Sketches Of

Tennessee's Pioneer Baptist Preachers


(page 67)

John Leonard Bowers was born in Carter County, Tennessee, July 30, 1830.   He was a son of John T. and Mary L. Bowers.  He was a namesake of this grandfather, Elder J. L. Bowers, who came from near Philadelphia, Pa., and at an early day was a pioneer Baptist preacher in North Carolina.   His mother was a Lincoln, kinswoman of Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States.

Brother Bowers made a profession of religion under the preaching of Elder James B. Stone, and was baptized and ordained by him, by the authority of the Watauga Church.  More than twenty years ago I stayed all night with Brother Bowers, and learned from him that he had been "pastor of Harmony Church sixteen years; Siam Valley, or Doe River, Church sixteen years; Holly Springs and Butler, fourteen years; Sugar Grove, Pleasant Grove, and Doe churches" for some two or three years.

The house I stayed all night in, on the occasion of my visit to Brother Bowers, was one of note.  Brother Bower had been married three times, and there had been born to him and his three companions twenty-five children in one house - the house in which I was being entertained. 

I found Elder Bowers to be a man of good sense and piety, solid and well grounded in Baptists principles and doctrines, of good standing among the churches, and a useful minister.   He had been pulling in the Baptist harness for more than thirty years, with a fair promise of a dozen more years of active labors before him.   I have not heard from him for several years,  but I presume he has gone to his reward.


Burnett, J .J.  Sketches of  Tennessee's Pioneer Baptist Preachers.  Nashville, Tenn.:  Press of Marshall & Bruce Company, 1919.


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