My name is Mike Bowers. I am one of the ministers of the Clarence Church of Christ.
It doesn’t sound right but my driver’s license says I was born in 1953……..so that makes me 63 years old. That makes me old enough to be married to Debbie for 42 years. We have three grown children and eight grandchildren with one on the way. If you come to church you’ll see a bunch of my family running around……..which is something I never dreamed of……..but it is really fun.
Here’s a quick review. I grew up in Ohio with three brothers. My parents were and are a tremendous influence on my life. We did church every time the doors were opened. But my parents had a faith that went deeper than attending meetings. They were God’s hands and feet 24/7. Serving people, showing hospitality, telling jokes and meeting needs was their deal. I learned from them. My dad designed and built conveyers. With four sons and husband my mom constantly maintained the home.
I graduated from Lexington High School way back in 1972. Sports were way more important than grades to me. My dream job was playing center field for the Cleveland Indians. When the Indians overlooked me in the 1972 draft I headed off to Cincinnati Christian University to study the Bible. While there I became fond of a girl named Debbie and a chili named Skyline. I married the girl and stole the recipe. Our first ministry was in Washington State. Later we moved to Elmira, New York to help start a church. We moved to Clarence in 1986 when the church asked me to come and work in student ministry.
Our firstborn is Josh who married Tara. They live in Clarence Center and have six kids. Caleb, our second, married Kate. They live in San Francisco and have a little girl. Krista our third, married Chris. They have a young son and live in Williamsville.
Now I’ll interview myself:
Favorite place to eat in western NY?
Lots of great places but if pressed my “go to” is Brennan’s.
A book I’ve read in the last month?
Divine Collison by Jim Gash; Blame it on the Brain by Edward Welch; The Last Great Game; Gene Wojciechowski
How long have you been at the church?
Hard to believe but it will be 31 years in November, 2017. Like Marv Levy said, “Where else would you rather be than right here, right now?”
A movie you’d recommend?
Beauty and the Beast and Toy Story Three. Can you tell I’m a grandpa? If I could pick one to watch and discuss with you it would be Les Miserabes.
What’s the best thing about the church?
Well Jesus is both the Head and the Chief Cornerstone so that’s hard to beat. Beyond that it is the people who are figuring out how to love God and love their neighbors. There’s a bunch of devoted, servant hearted people here. Besides……we have gym so I can shoot hoops anytime I want!
What is fun for you?
That’s a big list. Traveling with Deb is a delight. Doing anything with our grandkids is a riot. I enjoy hunting, walking, sports, campfires, meeting people and just about anything outside. Watching the Cleveland Indians is superb. We have some backyard chickens that always welcome me on hard days.
Favorite Bible verse?
Not really……..the Bible is like pie…..the pie in front of me is my favorite. It will change tomorrow but today it is,“ I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.” (John 11:25)
Is it true you gave up your season tickets to the Bills?
Yes, it was an abusive relationship. I love going to the Bills game but it was becoming a passion that crowded out family time and made me hurry through Sundays…….and slightly frustrating. I will still watch……and I will miss being there. If you happened to have an extra ticket let me know.
You lead mission trips?
I’ve led trips for over 25 years to many locations. Kingdom workers in other cultures are amazing people. It is a joy to try and encourage them. At the same time it is good to connect students with servants who are attempting something great for God. It is a life changing, faith strengthening experience. We try to advance God’s kingdom by meeting the needs of the communities through English lessons or medical clinics, food distribution or construction projects. The kingdom advances more through actions than words.
What part of your job do you dislike?
Well, most of us don’t like the things were not good at. That’s a long list for me. Desk work, planning meetings and paper work are some of my weakness. I have found that humor and refreshments make most meetings tolerable. And yeah, I still get nervous every time I speak publicly.
What’s on your bucket list?
Growing CCC to 300 people. Helping to plant one more church in WNY. Writing a book about the “Biggest Buts in the Bible.” Hiking part of the Appalachian Trail. I'd like to see a game in every Major Baseball City…….. 22 down and 8 to go. Getting a lot better at loving God and loving my neighbors. I’m not on Twitter yet but thinking about it.
What I want to say?
The Bible is God’s playbook for us. The Bible can be understood. It is an old book but it is as fresh as the latest trend on Twitter. It applies to your life. God is crazy about you and wants you in his family…..no matter your background. I’d love to connect with you anytime to help understand his love for you.
Contact me at 716-430- 7950 by call or text.
Friend me on Facebook.