We are thrilled to announce Ron Bowell has been confirmed as bishop of the Midwest Regional Conference (Midwest Conference) of the Brethren in Christ U.S., his term starting August 1, 2020, following Perry Engle’s retirement as bishop of the Midwest Conference end of July 2020.
Following Ron’s nomination by the Midwest Conference bishop search committee and approval by the General Conference Board, voting delegates of the Midwest Conference unanimously selected Ron as bishop October 21, 2019.
“I’m personally delighted Ron and his wife, Kerry, have been selected by the denomination,” said Alan Robinson, national director of the BIC U.S. “Ron has greatly influenced the life of the Midwest Conference for more than 30 years, and we are privileged to have the chance to work alongside him in fruitful ministry.”
For 35 years, Ron has been instrumental in the denominational life of the Brethren in Christ. Regionally, Ron has helped revitalize the Midwest Conference. In the 1990s, only three churches remained in Kansas — the state once the denomination’s leader in U.S. and international evangelism. Ron, who at the time was pastoring Zion BIC Church, Abilene, Kansas, envisioned a restored conference: one whose members were reaching outside themselves into the heart of their communities. In 1998, Ron planted CrossRoads Church, the “rock ’n’ roll rehab church” in Salina, Kans. Through CrossRoads Church, Ron began shepherding a growing church planting movement in the conference, which has multiplied to 17 churches today.
Many churches have been birthed out of CrossRoads Church or have had founding pastors whom Ron personally mentored: Rock Island Church, Herington, Kans. (church planter, Shane Britt); LifeHouse Church, Abilene and Solomon, Kans. (church planter, Kerry Coup); Revolution Church, Salina, Kans. (church planter, Jeff Piepho); Aliento de Vida, formerly La Mission El Camino, Salina, Kans. (church planter, Jose Carrillo – currently pastored by Filiberto Zapata).
A leader at regional and national levels of the BIC U.S., Ron has served on the Midwest Conference board of directors; the Midwest Conference church planting team as team leader; General Conference Board, the governance and decision-making entity for BIC U.S.; and the Commission on Ministry and Doctrine, which oversees educational and credentialing processes for BIC U.S. leaders; and other committees. He has also written for the Brethren in Christ Historical Society and various denominational publications.
Having a multifaceted career, Ron formerly was a professional musician. He says he continues to use his musical gifts to raise “God awareness” through producing a radio show and the contemporary Christian music festival Kingdom Jam. Ron has also authored the five-volume devotional series, Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day, whose daily blog is read in more than 80 nations. He received his bachelor’s degree from Kansas State Teachers College, completed the BIC U.S. personal study program, and is a BIC U.S. ordained minister.
Ron and his wife, Kerry, have celebrated 51 years of marriage and have five adult children: Erik, David, Tony, Angela, and Heather. Ron and Kerry reside in Salina, Kans.