Rev. L. R. (Ray) Bowling
Lehman Raymond Bowling was born on August 29, 1943 in Missouri. He was the youngest of seven children. While he was not raised in the Truth, when he was 17 years old, he was invited by an older brother to a little store-front church in Crystal City, Missouri where he repented. He was baptized in Jesus name and received the Holy Ghost the following week at Lemay, Missouri. He graduated from Herculaneum High School in Missouri and went on to start a job in building houses.
He married Tonya Jones on March 3, 1962 and along with her, worked at the Pentecostal Publishing House in St. Louis, Missouri. He was Assistant Pastor at the United Pentecostal Church in Festus after accepting his call to the ministry at age 29. Bro. Bowling received his ministerial license with the UPCI in 1973 and was later Ordained in 1975.
He left the Publishing House to work for Stark Printing in St. Louis Missouri where he worked for 15 years, in which 7 of those years, he drove 70 miles a day one way while pastoring in Farmington. He became the Pastor of the United Pentecostal Church in Farmington, Missouri in 1973, where he pastored until 1980. During this time, he served as the Section Sunday School Director and Section Youth Director for the Missouri District. Sis. Bowling also served in the capacity of Sectional Ladies Leader.
Bro. Bowling resigned the church in Farmington and moved to Springhill, Louisiana to assist their former pastor, Bro. Gerald Trammell, from Festus. They helped Bro. Trammell until May 1981 when they become the Pastor of Ballard’s Chapel in Jayess, Mississippi. The church later changed its name to Calvary United Pentecostal Church where Pastor and Sister Bowling have remained for 38 years.
During their time in Mississippi, Bro. Bowling has served as Section 11 Sunday School Director, MS District Sunday School Secretary, on various committees, Section 11 Presbyter for 16 years and has been an Honorary Presbyter for 14 years and is also presently serving as the District Minister of Comfort. Bro. Bowling received an Honorary Degree in Theology from Jackson College of Ministry in May of 2001. Not only has Bro. Bowling served the Mississippi District well, but Sis. Bowling has served as Section 11 Ladies Leader, MS District Ladies Secretary and MS District Ladies President.
Bro. and Sis. Bowling have been married for 57 years. They came to Mississippi with three teenaged children and their family has grown to 8 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren.
Bro. Bowling has been licensed with the United Pentecostal Church International for over 46 years.