CCHO is celebrating 50 years of ministry! Throughout 2019, we will be sharing stories of the lives that have been forever changed by the work God has done through our family of ministries (CCHO, Encourage Foster Care and Encompass Christian Counseling). Today, we celebrate the life and ministry of a man who helped lay the foundation upon which our agency is built. Dennis Bowers, CCHO’s first executive director, is the subject of story #8 from our 50 Stories for 50 Years of Ministry series.
Fifty years ago today, on a Tuesday evening at Rittman First Church of Christ, 12 men were selected as members of the interim Board of Directors for Christian Children’s Home of Ohio (CCHO). Several months later, one of those men would become CCHO’s first executive director while also serving with his wife as the organization’s first set of house parents.
Dennis Bowers and his wife Dorthea faithfully served CCHO for its first decade of ministry. Dennis and Dorthea, along with their three daughters, Debbie, Denise and Darlene (above), lived in the original house on CCHO’s 175 acres of farmland from 1969-‘79, providing faithful guidance and leadership to the fledgling ministry while serving as foster parents to the organization’s first young residents. Dennis and Dorthea also were charter members of Parkview Church of Christ in Wooster. Sadly, on Wednesday, April 3, 2019 – nearly 50 years to the day that he accepted the nomination as one of CCHO’s first board members – Dennis Bowers passed away at the Sycamore Run Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Millersburg, surrounded by his family.
In honor of his life and his service during those first day’s of CCHO’s existence, we wanted to share the official minutes (read below) from that first meeting on April 22, 1969 at Rittman First Church of Christ, along with a photo of Dennis and his family from their time with CCHO. We’re so grateful for people like Dennis, Dorthea and our original board members, whose heart for children in need helped lay the foundation for 50 years of ministry at CCHO.
Original Board of Directors
Ken Bliler (Sherman Church of Christ, Barberton)
Dennis Bowers (Parkview Church of Christ, Wooster)
Paul Carr (Jackson Christian Church, Massillon)
Rev. Paul Carson (Rittman First Church of Christ)
Charles Deitrich (Welcome Church of Christ, Millersburg)
Paul Hubacher (Church of Christ, Orrville)
Rev. Ed Hughes (Parkview Church of Christ, Wooster)
Rev. Bill Keever (Millersburg Church of Christ)
Joe Noll (West Akron Church of Christ)
Rev. Don Scott (Lakeview Church of Christ, Akron)
Mahlon Sommer (Millersburg Christian Church)
Earl Taylor (First Church of Christ, Rittman)
Celebrating Five Decades of Ministry
This story is part of our "50 Stories for 50 Years of Ministry" retrospective. Throughout 2019, we will be sharing 50 stories about the broken hearts, broken people, and broken families that have been made new by a loving and redemptive God. Have your own story about CCHO and our family of ministries? Click the button below to share it with us.
We will also be hosting our 50th Anniversary Celebration Weekend on June 8 & 9. We hope you can join us!