Rev. Dr. Lisa C. Farrell was born and raised on the Main Line. She graduated from Lower Merion High School in 1976 and went to Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, PA. While at Franklin and Marshall she won an Andrew Mutch Scholarship, a full merit scholarship from the Saint Andrew’s Society in Philadelphia to attend the University of Edinburgh for her junior year.
Lisa felt called to the ministry as a freshman in college but kept this to herself. Having grown up Presbyterian, she rebelled and became an atheist as a teenager, and coming to faith in her freshman year the thought of ministry was still quite alien. It was a male dominated field and Lisa had never met any women ministers. While at Edinburgh University she decided to take a class in New Testament to test her sense of call. As it turns out, she was permitted to do so only because she was an “Andrew Mutch Scholar.” The providence of God not only provided the means to study in Scotland, but it opened doors that would otherwise have been closed. By the end of the year she had transferred from Franklin and Marshall to the University of Edinburgh to do a joint BA BD degree. A BD (Bachelor of Divinity) is the Scottish equivalent of an MDiv.
It was during her time at Edinburgh University that Lisa met another young seminary student, Douglas Page, and they were married in 1980. They had three children, Anna, Mark and Paul. For a number of years she was a highly qualified full-time minister’s wife. The marriage unfortunately ended in 1990 and Lisa returned to her family home in Wynnewood. At this low point in her life it was time to seek God’s guidance once more, and once more God said “Ministry”. Having already graduated from seminary in Scotland she came under care of the Philadelphia Presbytery, completed additional requirements for the PCUSA, and worked part-time at a church in Northeast Philadelphia. She was installed as the pastor of Penn Wynne Presbyterian Church in 1995. In 2013 she completed a further course of study at the Lutheran Seminary of Philadelphia earning a Masters in Sacred Theology and a Doctor of Ministry.
Lisa is passionate about the need to approach scripture in its historical context. Without a correct understanding of context many scriptures are misunderstood. Translation is also a challenge, and human bias can affect the outcome. Her Master’s Thesis completed in 2013 is on “Translation Bias in the Texts Relating to Homosexuality.” Lisa believes that the Word of God in scripture is inspired, but it is the living Word of God, Jesus, who we worship. The bible points to God. It should never be placed above God.
On November 25, 2017 Lisa married the love of her life, Vicki Darring with the blessing and support of the Session of the Penn Wynne Presbyterian Church. Rev. Kevin Porter, the Stated Clerk of the Presbytery of Philadelphia presided. They currently live in Drexel Hill with their three dogs Blue, Emily and Sweet Pea.