After traveling the world, Rowland settles in Ferriday to preach

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 29, 2000

FERRIDAY, La. – The Rev. Bob Rowland brings 21 years experience as a Navy chaplain to his new job as pastor of Sevier Memorial United Methodist Church.

Rowland traveled the world as a chaplain and spent four years as a civilian pastor before moving to Ferriday last month.

Rowland said he believes God has been in control of his life throughout his travels.

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&uot;I felt that I was due to be in the ministry. God made it happen,&uot; he said.

&uot;I felt that I was due to be in the chaplaincy. God made it happen.&uot;

Rowland, who said he considers Louisiana his home, enlisted in the Navy during the 1960s and was stationed in New Iberia.

Later, her returned to attend undergraduate school and then the seminary before becoming a Navy chaplain.

While serving the navy, Rowland and his wife, Glenver, lived around the world, including Alaska, Okinawa and Japan.

As a chaplain, Rowland said he preached many sermons and did a great deal of counseling.

He sees his work in the Navy as similar to the work he will do at Sevier Memorial.

&uot;I don’t think there’s a lot of difference in the way you deliver ministry,&uot; Rowland said. &uot;You’re still interacting with people.&uot;

But in the military, Rowland thinks everything moved at a faster pace.

For example, everyone immediately knows they can talk confidentially with the chaplain as soon as he arrives on base, Rowland said. In the civilian world, it takes a longer to build those relationships.

&uot;You have to build the rapport with people, and they have to learn they can trust you,&uot; Rowland said. &uot;Things move a lot slower on civilian counseling or consultation.&uot;

But when asked one of things he liked about being a civilian minister, Rowland said with a laugh &uot;you don’t have to worry about your haircut.&uot;

As a minister and counselor, Rowland thinks it is important to be direct in helping people, such as when counseling engaged couples.

&uot;I don’t do you a favor if I conduct your marriage and in six months you’re divorced,&uot; he said.

While at Sevier Memorial United Methodist Church, Rowland and his wife hope to see the church become more active and grow in attendance.

The Rowlands have one college-age daughter, Elizabeth.