Clay Farrington

Hi friends, I’m Clay. Forty-something. Married. Three kids. They’re awesome.

I grew up United Methodist: the church folks who baptize babies and don’t hide their beer in the grocery cart under a loaf of bread. My grandmother was Episcopalian. My granddaddy’s sanctuary of choice was a fishing pond.

I currently serve as the Senior Pastor of Alabaster First United Methodist church just south of Birmingham, Alabama.

I got a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Auburn University and worked in Huntsville, for a hot minute before embarking on my get rich slow scheme with a career in ministry. I received my MDiv from Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore. Since then I’ve served in three Annual Conferences in positions ranging from youth ministry to lead pastor and I’ve been published by Student Life and NavPress. I’m really excited now that Armchair is on Amplify.

I made it through six years of youth group, four years of seminary and over a decade of ministry before reading the Bible all the way through. I wanted to. But every time I’d start with my new years resolutions and run out of gas somewhere around the blueprints of the tabernacle in Exodus.

I launched @ArmchairTheo on Twitter in 2012 as an accountability tool to help me do it. I figured even I could read one chapter a day and if I made it anonymous I probably wouldn’t get fired for my snark. Ross joined me for the podcast on my third trip through scripture and I’ve been making him look good ever since.

I love Armchair Theology because of the transformation I’ve experienced reading the Bible for myself and I love helping others read it for themselves. I love that I’ve gotten to talk about Scripture with scholars and Rabbis and friends and my barber and my sister. I love that our commentary regularly includes quotes from Robert Alter and Monty Python, lyrics by Taylor Swift DC Talk, and rabbit trails that go on and on.

And I love that you’ve found us.

Ross Furio

Hey team, I’m Ross, a thirty-something United Methodist pastor blessed with a wife I don’t deserve, a wide-open toddler, and a golden retriever starting to get gray hairs on his chin. 

I currently serve as the Senior Pastor of Bluff Park United Methodist Church in Hoover, Alabama, and I love my church.  I am privileged to serve alongside the wonderful folks here in Bluff Park. 

I grew up in Birmingham, AL, went to college in Birmingham, AL and finally ventured away from home for seminary at Perkins School of Theology, where I spent 3 years in Dallas.  Living in Dallas made me a wannabe Cowboys fan, an amateur yogi, and a believer that a taco is a food group. Among other things, it solidified the fact that I probably did belong in Alabama, and made me really miss the humidity.

Like most pastors, my youth was spent at church, on mission trips and beach retreats, and caring too much about fast-pitch wiffle ball tournaments. Despite growing up in church, I never read the Bible all the way through.  When I finally read it cover to cover in college, it changed my life, and if anything, it taught me that I knew way less than I thought I did.  It sparked a fire within me to never stop reading, asking questions, or wrestling with Scripture, which is what led me here and why I have poured so much into this whole podcast thing along with Clay. 

Clay started Armchair Theology without me in 2012, which was a big mistake.  Fortunately, since 2019, he has had my guidance and good looks as we take on the big book one chapter at a time.   

We hope the content we create will help you and your communities engage in Scripture in a meaningful, life-giving, and transformative way.  Whether you have read the Bible 50 times over or never gotten over that Leviticus-sized wall, we’d love to be a resource for you and your church as you seek to unpack the love, hope, peace, and new life this story offers us.  Thanks for joining us. We’re really glad you’re along for the ride. 

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