Pastor & Copastor
Copastor Michele J. Bowdan
Biography of Co-Pastor Michele Bowdan
Michele Jean Bowdan is the second oldest of four siblings. She was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. Her call to salvation was similar to the call of the prophet Isaiah. In the year that her paternal grandfather died, she saw the Lord. “Pops” was eulogized in February of 1982 at St. Paul Apostolic Faith church in Highland Park, Michigan, and her mother recognized something different about the church. One month later, she, her older brother and mother were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Her father was baptized in April of 1982. Later that same year, Michele received the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Michele was very serious about her new walk at the age of thirteen. Naturally, old friendships began to fade and she told the Lord that He was her best friend. Under the pastorate of the late Elder Hoodie J. Hoke, Michele learned that Jesus is the only true and living God, and that holiness was the lifestyle that pleased Him. She soon became involved in church activities that after years of involvement would only lead her to other levels in the ministry as God orchestrated her life’s plan. She was a junior usher and eventually, chairperson; she was active in the young People’s Department and the renowned St. Paul “Soul Saving” Mass Choir. Before leaving the St. Paul in 1990, Michele was one of the choir’s main lead vocalists, and she received revelation from God what her professional calling would be through her future pastor (unbeknownst to them both), Deacon Joseph Hewitt. Just before entering her third year of college, she believed that God directed her to teach. September 1987 to May 1994 were seven long and often frustrating years at Wayne State University. Nevertheless, God blessed her to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Latin with an English minor, and Secondary Teaching Certification which made her eligible to teach grades seven through twelve.
Moving from her foundational comfort zone, Michele began attending Apostolic Church of Jesus under the leadership of Pastor Clifton D. Hoke. There the LORD gave her more responsibility. She continued to sing and usher as needed, but she began to teach Sunday School and after working with the Young People’s Department for several years, she became the chairperson. It was at this storefront church that Michele was found by her future husband, Joel E. Bowdan III. Reflecting on the prayers she prayed long before they met, “Lord, I want a companion who is saved and loves you more than me…” she had no doubt that God had ordained their meeting. They dated for one year and were engaged for two years. After they both graduated from college, they were joined in holy matrimony on June 25, 1994. On October 3, 1995 their first-born arrive, Joel E. Bowdan IV.
In 1996, the compelling of the LORD caused Joel to move the family’s membership to Intercessions Word Ministry where Joseph R. Hewitt was the Pastor. It was a new season and a new day! God began a tremendous spiritual outpouring and inputting. First, He revealed to her the necessity for intimacy through worship. Then he made her one of the instruments to lead God’s people into His presence. Michele became one of the five members of the Praise and Worship team under the direction of Co-Pastor Portia Hewitt. This new understanding of worship opened ministerial doors that Michele never imagined. She began ministering the word of God in 1997, and in subsequent years became a licensed minister of the gospel. She taught Sunday School and a regularly scheduled session on Spiritual Gifts and Calling during the annual twelve-week New Membership Academy. She was advisor to the Youth Department, member of the New Birth Department preparing candidates for baptism and praying with souls at the altar, and a member of the Women’s Advisory Board. Michele’s special love for the youth and unmarried afforded her the opportunity to conduct instructional sessions where she could share her experiences, encourage them, and enable them to share as well. God knew where to place her to nurture the gifts within her that she did not realize existed.
In April 1998, God increased the family by adding a daughter, JaLyn, and again in June 2002 with daughter Christiana. With an increased familial responsibility, Michele began to focus her involvement to pulpit ministry, the Praise and Worship Team, and Women’s Advisory staff.
Michele told her husband when she married him that she would go where he went, similar to Ruth’s declaration to Naomi. In 2003, God began to prove Michele’s words as He impressed upon Joel that the time to return home to San Diego, California was drawing near. Believing the unctioning of God’s spirit and agreeing with her husband, she made plans to relocate. In July 2004 at the age of 35 and no promise of employment in California, Michele submitted her resignation to the Detroit Board of Education after being in the District for nine years teaching English and Latin at Thomas M. Cooley High School. On July 18, 2004, Pastor Joseph Hewitt supported and sanctioned Michele’s separation from IWM in a joint-ordination service with her husband, and commended her to the fellowship of servanthood as a member of Word for Life Ministries under the pastorate of Pastor Joel E. Bowdan II and Co-Pastor Christina Bowdan. Only God’s purpose could comfort her as she left her natural family, church fellow-laborers, friends and familiar surroundings of the Detroit metropolitan area.
Michele merely picked up where she left off, finding whatsoever she could do: singing, ministering/teaching, and counseling. By October 2004 Michele was hired by the San Diego Unified School District, and is currently teaching eighth graders at Farb Middle School in Tierrasanta, a community of San Diego. If the meaning of the community’s name, Holy Land, were not a sign of God’s favor on her profession, what would be?
In January of 2007, God opened a new chapter in Michele’s life, as her husband was appointed Senior Pastor of Word for Life Ministries. She is allowing God to continue to write her life story while she serves in a new leadership capacity of Co-Pastor with the wisdom and support of Pastor Emeritus Joel E. Bowdan II and Lady Christina Bowdan.