Rev. Robert Lester McFarland
United Pentecostal Church International
1923 ~ 2002
Robert Lester McFarland was born in Akron, Ohio, September 23, 1923 to Lester and Ethel McFarland. At twelve years of age, he moved with his family to a farm in Lynn, Indiana, where he later assisted his father in starting a Pentecostal church, and preached his first sermon at 15 years of age, At 16 years old, he helped pioneer and pastor a church in Greenville, Ohio. He served as the Vice President fir the Indiana/Michigan District Pentecostal Young People's Association (PYPA) in the early 1940's prior to the merger forming the United Pentecostal church International (UPCI).
While attending Apostolic Bible Institute in St. Paul, Minnesota, he pastored two congregations: Baronett and Spooner, Wisconsin. He married another (ABI) student, Marjorie Guinn of St. Louis, in 1944. They moved to Richmond, Indiana, (on their honeymoon) where robert began pastoring a small congregation. Here thay were blessed with three children, Robert Lee, Lois Marie, and Edward Ray, all currently involved in the ministry of God's kingdom.
New property was purchased and with the help of his father, Robert and the congregation, constructed a new church building and experienced steady growth during the next 13 years. Brother McFarland resigned the pastorate in 1957 to become a full time missionary to the Middle Eastern Arab nations.
In 1961, due to unrest in Jerusalem, he returned to the United States and was unanimously elected as pastor when his father resigned in Marion, Indiana. Under his capable leadership, the congregation built and dedicated a new church facility, debt free. The church experienced great revival while being the top UPCI missions-giving church in the nation, and also placed in the top ten churches in giving to all other departments. These were the early years of the Indiana Campground, and Brother McFarland was heavily involved in all areas of its development. As the first Indiana District Bible Quiz Master, he established a strong Bible Quizzing state.
In 1975, he wqas elected to serve full time as Indiana District Superintendent, and moved to the indiana parsonage on the campground. Bro. McFarland went home to be with the Lord on July 22, 2002.