Bowdon, Sr., J. Henry


February 7, 1896 - January 6, 1980
J. Henry Bowdon, Sr., was born on February 7,1896, near the town of Pelican, Louisiana. He was one of thirteen children born to his parents, Richard George Bowdon and Maggie Griffith Bowdon.
He attended Centenary College for three years and then transferred to Southern
Methodist University where he received his B.A. degree in 1921. He was Principal of
Istrouma High School in Baton Route, Louisiana, for two years; after which he returned to
SMU where he received his B.D. degree in 1925.
He was married to Hazel McGuffey on November 25, 1925. Two children were born to this lovely marriage; Henry Jr., and Louise.
He joined the Annual Conference of the former M. E. Church South, in which he served successfully for forty-two years. He served nine pastorates during this period, three districts as District Superintendent and Director of the Area Council of the Louisiana Annual Conference.
In 1947 he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree by Centenary College. He was a life member of the Board of Trustees of that institution.
He was actively related to the Boy Scout movement and was awarded two of its top honors, the Silver Beaver and Silver Antelope awards.
Brother Bowdon was a good and true minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He loved
people and those who knew him, loved him. He will always be remembered for his gracious spirit and uprightness of character, his fidelity and loyalty to the best, his devotion to his family, his generous good will to his friends, and best of all, for his devotion to his Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ and His Church.
Brother Bowdon entered into his eternal reward on January 6,1980. It was his day of coronation.
The words of John Ellerton are most appropriate:
“Now the laborer’s task is o’er
Now the battle day is past
Now upon the farther shore
Lands the voyager at last.
Father, in Thy gracious keeping
Leave we now Thy servant sleeping.”
Source: Journal of the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church, 1980, Pages 163, by Carl F. Lueg

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