Jeff was truly regenerated by the grace of God in August 1995. Out of a life style of self-destructive behaviors and the south Florida club scene, he understands firsthand how God saves the least of people and empathizes with those caught up in debilitating patterns.
Two years after conversion he stepped into his first full-time ministry position as a youth pastor for Murray Missionary Church near Bluffton, IN. Those early years serving the Lord vocationally helped him recognize his natural ability to develop infrastructure and create the framework for new ministry projects. From Indiana to Gainesville, Ga, then to Whitefish, Montana, Jeff and his family assisted new ministry startups during the pioneering phases.
After ten years away from the mid-west, six of them being in Montana serving at a discipleship and missionary training school, the Bower family relocated back to Indiana and assisted with another start-up project, House of Hope in Bluffton. After some key ground work was laid within this ministry serving at-risk teen boys, the Lord showed the Bowers the main reason for which He had them come back to the Mid-west – Gospel Community. In 2011 GC Fort Wayne was going through a time of transition and Jeff jumped in to assist where needed. After a few years and God sovereignly working in the leadership team, Jeff now serves as the lead teaching pastor. He considers himself a trophy of God’s amazing grace and a testimony to the faithfulness Jesus has towards His beloved children.
Jeff and Challis have been married since June 1997 and they have four children, Sayda, Solan, Tayden, and Avey, and have been active foster parents since 2014. His schooling includes a B.S. Religion from Liberty Baptist and MACCS (Master of Arts Christian and Classical Studies) from Knox Theological Seminary.
Jeff loves to travel and has been privileged to serve or lead dozens of cross-cultural mission trips. He’s an active kayaker along Fort Wayne’s rivers and always looking for an adventure.