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Robert P.
Republican OH

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  • Tribute to Bishop Paul A. Bowers

    by Senator Rob Portman

    Posted on 2013-02-12

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    PORTMAN. Mr. President, today I wish to recognize Bishop Paul Alexander Bowers, who has served as the presiding Bishop of Greater Emanuel Apostolic Temple since 1957. Bishop Bowers celebrated his 55th pastoral anniversary on February 1, 2013, in my hometown of Cincinnati, OH.

    Bishop Bowers was born and raised in Oxford, PA. After his high school graduation he moved to Columbus, OH, where he attended Aenon Bible College. He graduated in 1951 with a bachelor of theology and later received a bachelor of science from the University of Cincinnati in 1964. Bowers also taught in the Cincinnati public school system for 5 years and retired in 1968 before dedicating his life to ministry.

    Bishop Bowers served as chairman of the Ohio District Council of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, Inc., PAW, from 1976 to 1992. During his tenure, he built a 100-bed nursing home, a 1,200 seat worship center with a fully-equipped cafeteria which seats 500 people, and a dormitory that has the capacity to house over 100 people at the ODC Campground in Zanesville, OH.

    Bishop Bowers also served as the diocesan of the Carolina State Council, assistant general secretary, general secretary, and assistant presiding Bishop of PAW. In 1992, he was promoted to the Office of the Presiding Bishop, where he served for 6 years. While in this position, Bishop Bowers was responsible for leading a $2.2 million project to renovate PAW's international headquarters located in Indianapolis, IN.

    Today, Bishop Bowers serves as the diocesan bishop of the Ohio District Council, where he has had the opportunity to further develop the campground in Zanesville, OH.

    Bishop Bowers has made many contributions through his civic involvement throughout the southwestern region of Ohio, but I would like to highlight his outreach in prison ministries and his recent partnership with reentry organizations in Cincinnati, OH.

    In August 2011, Bishop Bowers graciously opened the doors of Greater Emanuel Apostolic Temple to host my first reentry summit, following my election to the U.S. Senate. While there, I was greeted by many kind faces and witnessed people come in from off the street to take a moment to pray in the beautiful sanctuary.

    Over the years, I have spoken many times about the importance of reducing recidivism in our communities and the need for faith-based leaders to continue their engagement with those reentering society from jails and prisons. I first got involved with prisoner reentry issues through my work on drug prevention and treatment more than 10 years ago, when I came to understand the close connection between substance abuse and recidivism, considering three quarters of those returning from prison have a history of substance abuse.

    Faith-based groups are the first line of defense, as well as service, to vulnerable and high-risk populations. Faith leaders can use their influence as an opportunity to direct those in need to proper programming, and I commend the Greater Emanuel congregation for playing an active role in the community and continuing their work to reduce recidivism and change the lives of those in need. Houses of worship serve as beacons of hope to guide the lost and help restore their lives, which is why I believe the ecumenical community can play an important role as a partner in recidivism reduction.

    Mr. President, I would like to congratulate Bishop Bowers on his 55th anniversary of pastoral service and recognize him for his continued work on recidivism reduction.


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