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A small, hard-working consulting firm based in Pennsylvania and Ohio, Vital Signs was established in 1986 when we hit the ground running with our direct approach to finding success.  Large scale solutions, communication development and project managing, we offer our clients the full package.
Rev. James Farrer

Having served churches in Canada and the U.S., Jim began studying what makes churches grow or decline in 1979 with Lyle Schaller.  He is one of the most broadly trained church consultants in North America.   In 1986, following tutelage under Donald McGavran, Win and Charles Arn, George Hunter and Gary McIntosh with apprenticeships in five states Jim was the first person in the PCUSA to be named a Church Growth Associate of the Institute for American Church Growth, the pioneering organization in bringing growth principles, strategies and resources to the United States.


Jim also holds a consulting certificate from Bill Easum.  He co-designed and co-led a process for regional consultants with his mentor Lyle Schaller, the most influential church consultant in history.  Several of Jim's consultations have led to building projects including a new 16 - acre site in Boise, Idaho.  


As founder of Vital Signs Church Consulting, Jim has trained with such organizations as Net Results (Herb Miller), Alban Institute (Alice Mann & Speed Leas), Lyle Schaller.  He has also served as staff for congregational development for a 3-state area. 


Jim is an active member of the Great Commission Research Network, where he continues to dialogue with top authors, professors and renewal specialists.   Jim has been a featured leader at the Columbia Theological Seminary School of Evangelism and the Interim Ministry Network Annual Conference.   His articles have been published in the Journal of Evangelism and Missions and the Great Commission Research Journal.  He continues to write for  



“Jim Farrer is a dynamic seminar leader poised to help those struggling with the changes the 21st Century brings.”

Dr. Ben Johnson, retired professor of Evangelism and Spirituality

                    Columbia Theological Seminary, GA


Rev. William O. Webster, Jr. 

Rev. William Webster was invited by the members of a  dying church, which was scheduled for closure and merger with other local churches, to be their pastor. Accepting the call through faith, listening and love, there has been a congregational resurrection. This transformational church continues to grow.  An ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA), Bill continues to serve as the pastor of GRACE Presbyterian Church in Martins Ferry, Ohio., which he has served since 1987.  


Active in the local community, he is the chaplain for a local hospital and  was elected to the Martins Ferry City School Board where he served for 17 continuous years.   He continues to serve on the Board of Trustees of East Ohio Regional Hospital, Ohio Valley Medical Center and various organizations.    Presently he serves the Upper Ohio Valley Presbytery as their administrator.     Bill is an active member of the Great Commission Research Network.   


Bill Webster as President of Vital Signs enjoys working with small to mid-size churches and their pastors .  As a leading practitioner among pastors of “mid sized” missional churches, Bill has served on the staff of an inner city church, among the Navajo Indians in the mission church in Tuba City, Arizona, and amidst great population loss in the Ohio River Rust Belt, in Martins Ferry, Ohio.  This Church has experienced a prayerful resurrection.  Through the leading of the Lord, Bill’s current congregation has been transformed into a vibrant, healthy church which has 70% of the members directly involved in ministry beyond its doors.   Bill writes a monthly column for the Wheeling Intelligencer Newspaper.  He has trained lay preachers and been a featured speaker and seminar leader for seminaries, the Synod of the Trinity, Wee Kirk © Conferences and for church leaders across seven states.    In May 2015 he was the featured speaker at New York Theological Seminary.   


Bill is the author of the book, A Place of Grace, published through Xulon Press.   His book, chronicling the transformation of a resurrected church, has been featured at the 2015 Christian Product Expo in Hershey, PA .   Recently he was invited to share this story at New York Theological Seminary.

He can be reached at a 740-359-1813.


Vital Signs has trained leaders in more than 18 denominations and led seminars across America.

“We're a nimble and growing Consulting firm. We look forward to meeting you, your leadership team and congregation to help you define your goals, develop solutions - and realize them!   So what are you waiting for, let's meet!" 

Jm Farrer,  Vital Signs Church Consulting

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