JEFFERSON CITY - Preaching part-time in college during the late '60s began Rod Farthing's career as a minister in Missouri and across the country.
Born on Aug. 30, 1949, in Mt. Vernon, Ill., the Constitution Party candidate for state treasurer, was raised by his parents in a close-knit family environment.
"I had a very appropriate and balanced family life with parents who lived until very recently," Farthing said. At the time of his mother's death, his parents had been married for 66 years.
All three children, each separated by seven years, ended up involved in the ministry. Farthing's brother is also a minister, and his sister is married to one.
Farthing cites the Christian values his parents taught him as leading him down the road he is on as well as preparing him for the role of Missouri treasurer.
"The nation has always been strong because its leaders have basic down-to-earth moral values," he said. "They may not all have come from strong families, but they have the desire to establish personal and family responsibilities as well as integrity that obviously makes them more prepared and qualified for leading in any capacity."
Farthing met his wife, Jan, at St. Louis Christian College in Florissant, Mo., where he pursued a bachelor's degree in Bible and Ministry. They have been married for 38 years.
St. Louis Christian College was a "small, small college, unbelievably small." Farthing said it had only about 120 students in 1969 when the two met. The size of the school allowed Farthing to know nearly all of his fellow students.
The Farthings have six kids, from 35 to 12 in age.
"We spread (the kids) out pretty good so it wasn't as onerous as some people would anticipate," Farthing said. "We had enough interval there that we never felt overwhelmed."
Religion and his own family life have always been closely entwined.
"(Being a minister) allowed me to merge family activities and church activities," he said. "It was just natural that you didn't make a distinction."
When he travels around the country making presentations for ARM Prison Outreach International, in which he is the National Development Director, his family would make a vacation out of it.
Over the years, Farthing has worked for several different ministries, organizations and causes.
"I've always been one to get involved in things," he said. "It's all because I wanted to be involved in appropriate causes."
Besides serving as a minister for nine years at a church in Salem, Mo, Farthing has also worked for the Salvation Army, for a Christian scholarship foundation and also as the chairman for a political group that worked to maintain the prohibition of alcohol sales in Madisonville, Ky.
When working on the Dent County Salvation Army board, the group raised, in a county of not even 15,000 people, almost $20,000 for those who needed it.
He has served as treasurer for several groups, including the Missouri Christian Convention, one of the largest church state conventions, and the Alexander Christian Foundation, an organization that provides scholarships to Bible college students.
"In all those cases, I learned how to work with people, I worked for good causes and I learned a little bit about keeping track of foundation accounts," Farthing said.
Farthing said he would maintain the good policies that Sarah Steelman has established, especially with anti-terror investments and investing in Missouri businesses.
"(The Constitution Party candidates) are trying to keep those good policies going as well as bring a heightened awareness that every state office and every state agency needs to be mindful of the Missouri and U.S. constitutions," Farthing said.
Farthing said he has based his work around helping others.
In his work of visiting the elderly, he frequently met a WWII veteran who was staying in a veterans' home care facility in St. James. Every visit, the man would quietly recite Psalm 23 with Farthing.
On a recent visit, Farthing quoted John 14, and the man said they were going to live in mansions in heaven. He then asked if Farthing thought they were going to live on the same street and that he hoped they would.
Farthing remembered this visit quite clearly, touched that this man wanted to be neighbors with him and that he was able to give this man some hope of better things to come.