in radio and television, John is comfortable in front of the microphone and camera. He helped host a Television special on Billy Graham with KOCE, a local cable network, Focus on the family radio broadcasts and has worked on infomercials with Real to Reel productions in Orange County.

1 The photo of our Pastor and his family accompanied this biography which John delivered to us upon arriving at OUMC in 2014.
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