Bowers, John (1)

Bowers, John (1), a British Wesleyan minister, was born at Chester, July 19, 1796. He was brought up in the principles of the Established Church; was converted under the Methodist ministry when seventeen; entered the Wesleyan ministry in 1813; was appointed house governor at Didsbury College in 1843, which position he held until 1864; was for some time general secretary of the Theological Institution. He was president of the Conference in 1858. He retired to Southport in 1864, and died in that city, May 30, 1866. Bowers was an eminent preacher at a time when the British Conference had not a few great preachers. His voice was "rich, varied, mellow, powerful." He made the art of preaching a study; to the preparation of his discourses he devoted indefatigable pains, and in their delivery his action was so finished and theatrical, and his elocution so graceful, that Everett says he might rather have been taken for a disciple of Kean or Kemble than of Wesley. His language was often glaring, yet still "varied, figurative, poetical, chaste, and elevated, showing a man of more than ordinary education." He was a memoriter preacher — "to the word of one syllable," says Everett. His supervision of the institution at Didsbury was eminently successful. See Everett's finely written portraiture, Wesleyan Centenary Takings (3d ed. Lond. 1841), 1, 190 sq.; Minutes of the British Conference — 1866, p. 34; Dr. Osborn in Wesl. Meth. Magazine, March, 1870, art. 1.

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