Resolved, to live so at all times, as I think is best in my devout frames, and when I have clearest notions of things of the gospel, and another world.

-Jonathan Edwards, Resolution #18, 1722

Today we remember the life and ministry of my grandfather, Donald Gene Bowles, Sr. (aka, Papaw). A house builder by trade, he came to faith while in his twenties over the course of three revival nights at a small baptist church in Indiana. From there he went on to five decades of pastoral ministry and mission work in Korea and Africa.

He spent the majority of his ministry living in foreign countries and cultures. He set up two Bible Colleges in Africa, seeking to see the gospel take root in The Republic of the Congo and Zambia. As a father of six, living abroad was no small sacrifice.

On the macro level, those decisions reflect thinking with clear “notions of the gospel, and another world.” This is what I appreciate most about Papaw. The man who first taught me the rules of football spent the majority of his time working for and investing in the spread of the gospel.

I experienced his love, his provision, and his leadership. But above all, his legacy is living with the gospel and another world as his priority. I praise God for his life and ministry, and rejoice that after spending so much time sojourning, he is finally home.


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