Richard Allen Farmer, was born in New York City, but moved here from Dallas, Texas –with his wife Rosemary — nearly three years ago to become pastor of Crossroads Presbyterian Church in Stone Mountain.
Rev. Farmer is known and admired around the world as a vibrant communicator, concert-level pianist, eloquent theologian and impassioned man of God.
The native New Yorker began piano studies in New York City at the age of 11 and accepted Christ into his life a year later. As his faith and musicianship grew, the two blended. Rev. Farmer now uses his music as a unique vehicle to inspire, motivate and entertain diverse audiences everywhere.
A graduate of Nyack College in Nyack, N.Y., where he received his Bachelor of Music degree, and Princeton Theological Seminary where he earned a Master of Divinity degree, Rev. Farmer has been awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree by Gordon College (Wenham, Mass.) in 1986 and an honorary Doctor of Sacred Theology degree from Houghton College (Houghton, N.Y.) in 1999.
An accomplished pastor and college chaplain, he accepted a call in December 2013 to be the Senior Pastor of Crossroads Presbyterian Church. Previously, he has served as Senior Pastor of Bethany Baptist Church in Pittsburgh (1980-88) and as Dean of the Chapel at both Gordon College and Taylor University (Upland, Ind., 1999-2002).
Away from the pulpit and the keyboard, he is an instrument-rated pilot, certified scuba diver, motorcyclist, Segway rider and vintage automobile enthusiast. He also is a devoted animal lover, having owned six monkeys, a chimpanzee, a ferret and a colony of 26 hamsters.
Committed to being a citizen of the world, Pastor Farmer has spoken, lectured or performed concerts in Great Britain, Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand, Australia, Mali, Burkina Faso, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Chile, Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya, Canada, the Philippines and most states of the United States. He has spoken to thousands of people in conferences, campus and religious settings: In 2013, more than 100 different groups benefited from his wit, wisdom, Biblical insights and musical gifts.
Rev. Farmer and his wife, Rosemary, now divide their time between suburban Atlanta and their longtime home in Dallas, near their son, Timothy, a college student in south Texas.
Latoria Hairston is the wife of Michael Hairston for 16 years and the mother of Michael Angelo, 8, and Gabrielle Angelica,6. She is currently in graduate school with a concentration in Marriage and Family Counseling. Latoria, being the oldest, and the only girl of four siblings, moved to Georgia after living for many years in the Maryland-Eastern Shore area.
She believes, with her whole heart, in the power of prayer. She is an active volunteer with the Guidepost Prayer Community. Her membership with Crossroads hasn’t been long, but her willingness to be obedient to the call of God in her life is seen through her dedication and passion for the youth of Crossroads Presbyterian Church.
Dr. Patricia Dinkins-Matthews became a member of Crossroads Presbyterian Church along with her husband, John, in June of 1994. From that time, she has been a member of the choir, the praise team, music director of Vacation Bible School, and the pianist for both the worship service and the choir. She became Crossroads’ Chancel Choir director in January, 2008, a position she continues to hold. Both she and her husband and their two daughters, Rachel and Julia, are very active in the church’s ministries.
Dr. Matthews is a member of the faculty of Emory University’s Department of Music. She has been a member of the piano faculties at the University of Florida, Baylor University, the American Institute of Music Studies (Graz, Austria), and McLennan College. A native of Knoxville, Tennessee, she holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Tennessee and both the Master of Music degree in Piano Performance and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Piano Pedagogy and Performance from the University of Colorado.
She is an active solo-and chamber-music recitalist, and has performed both around the United States and in Europe, including recitals in England, France, Austria, Belgium, and Germany. Among others, she has performed with Larry Combs, principal clarinetist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and John Reed of the D’Oyly Carte Theatre, London, England. Dr. Matthews has also been the pianist for the Florida Arts Trio and the American Chamber Winds and has appeared as soloist with the Colorado Symphony, the University of Tennessee Orchestra, and the Florida Symphony Orchestra.
She is currently the pianist for the Aevia Trio and the associate pianist for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus. As a member of the Atlanta Symphony Chamber Chorus, she has performed several times at Carnegie Hall and with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, under the batons of Robert Spano, Donald Runnicles, and the late Robert Shaw. She is an approved adjudicator for the National Federation of Music Clubs and the Music Teachers National Association.
Bruce Lewis, committed husband of Sandy Lewis, and father of two college-aged sons, is a consistent and loyal member of Crossroads Presbyterian Church. His loyalty, trustworthiness and detail-oriented nature are some of the reasons why he has been the President/ Executive Director of Crossroads Presbyterian Church since 2012. He understands the calling of the church to carry out the Great Commission. With the help of God, Bruce participates in equipping his home church with the tools needed for the spreading of God’s Word.