Bishop Frank Reuben Bowdan
Pentecostal Assemblies of the World
1910 ~ 1976
Bishop Frank Reuben Bowdan was born March 16, 1910 in the city of Los Angeles, California. He was one of four sons born to Maggie and William S. Bowdan. Schooled in Los Angeles, he graduated in 1928 from Roosevelt High School, and was afterwards tutored for four years by the late Bishop G.T. Haywood, and the late Elder R.F. Tobin. Frank studied New Testament Greek under Professor, Albert Scott of the Flint Junior College, in Flint, Michigan.
At the age of ten, young Frank Bowdan was marvelously filled with the Holy Ghost, with the evidence of speaking in other tongues. On September 27, 1920 he was baptized in water for the remission of sins according to Acts 2:38 by Elder Frank J. Ewart at Belvedere Gospel Tabernacle on east 1st Street in Los Angeles.
At the age of eleven, Frank and his brother Melvin were singing the familiar hymn, "Sweet Beulah Land," when he had a vision of Christ, and was called to the ministry. He acknowledged his call to preach by proclaiming, "I'm going out in the ministry work!" On June 30, 1934 Elder Bowdan was joined in matrimony to Viola Bernice Horner of Indianapolis, Indiana. To this union were born one son, and four daughters. In 1966 their only son, Frank Jr., was called from labor to reward at the age of twenty-four.
The first revival conducted by Elder Bowdan was in a tent in Pasadena, California when he was eleven years old. He was ordained in 1931, by the Board of Bishops of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World at Great Bethlehem Temple, in Detroit, Michigan. He scored 98% on his ordination test. His first pastorate was at the Glad Tidings Mission, Morgan Park, Chicago, Illinois, where he served for sixteen months. In 1936 he accepted the pastorate of Bethlehem Temple Church of Flint, Michigan, where he remained for fifteen years. In 1951, he was called to pastor the Apostolic Faith Home Assembly in Los Angeles, where as a child he had been on of its charter members.
From 1947 to 1962 he served as Assistant General Secretary of the PAW. In 1959, he was elevated to Suffragan Bishop. He became a full Bishop in 1962. In 1964, he was appointed diocesan of the 16th Episcopal District over California and Nevada.
In 1958, a West Coast Branch of Aenon Bible College was established, with the Home Assembly Church as its headquarters. In 1972, the college expanded, with Bishop Bowdan as its President, and a full schedule of Bible College activity. He was conferred the Honorary Doctor of Divinity by Aenon Bible College, Columbus, Ohio, as well as the Doctor of Sacred Letters Degree by the Fundamental Bible Seminary of Oklahoma. He was listed in "Who's Who" in religion, and accomplished scores of achievements too numerous to recount.
In 1976, after returning from the General Convention of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World in Chicago, Illinois, Bishop Bowdan spent four weeks in the hospital. Despite open heart surgery performed by a team of surgeons in an attempt to prolong his life, it was the will of God that he should rest from his labors. Peacefully, he slipped away on a quiet Wednesday afternoon on September 22, 1976. Audio Recordings of Bishop Bowden are available in our Audio Library.