Reverend Dr. Frank Lincoln Fowler III of Great Meadows, New Jersey passed away at the age of 72 on Friday, May 21, 2021 at home, surrounded by his family. Dr. Fowler was a light to this world and a dedicated servant of The Lord. With humility he sought to share the love of God and lead the church to be the hands and feet of Jesus to all. His impact on family, friends, church and community was profound and his loss is felt by so many.
He was known for his ability to make others feel heard and loved. Dr. Fowler walked with countless souls through their greatest joys and deepest sorrows. He was a calm, assuring presence in the midst of life’s storms and extended a listening ear and the heart of a father to many along the way.
Dr. Fowler enjoyed nature and he appreciated a good laugh. Fishing, frog catching and storytelling with his grandkids were among his many joys. He recognized that time was a precious gift and he always made himself available to play the banjo and sing silly songs with children of all ages. He was a faithful loving husband and a wonderful father. Those who knew him will continue to celebrate his life and cherish the memories of his warm, welcoming presence and his love for all people.
Born on September 25, 1948, in Newton, New Jersey, Dr. Fowler was the son of Frank Lincoln Fowler, Jr and Grace Elizabeth (Betty) Mitchell Fowler. Upon graduation from Hackettstown High School in 1966, he attended and graduated from West Virginia Wesleyan College in 1970. He entered Wesley Theological Seminary and graduated in 1973 with a Master of Divinity Degree. He subsequently received his Doctor of Philosophy in 1983 from New York University.
Upon becoming an ordained Elder in the United Methodist Church, Dr. Fowler’s ministry spanned 48 years beginning with his pastorates in Plainfield, New Jersey and Newfoundland, New Jersey, before arriving in Hackettstown, New Jersey in 1983 to begin his 38-year service as the Senior Pastor of Trinity United Methodist Church.
Among his many accolades, Dr. Fowler was the recipient of the Denman Evangelism Award of the former Northern New Jersey Annual Conference, the Professional Service Award from the Hackettstown Chamber of Commerce, The Legion of Honor Award from the Chapel of the Four Chaplains, The Dominick V. Romano Volunteer Award from Centenary College, a Community Honoree at the Hackettstown Medical Center Festival of Lights and in 2018 he was inducted into the Warren County Hall of Fame. His numerous writings were published in more than twenty national religious publications and for the last 22 years he wrote a weekly column, “On My Mind,” which led to a compilation of stories in his book entitled Souls Along the Way . In addition, he hosted a radio show on WRNJ called “Let’s Talk About It”, for over twenty years. Of all his accomplishments, the one closest to his heart was that he loved his family well.
Dr. Fowler led eighteen mission trips to Haiti and two to the Dominican Republic. In 2010 while on a mission trip to Haiti, he and his team experienced the devastating 7.0 earthquake. His faith never wavered and he continued to return to Haiti on missions.
Dr. Fowler is survived by his wife of 22 years, Karen Tesh Fowler; daughters Faith Fowler, Angela Fowler-Hurtado (Aldo) and Christina Fowler; stepdaughters Savannah Connolly (Michael) and Emily Watson; grandchildren Solomon and Sarah Grace Fowler Evans, Micaela, Gabriel and Eliana Fowler-Hurtado; step-grandchildren Isaac Sean Evans, and Oliver, Felix and Emmett Connolly; sister Barbara Miller (Ned); mother-in-law Melba Tesh; brothers-in-law Larry Tesh and Clark (Becky) Tesh as well as many loving nieces, nephews and life-long friends. Dr. Fowler was pre-deceased by his parents, an infant son and his brother, James Fowler.
There will be a visitation on Friday, May 28th at Trinity United Methodist Church from 2:00-6:00 An in person and virtual service will be held in the sanctuary at Trinity United Methodist Church on Saturday, May 29th at 11:00 AM. Trinity United Methodist Church is located at 213 Main Street, Hackettstown, NJ 07840. Burial will take place at Pequest Union Cemetery, Cemetery Road, Great Meadows, NJ following the service.
Of his many ministry passions, Dr. Fowler had a lifelong commitment to the people of Haiti and to helping Trinity Church expand its impact and mission. One of his ministry goals was to lead Trinity in paying off the building expansions he led. To those that want to contribute toward his ministry endeavors, gifts may be made to Trinity United Methodist Church (memo Building Fund) or Trinity United Methodist Church (memo Haiti). Checks may be mailed to 213 Main Street, Hackettstown, NJ 07840. For those who desire to share memories and stories of Dr. Fowler, you can do so at: www.catchthespirit.org/our-tribute-to-frank
Arrangements under the direction of the Cochran Funeral Home, 9905 High Street, Hackettstown, NJ. online condolences may be left at www.cochranfuneral.com