'Once in a Lifetime Opportunity'

April 06, 2022

After five years in the Louisiana Conference, leading and managing the Office of Congregational Development and Transformation, Rev. Dr. Gloria Fowler is transitioning to an extension ministry starting July 1, 2022. 

Fowler has accepted a position in an ecumenical para-church ministry in South Korea at the Chinju Prayer Retreat Center.

"I am so grateful to the Louisiana Annual Conference for the opportunity to serve this amazing conference," Fowler said. "It's been such an honor and privilege to be part of the transformation and the development of churches in Louisiana. I came with a missionary's heart to serve those who are hungry for renewal and transformation. It has been such a joy to come alongside so many churches and pastors and to see them energized to live out the mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. I pray that my ministry here has helped move the needle forward for the expansion of God's Kingdom."

Fowler is looking forward to an incredible opportunity in South Korea. The Chinju Prayer Retreat Center offers worship four times a day, 365 days of the week, with renowned speakers from all denominational backgrounds. 

And, yes, Fowler will be doing some of the same work she has been doing in Louisiana. The ministry has a seminary with an emphasis on renewal and revival preaching. It also has a church planting network that helps plant many churches in Korea's small fishing and farming communities.  

As exciting as that work is, another aspect of her move is just as exciting and perhaps even groundbreaking. 

Fowler will have an opportunity to work alongside her father, who currently serves as the director, hoping that Gloria will lead after his retirement. 

"Father to daughter transitions are rare in Korea," says Fowler. "I am honored that I can be part of this planned transition of a great ministry that is continuing the revival history of Korea."

"We have been so blessed by Dr. Gloria Fowler's presence among us," says Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey. "She is a gifted leader who has brought so much to the Louisiana Annual Conference. While her leadership will be missed, we understand that the opportunity before her could be a "once in a lifetime" opportunity. Our prayers accompany the entire Fowler Family as they enter this new journey."

The Office of Congregational Development and Church Transformation assists churches with mission and vision, hospitality, community engagement, discipleship pathway, leadership development, and even simplified governance structure. They've trained over 100 churches in the Louisiana Conference and have assisted in the birthing of six new faith communities; The Table, Bridge, Legacy, Mid City, Comunidad Cristiana, and Southern Wesley. The Office also created the African- American Church Vitality Task Force.   

Rev. Karli Pidgeon, currently serving as the District Superintendent of the Alexandria District, will also serve as the interim director.

Pidgeon previously served as Associate Director of the Office of Congregational Development and Church Transformation for nearly two years. 

"I have learned so much and have been able to soak up much of Gloria's wisdom and knowledge to carry forward the amazing work she has begun," Pidgeon says. "I celebrate her having this unique opportunity to continue to utilize her gifts alongside her family in South Korea. In this season of transition and discernment, I look forward to continuing the work of Congregational Development and Transformation. There are many exciting expressions of transformation and God’s spirit moving throughout the Annual Conference and I’m excited to be a part of it.  

Rev. Sam Hubbard, Associate Director of the Office of Congregational Development and Church Transformation, will continue to work on fresh expressions to reach new people for Jesus Christ in the Louisiana Annual Conference.

"We will be taking the time to discern our next steps in the area of Congregational Development and Church Transformation," Bishop Harvey shared. "In this season of the Conference's life, it will be important for us to carefully examine how we faithfully lead this important work in the future. I am grateful to Rev. Karli Pidgeon and her willingness to help lead this work in the interim as we work toward defining our vision for the future of Congregational Development and Church Transformation."
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