WINONA -- Pastor Chad Bowen said he’s eager to learn all about Winona and its history.
The Bowens were welcomed as the new Pastor and First Lady of Moore Memorial United Methodist Church in Winona.
Bowen succeeded Pastor John Kramer, who retired from the ministry in June. Born in Aberdeen, Bowen moved to Ridgeland where he attend Ridgeland High School. After high school, he attended Millsaps College where he majored in Classical Studies. While at Millsaps, he met his wife Katie.
After graduating Millsaps, Bowen went to Duke Divinity School where he received his theology degree and graduated in 2012. He was assigned to a church in Gulfport through the Mississippi United Methodist Conference.
He said he and Katie then moved to the Shannon-Brewer charge in the Tupelo District where they pastored a church for five years. He was assigned to Moore Memorial, which is in the Greenwood District.
“I’m familiar with Winona. When we used to live in Ridgeland, Winona was the midpoint between Ridgeland and Aberdeen. My family and I would always meet my grandparents in Winona to exchange children or other things. So, it being the ‘Crossroads’ holds meaning to us,” Bowen said.
He said the reception he and Katie have received since being in Winona has been very warm and welcoming.
“It’s nice being so close to the center of town. It’s nice being able to walk to the bank and being close by The Tracks; we’re right in the middle and that’s nice,” he said. “Winona still has the small town feel. The people here have been so welcoming and have welcomed us in, and other pastors have welcomed us in, and are willing to work with me. Plus, it’s close to Jackson, and we’re able to see all of our friends that we still have down there.”
Bowen said coming from Shannon, they’re aware of being in a place that people may have to go out of town to shop, dine or be entertained. But, he said it’s a nice feeling that Winona has everything in town, and people don’t have to go out to get many things.
He said he wants to learn everything he can about Winona and the history of the town.
“It’s nice being in such a historical building and being a part of a historical church, but the people are willing to try new things and try new ways to bring in more people,” Bowen said.
He said he wants to be connected to the community and has been teaching his congregation how to be disciples and grow as a follower of Jesus.
“I want them to get comfortable with talking about Jesus out in public, because bringing people to Christ is the big picture,” he said.
As a part of being connected to the community, Bowen is a part of the Winona Ministerial Alliance. “Rev. Linda Malone reached out to me immediately and told me all the things they were doing. And, Katie is Catholic, and it helps that the parsonage is between the Catholic and Methodist churches. She’s been such a help going between me and Marvin Inman. It’s been a good fit for us. I look forward in being partnerships and ways that we can work together.”
He said before he thinks of ideas and things to implement in the church, he wants to learn all he can. He said when Moore Memorial had their Back to School Bash, they had a great turnout.
“It was exciting, there were a lot of kids, and we were able to pray for them. The principal and assistant principal of [Winona Elementary School] came down, and they were the judges of our homemade ice cream competition. It was really great,” he said.
Moore Memorial United Methodist Church has service every Sunday at 10:55 a.m. and evening service at 6 p.m. Sunday school begins at 9:45 a.m.