Somerset resident and world-renowned Christian Magician Greg Farmer lost his battle with cancer Wednesday and passed away. Farmer made a name for himself with his slight of hand, but will probably best be remembered for using his magic skills to spread the Word of God.
Born with a cleft palate speech impediment, Greg Farmer grew up afraid to talk in public settings, but his magic gave him a voice. Then, as Farmer honed his magical skills, he used that voice to share the Word of God.
Greg Farmer went from a $15 paying gig, as a teenager, at a local Nursing Home in Somerset, Ky., to becoming one of the most sought-after Evangelist Magician in the southeastern part of the United States.
Farmer endured 13 medical surgeries to repair his cleft palate before he even reached his 13th birthday, and he nearly drowned on three separate occasions before he was 8 years old.
A card trick a young Greg Farmer learned from his cousin changed his life.
But in the years to follow, Farmer changed the lives of thousands who accepted Jesus as their Savior during many of Farmer’s Evangelist magic shows.
Initially, Farmer used his gospel magic show only to expand his list of potential bookings.
But all that changed one Sunday morning at the Bronston Baptist Church.
“Bronston Baptist Church Pastor Jewel Hail asked me to perform my gospel magic act during Sunday School and the Worship Service,” Farmer said in a n interview last spring. “I knew just that one gospel magic trick was not going to be enough and I had to learn more gospel magic tricks.”
With the help of Gospel Magician Dr. Jerry Burchess, Farmer had a complete gospel magic show. During his gospel magic show that Sunday, Farmer began to share the word of God, and to his amazement a teenage boy stepped up to be saved.
“I had always loved the Lord, and now I had finally found a way, through my magic, to share His word,” Farmer said. “Seeing that first person being saved at my show really had me fired up to continue to share the Message.”
After working nearly a decade in the family Convenient store business, Farmer became a full-time youth minister at Immanuel Baptist Church in Danville, Ky. Despite his career change, Farmer continued to book several magic shows a year.
But Farmer's magic act was taken to the next level after a chance meeting with world renowned Master Magician Lance Burton. Farmer had met Burton as a young magician during one of Burton's performances at Tombstone Junction - a small-town tourist theme park. Throughout his magic career, Farmer had kept in touch with Burton, but in 1997 Farmer got to spend some quality time with one of the best magicians in the world.
“Lance (Burton) came and watched on of my magic shows,” Farmer said. “He showed me some sleight of hand techniques that opened up a whole new world for me.I went from maybe one show a month to booking around 60 to 80 shows a year.”
With his illusion skills honed and his desire to share the Word of God, Farmer was now armed to make Evangelist Magic his full-time career.
“Greg Farmer was one of the busiest Gospel Illusionists I have known,” stated local Master Magician Rodger Lovins. “Greg always worked harder and was more dedicated at whatever he did.”
“Greg was a dedicated, hard-working man of God,” Lovins continued. “He loves the Lord and he just used the magic as a tool to help others to know Jesus.”
Up until his death, Farmer was booking nearly 100 gospel magic shows a year, all throughout the United States. Farmer won many basic talent shows with his magic act. He was voted Stage Magician of the Year by the Lexington, Ky. , ring of the International Brotherhood of Magicians. Farmer was one of 10 acts chosen to perform on the Discovery Channel Showcase TV Show. Farmer was recently featured in The Voice of FCM, which is a national publication profiling the most renowned Christian magicians in the country.
In 2005, Farmer formed his own non-profit ministry, which consists of his evangelist magic shows and a thrift store. Among his ministry's eight board members, a long time business associate David
Morris was impressed with Farmer's unique and successful technique of spreading God's Word.
“It was amazing to see God utilize Greg Farmer’s passion of magic and love for the Lord into an effective life-long ministry,” Morris stated.
Most recently, Farmer was awarded the Jimmy Floyd Memorial Award by the Tennessee Association of Fairs. Also, Farmer was chosen as the opening act for the Contemporary Christian Group 'Mercy Me Down' in Atlanta, Ga. But the reward that Farmer most cherished was the thousands of lost souls he saved through his gospel message during his magic shows.
“God has guided my hands to be a skilled magician, and He has used my magic to spread His word,” Farmer stated last spring.
After overcoming several life-threatening episodes as a young boy, Farmer was diagnosed with stage-4 pancreatic cancer over a year ago.
“Even through his battle with cancer, I have never once saw his faith waiver,” ministry board member David Morris stated. “Whether in the doctor’s office or on social media, Greg Farmer was always seeking opportunities to share his faith and tell what God has done in his life; and what He can do in your yours.”