Title: Chief Executive Officer, Founder
Company: Without Walls
Education: ThD in Religion, Eastern Theological Seminary;
Master’s Degree in Religion, Virginia University of Lynchburg and Eastern Theological Seminary;
Bachelor’s Degree in Administration, University of Lynchburg (formerly Lynchburg College)
Career History: Chief Executive Officer, Founder, Without Walls (2018-Present);
Registrar, Substitute Lecturer, Eastern Theological Seminary;
Staff to Supervisor, Ericsson + General Electric, Retired (32 Years)
Dr. Brenda M. Farmer, Chief Executive Officer and Founder at Without Walls, has been recognized as a Marquis Emerging Leader for their contributions and achievements in the field of religion.
Attributing her success to her love of people and faith in God, Dr. Farmer has long been passionate about helping others, which she does every single day as the Chief Executive Officer and founder of Without Walls. Formed in Lynchburg, Virginia in 2018, the ministry is dedicated to aiding women who are incarcerated as well as their families, the homeless, and anybody else in the community and surrounding rural areas in need of assistance. She developed Without Walls upon seeing a need to help those behind bars find a new path outside of the cycle of crime and imprisonment and better the lives of their families and people around them.
Previously, Dr. Farmer excelled at Ericsson + General Electric, where she advanced from staff to supervisor before retiring after 32 years. She then became a registrar and substitute lecturer at Eastern Theological Seminary and a part-time church caretaker and cleaner. Equipped with a bachelor’s degree in administration from the University of Lynchburg and a master’s degree in religion from the Virginia University of Lynchburg and Eastern Theological Seminary, she most recently obtained a Doctor of Theology in religion from the latter institution. In addition to her main endeavors as CEO and founder of the ministry, for which she became licensed to visit jails and nursing homes, she has been active as a member of the Link Aid Board, Church is Forever Ministry Board, and Red Truck Ministry, and a bible study teacher for nursing homes. Vice President of the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, she’s also affiliated with the Junior League of Lynchburg and the Order of the Eastern Star—for which she has been the Grand Worthy Matron for 12 years. In recognition of her myriad achievements, Dr. Farmer earned a Leadership Award from the Order of the Eastern Star and a Humanitarian Award from the University of Lynchburg, the latter being the highlight of her career.
Before COVID-19, she visited incarcerated women in the town of Amherstdale every Sunday, but since the pandemic affected visitations, she hasn’t been able to—although she still communicates with them and sends the inmates packages, cards for the holidays, and even grants their requests and favors. Looking toward the future, she hopes to discover someone whom she can guide and mentor as a successor to her legacy. Dr. Farmer, whose husband of 56 years passed away in 2021, is the proud mother of five children and grandmother of 11.