Barney Wells
 Recommended Resources
Leading through Change

Book_leading through change.bmpThis recently published book is a practical guide to "Shepherding the Town and Country Church" through the changes taking place in rural and small town America.  The three authors, including Lincoln alumnus and professor, Barney Wells, write out of their many years of leading churches through change. 

You need to read this book if you are facing issues such as these:

  • your community is changing but your church is not
  • your church's worship style has not changed in recent memory
  • your church is not reaching the young people in your community
  • your church is declining
  • your church has newcomers that are bringing ideas that meet resistance and even create conflict
  • your church building is run-down and sends the message that the church is old, tired, and worn out.
 read more ...

 Barney Wells Vita
Barney Wells, D.Min.
Lincoln Christian University
100 Campus View Dr.
Lincoln IL 62656
217-732-3168 x2217


  • BA Lincoln Christian College (Christian Ministry), 1977
  • M. Div. Lincoln Christian Seminary  (Old Testament), 1982
  • D. Min. Bethel Theological Seminary (Town and Country Ministry), 1998

Ministry Experience

  • Youth Minister, Solsberry Christian Church, Solsberry IN, 1973-1977
  • Minister, Mt. Pleasant Christian Church, Carthage IL, 1977-1979
  • Residence Hall Director, Lincoln Christian College, 1977-1981
  • Bookstore Manager, Lincoln Christian College, 1978-79
  • Minister, Walnut Grove Christian Church, Arcola IL 1981-2006
  • Church Development, LCCS, 2007-


Teaching Experience

  • Adjunct Faculty, Lincoln Christian University, 1998-
  • Adjunct Faculty, Bethel Theological Seminary, 1999-2006
  • D. Min. Project Mentor, Bethel Theological Seminary, 1999-2006
  • Consultant to Northland Partnership for Town and Country Ministry Education (Rural Ministry Curriculum Development), 1997
  • Consultant to Association of Theological Schools for Rural Ministry Curriculum Development, 1999
  • Participant in Collaboration for Rural Ministry Education in North America, 2001
  • Director, Center for American Rural Ministry Studies, a web-based resource center at LCCS 2002-


  • Married Marcia November 20, 1977
  • Two Children, Christi, a Junior Worship Studies Major at LCS, and Sarah, a Senior Physiology/Pre-med major at SIU Carobondale.
  • Hobbies include woodworking and military history

Boards and Committees

  • Board of Directors, Little Galilee Christian Assembly, 1989-1991, President of Board, 1991
  • Chairman, Long Range Planning and Site Development Committee, Little Galilee Christian Assembly, 1991-1993
  • Board of Directors, Arcola Community Food Pantry, 2000-2002
  • Board of Dirctores, Arcola Community Unit School District 306, 2005-2006

Welcome to CFARMS (Center For American Rural Ministry Studies), a virtual institute for the study and development of the Church among the 65 million people of rural America.  CFARMS, is moderated by Lincoln Christian University adjunct faculty member Barney Wells (LCC 77 and LCS 82), who has served in rural churches since 1973, most recently for over 25 years at the Walnut Grove Christian Church near Arcola, IL.  Other features of this site include:

  • CFARMS is a forum for rural and small town churches to exchange ideas and innovations, supporting each other through a network of rural churches committed to excellence in ministry.
  • CFARMS seeks to overcome the isolation rural churches and ministers often experience by providing a point of fellowship and encouragement accessible from anywhere you can plug in a computer.
  • CFARMS shares your suggestions for youth and Sunday school programming ideas, outreach and evangelism strategies, community ministry projects, preaching, counseling, all the other aspects of ministry, but as it occurs in the rural community.
  • CFARMS monitors and reports on changes in the sociology of rural America, and shares ideas on how to minister as ethnic, economic, generational, and other changes come to the rural community and church.
  • CFARMS also hosts a best practices site for those who teach rural ministry in colleges and seminaries around North America to exchange ideas on classroom and field instruction resources.  We also hope to become a clearinghouse for graduate level research on rural church and ministry issues.
  • CFARMS offers both online and on-site consultation assistance for rural churches.
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