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905 High Street Hackettstown, NJ 07840

Fowler III, Rev. Dr. Frank L. May 21, 2021

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:

Arrangements under the direction of the Cochran Funeral Home, 9905 High Street, Hackettstown, NJ.  online condolences may be left at


  1. REPLY
    Nancy and Jerry Rhines says

    Karen and family, we were so shocked to hear of Frank’s illness and now his passing! Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you during these trying times. Know that he has prepared his entire life and now it is his time to reap his rewards!

  2. REPLY
    steve kirchuk says

    So sorry to hear of Frank’s passing.

  3. REPLY
    Sharon Housel says

    We are saddened to hear about Rev. Fowler. Our condolences to all whose hearts were broken by this loss. Sincerely, Sharon and Pat Housel (Florida)

  4. REPLY
    Siena says

    Dear Karen and Trinity family, we send our deepest sympathy and heartfelt prayers to you all! Bob and Debbi Siena

  5. REPLY
    Diane Nordberg says

    Karen, Faith,and Christiana and family members…I am deeply sorry about hearing about Rev. Frank, your husband, and father, our dearest friend..I have loving memories of him and many of you coming into my store ..Agape Love…I truly love you all and we all will spend eternity together ..I am in Virginia now..Not being able to come see you..but, always in my heart 🙏❤️

  6. REPLY
    Carole Lanterman says

    So sad to hear the news about Frank, He was a good friend and helped us in are time of need , Always a smile . We were proud and honored to know him. God Bless all of you. Bruce and Carole and Eric Lanterman.

  7. REPLY
    Susan Kimel says

    I am thinking of you all and praying for peace in these difficult times.
    God bless you all. Susan Kimel

  8. REPLY
    Sarah Hergert says

    We were saddened to hear of Pastor Frank’s sudden illness and passing. We will miss his smile and warm words. Blessings to you all. Dave and Sarah Hergert

  9. REPLY
    Carole Barber says

    Dearest Faith, Solomon, and Sarah Grace,
    Sending my love and condolences to you from Harrisonburg. Wish I could be there with you. I hope to see you when you return home. You are in my prayers.

    Carole Barber

  10. REPLY
    Janet H Schuring says

    Dr, Fowler and I shared the same birthday, but we never knew our ages! He will be sorely missed and fondly remembered by those of all age levels. “Well done good and faithful servant! ” May God bless him in Heaven and all his sheep here on earth.

  11. REPLY
    Paul & Robin Wallace says

    Dear Fowler Family
    My Wife Robin and I were both Saddened at Pastor Frank’s Illness, and to Hear of His Home going, and though the assurance through Jesus Christ our LORD tells us we will all see Pastor Frank when we too finish our Earthly assignment, the sting of the parting is still real.
    We pray our FATHER in Heaven will provide the Comfort only HE can as you walk through this Valley.
    Pastor Frank truly was our Community Pastor and I could never thank Him enough for encouraging me to pursue the Pastorate myself even though I was 51 and thought I might have been to old.
    Pastor Frank not only wrote a letter helping me get into Knox Theological Seminary, but also shared, “Paul This is my life (the Pastorate) I don’t plan to retire”.
    Pastor Frank lived that, and is my example.
    May the LORD Bless you all during this time of mourning.
    In Christ alone
    Reverend Paul & Robin Wallace

  12. REPLY
    Kathy & Joe Rich says

    To the entire Fowler family, so sorry to hear of Dr. Franks’ passing. He was a well respected pillar of the Hackettstown community and will be missed by all.

  13. REPLY
    Chick and Linda Dimiceli says

    Our condolences to the Fowler family.Knew Frank as a kid growing up. Never met someone so fitting for the job he chose in life.He was always so caring and wonderful man.He will be missed. God bless

  14. REPLY
    Sandy Reilein says

    A very caring, compassionate person that left this world a
    better place than when he entered it. His friends around
    Kezar Lake will miss him & smile at all the happy memories
    we had with Karen & Frank.

  15. REPLY
    Karen Kovarik says

    We send our love and prayers to the whole Fowler family. My family has been blessed by Frank’s ministry for over 30 years, and we will miss him more than we can say. He was a man of deep faith who put that faith to action, leading his church in outreach to our local community and beyond, spreading the love and word of Christ with all.

  16. REPLY
    Tamra Swaim says

    Karen and family, I am so sorry to hear of Frank’s passing. I never had the pleasure of meeting him in person but his obituary shows a life well lived. He filled his life in service and love of Christ.
    What wonderful memories you have.
    You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  17. REPLY
    Rev Andrew Miller says

    Dear Christina and Family,
    We were so saddened to hear of your father’s passing—and it is a passing— from death to life. While we celebrate your dad’s eternal life, you are left with a deep loss. Since God never meant for us to be separated by death, I believe that our grieving is truly a longing for eternal fellowship.
    Lisa and I, along with all of the HeartSync community hold you in our love and prayers as you grieve this great loss—not only today, but also in the days to come.

  18. REPLY
    Deb Leap says

    Faith and family, Your grief and joy for a father, grandfather, husband and friend are felt. May your days include the joy with the grief and may the memories never cease. Love, Deb

  19. REPLY
    JEAN FELLER says

    My sincere condolences to the Fowler family, sending thoughts and prayers to you all during this very difficult time.

    Jean Feller (Houston, Texas)

  20. REPLY
    Deb Rogers connor says

    While this is coming months late, i wanted to say how sorry I am. I didn’t even know him other than my cousins getting married by him, baptisms, and being part of my cousin’s church family. He was always such a nice real person so im sure he’ll do great with all family & friends in heaven!

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