Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

December 27, 2011

Bidding farewell after a decade of ministry in PV

Noteworthy Neighbor

Ezra Mann
Pauls Valley Democrat

Pauls Valley, Oklahoma — Though it is the lot of many a minister to change the flock they shepherd to over the course of a career, in the city of Pauls Valley, they tend to have a chance to feel more than comfortable.

Since Tim Bowen, pastor at Trinity Baptist Church began his years of service 10 years ago in the region along with his children and wife Robin, he has had a chance to become a part of a trend where congregations tend to get attached to their worship leaders. It is this attachment which has made his time here so special and something he will cherish as he once again plans to take the next step in his walk of faith.

“The town has a tendency to keep pastors for a while,” said Bowen, who accepted a chance to reach even more people through a new ministry he applied to in October. “It’s really pretty amazing... it says a lot for the town.”

Bowen’s roots with ministry trace back when he was attending college and from 1978 until 1986 he was actually a music and youth minister. It was in 1989 when God called Bowen to the pastorate and noted how he didn’t even become a Christian until several years after he began the former.

Much like Bowen’s dad who was also a minister, he spent a number of years moving around quite a bit, with his stints being from panhandle towns like Custer City to Hooker and he calls Marlow home since he graduated high school there. It is all of these experiences he will continue to use as motivation to be there in good or bad times from the kids he used to mentor through summer camp years ago to being apart of the PV ministerial alliance where he helped bridge denominational divide.

“It’s not that it’s always been fun or easy, but the way God’s built me is as a people person,” said Bowen, who keeps his early musical ties through efforts like the Singing Churchmen of Oklahoma. “There’s a sense of having done something worthwhile when you’ve walked with them in tough times.”

However, Bowen believes he’s never been made to feel more like a native than his time here in Garvin County. He’s’s certainly found out how involved one becomes once they move here, being a band parent here for three of his children and even driving the bus after they all graduated.

Both Bowen and his wife were put to work in more ways they can count  throughout town from his service work in areas like the Chamber of Commerce as well as charitable foundations. Then there was Robin handling both the church head start and Delta head start as her many duties.

Some of the fondest memories Bowen has had in the decade here include getting to participate in ministries like “Operation Christmas Child,” where the church made it an entire congregation effort to serve as many kids needs as possible instead of just taking one assigned child at a time. He also said one thing he and his family will never forget is how well they were treated when his wife’s mother died a few years back, offering comfort well beyond just condolences.

Bowen’s last Sunday will be Jan. 1, a day he is actually a visiting pastor and chosen so his kids can spend time with the people they knew while growing up here one last time. All of them cherish the town, one child claiming he’d even move back here if he could continue his career in Walgreens if they opened up a store.

“I’ve never been made to feel by anybody here like an outsider,” said Bowen, who noted how even his kids also felt accepted right away. “When your dad is in the ministry sometimes it takes a while to be accepted, but that wasn’t the case here.”

This next stop for Bowen will be taking over as director of missions for the Bryan Baptist Association in Durant, where he will work with 39 churches in the Bryan County area. He was given the chance to take on this new challenge when a friend recommended he send in a resume and the more he thought about it, the more it felt right about going in this direction.

“It doesn’t seem possible that it’s been 10 years,” said Bowen. “It’s just been quite the ride.”