Westminster Theological Seminary (WTS) will host a celebration dinner in honor of Charles and Alice McGowan on March 2 in Nashville. The event will raise funds for a new scholarship the seminary is establishing in honor of the McGowans.
David Garner, associate professor of systematic theology and vice president for advancement at WTS, said the scholarship fund is to celebrate the ministry and impact of McGowan as a founding father of the denomination, passionate minister, and devoted ministry partner. McGowan is also a longtime board member of the seminary.
“The Lord has used him mightily, and he continues to build into churches in the PCA and beyond through his [pastoral] search service,” Garner said. “We want to do something to honor him and Alice for their years of service.”
McGowan said that WTS embodies the continuation of “old Princeton” theology and the rich tradition of Presbyterianism in America and beyond. “Westminster offers a high-quality education, but also has a worldwide vision and has proved itself to be a significant influence for historic Reformed theology around the world,” he said. “I love the balance of training scholars and pastors.”
The scholarship fund will provide four years of tuition for Master of Divinity students. The seminary hopes to raise enough funds to provide ten scholarships.
Since 1982 McGowan has been a respected leader in the PCA. In addition to pastoring First Presbyterian Church of Dothan (which he helped to leave the Presbyterian Church (US) for the PCA) and Christ Presbyterian Church in Nashville, McGowan has served as moderator of the General Assembly, chairman of Mission to North America, and a member of the Standing Judicial Committee. He also served as moderator of Nashville, Tennessee Valley, and Southeast Alabama presbyteries.
McGowan also founded Fun in the Son Youth Conference in the PCUS and later founded Breakaway Youth Conference for the PCA. Besides serving on the WTS board of directors for nearly 20 years, McGowan also worked on the ministerial advisory board for Reformed Theological Seminary and was a founding leader for the Nashville campus of Covenant Theological Seminary.
In June 2016, McGowan celebrated 50 years of ordained ministry. Though he stepped away from pastoral ministry in 2003, McGowan is not retired. He considers himself “redeployed” to pursue other ventures to benefit the church. Since 2010 he has worked as president of McGowan Search, a pastoral search firm that helps churches — including many PCA churches — identify their next pastor.
McGowan and Alice have been married for 57 years. They have four children, 19 grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.
Online registration for the celebration dinner will be open through February 20. For more information and to register, visit HonorTheMcGowans.com.