The Cowans service in the ministry, love for God’s brethren and dedication to God’s truth throughout these many years is deeply appreciated.
Bill entered Ambassador College in the fall of 1962. Betty (Welshans) arrived two years later and stole Bill’s heart. Following their marriage after Bill’s graduation in the spring of 1966 the newlyweds were sent to assist in the Little Rock and Fort Smith congregations.
Bill was ordained as a preaching elder in December 1966 and became pastor of the two churches in Arkansas and part of Oklahoma. They were able to raise up three new congregations during the nine years they served in Arkansas.
After a year-long sabbatical at Ambassador College, they were sent to pastor Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Murphy, North Carolina. In 1984 they were sent for a one-year stay in Alabama, followed by a year in Atlanta, Georgia. For the next 18 years they were given the opportunity of working with the churches in Fort Worth and Coleman, Texas and Lawton, Oklahoma.
Following their time in Texas they returned to the Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Rome, Georgia, congregations until they retired as pastor this past April.
When Bill was asked if he had any advice for newer ministers he offered this: “God’s truth never changes. You can preach it, teach it and be a living example of the way our Savior lived His life. But always apply that standard to others with mercy.” He then added: “Never use pat answers—always use answers tailored to help the member more effectively. Some need a ‘kick in the rear’ while others need a hug around the neck. Like Solomon, pray earnestly for wisdom to serve and lead God’s people.”
Bill and Betty have been blessed with three children: Michelle Ann (Rickard) and twin boys, Roderick Curtis and Ronald Lee. They have a total of four grandchildren. Michelle has a daughter and a son. Rod has two daughters. Ron was never married having been killed by a drunk driver 19 years ago at age 27.
The Cowans will remain living in their home in Ooltewah, Tennessee, and being part of the of the Chattanooga congregation.