H I S T O R Y
T H E V I S I O N A R I E S : J O E L I I & C H R I S T I N A
Pastor Emeritus Joel Bowdan II was born and raised in beautiful San Diego, CA. The eldest of five children, Joel was taught, nurtured and mentored in the ways of the Lord from an early age. Following the example of his parents and grandparents, he was obedient to the Gospel of Christ and was baptized in Jesus Name at the age of nine and filled with the Holy Ghost at the age of eleven.
On November 5, 1966, Joel married a faithful servant of the Lord and his soul mate, Christina Graham. "Tina," as she is affectionately known by family and friends, is a compassionate, inspirational, and courageous vessel of God. Full of wisdom and power under the anointing of the Holy Spirit, she operates in the ministry bringing healing, comfort, restoration, encouragement and spiritual guidance through the preaching and teaching of God's Word.
From 1967 through 1999, Joel and Christina faithfully served under the pastorate of the late District Elder Dr. Andrew Cross at Apostolic Faith Garden of Prayer, and later, under the pastorate of Bishop Ray Trout at North Park Apostolic Church. The two served in various capacities over the years: VP of the Corporation, Head Deacon, Sunday School Superintendent and Teacher, Apostolic Bible College Instructor, Church Musician, Assistant Pastor, Board Trustee, and Women's Conference Instructor (to name a few!).
In 2000, with uncertain yet obedient hearts, Joel and Christina began a new ministerial work together under the leading and guidance of the Holy Spirit. Their vision, standing on the Apostles doctrine, was to "heal, repair and restore lives back to Christ through the preaching and teaching of the unadulterated Word of God." Their desire was to create a community of belivers that would cross racial barriers, creeds and denominations. The ministry began with Bible Study classes taught in their home and later grew into a new church ministry, Word For Life Ministries, Inc. Pastoring and laboring together, Joel and Tina have witnessed God repeatedly bless the ministry they began to be a place where souls are nurtured and empowered through the Word of God.
In January 2007, again by the leading of the Lord and also due to health related issues, Pastor Joel and Co-Pastor Christina Bowdan II relinquished their positions and passed on the torch to Joel Bowdan III and his wife, Michele, to continue in their footsteps pressing forward with the ministry. Joel II and Christina now serve as consulting leaders of WFLM as Pastor Emeritus and Associate Pastor, respectively.
T H E T O U R C H - B E A R E R S : J O E L I I I & M I C H E L E
Pastor Joel Bowdan III is the current leader and shepherd of the WFLM family. The eldest of three children born to Joel II and Christina Bowdan, Joel was baptized in Jesus’ name and filled with the Holy Ghost at the tender age of seven. As a young man, Joel was fully persuaded through inquiry and study to follow Christ, and grew up under leaders including the late Doctor Andrew Cross, late Bishop Ray Trout, late District Elder Jerry Lewis, and District Elder Clifton Hoke.
When his original career plan (and back-up plans) were divinely modified and rescripted by God, Pastor Joel found himself in Michigan -- right where God wanted him to be. While in Michigan, he received his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering, became licensed as a Professional Civil Engineer, and most importantly, received his ministerial training and pastoral ordination under one of his spiritual fathers, Pastor Joseph R. Hewitt.
It was also while residing in Michigan that Joel married his "rib" from God, a beautiful young woman named Michele. Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, Michele began her walk with the Lord at the age of 13 and never looked back. Just before entering her third year of college, Michele felt the prompting of God directing her to teach -- and she has done just that, acting as both a natural and spiritual teacher through the years. Together, Joel and Michele served from 1996 to 2004 at Intercessions Word Ministry (now Reconciliation Word Ministry, Int'l) as worship leaders and ordained ministers, learning and growing in their God-given spiritual gifts.
After being in Michigan for sixteen years, Joel felt God’s leading to return home to assist his parents, Joel II and Christina Bowdan, founders of Word For Life Ministries. In 2004, God opened the door for Joel and Michele to make the big move to San Diego with their three children, Joel IV, JaLyn, and Christiana. Joel received the pastoral mantle from his father in 2007 and continues to faithfully serve God’s people as Senior Pastor of Word for Life Ministries.