District Elder Jesse McDowell, Assistant Pastor
Jesse was born February 20, 1935 in Nashville, Tennessee to Jesse and Ruth McDowell. A short time later, when he was only three months old, his father passed away. His father’s sister, Hazel McDowell Harding, moved to Chicago, Illinois when Jesse was four years old and asked permission to take little Jesse with her. He was then lovingly raised by both his aunt and grandmother. At the age of ten the family relocated to the nearby suburb of Robbins, Illinois
Jesse was not blessed, as some children are, to grow up with a father to talk, play, fish, and interact with as fathers and sons normally do. However, he still realizes that God smiled on him and directed him away from the perils of being involved in street gangs and other activities that would place him in harm’s way. Indeed, it was the hand of God and the faithfulness of loving relatives that enabled him to attend and graduate from Eisenhower High School in Blue Island, Illinois in the year of 1952.
Now, a young man and being full of the Holy Ghost (1952), he went to a Homecoming Convention at Christ Temple Apostolic Faith Church in Nashville, Tennessee, where the late Mother Lena Robertson was pastor. Little did he know that his life would change forever and he would meet the love of his life at that convention, a beautiful saved young lady, Sister Martha Smith. Two years later they were united in holy matrimony. They became the proud parents of ten children—six girls and four boys.
When Jesse was twenty three years old and still raising their children, he saw the need for further education. He enrolled in the Board of Education’s School of Nursing and became a Licensed Practical Nurse. He then enrolled in South Suburban College and earned a degree and became a Registered Nurse. A few years later, he continued his pursuit of higher education and enrolled in Governor’s State University where he majored in Health Administration. He also studied in the Chemistry Program at Purdue University.
Jesse was employed by the state of Illinois for thirty five years. The first few years he worked as a psychiatrist nurse, but later moved up the rank to become a Public Service Hospital Administrator. During his time of employment with the state of Illinois, he had the honor of working with some of the most outstanding psychiatrists in the state as he assisted with group therapy and counseling. He has supervised numerous people on the medical staff as they pursued a level of excellence in patient care.
He did not forget about the Lord as he sought excellence on his job. He remained fervent in his love for God and his people. He and his wife made sure they raised their children to do likewise. After receiving the Holy Ghost at the age of 17, he accepted his call to the ministry. He was ordained at the age of 25 years during a session held at Christ Temple, the mother church (Indianapolis, IN) during the early years of the Pentecostal Church Apostolic Faith Convention.
Elder McDowell served as the Assistant Pastor at the Robbins Pentecostal Apostolic Faith Church under the late Pastor Rinnie Barnes, the wife of the late District Elder Samuel Barnes. Elder McDowell is noted as the first State Youth Chairman of Illinois. However, Elder Jordon was elected as the first chairman. In 1963 he was elected as president of the National Youth Conference of the Pentecostal Churches of the Apostolic Faith, Inc. Elder McDowell was a progressive and innovative youth leader. His ideas and initiatives propelled the PCAF Youth Department to the ranks of the best.
Elder McDowell is also heralded as being the father of the ISYA Convention. His concern for the young people having meaningful activities blossomed into the Illinois State Youth Convention. He is very much acclaimed for his steadfastness in pursuing his goal despite the many obstacles that confronted him. There were those who thought the young people were trying to be carnal because they wanted to host a convention. In spite of the opposition, Elder McDowell persevered and was successful in the establishment of the Young People’s State Convention and a time blocked out for them at both the annual national and mid-winter conventions. He also founded the Illinois State Youth Choir.
In addition to being State Chairman, Elder McDowell served as National Youth Chairman for many years, Sunday School Teacher and Credit Union President.
On June 26, 1994 the late Sr. Pastor, Dr. D. Rayford Bell, appointed him to be the 2nd Assistant Pastor at Christ Temple Apostolic Faith Church. He now has the honor of serving as Assistant Pastor to our present pastor, Bishop Warren Joel Hoard. Elder McDowell loves the Lord and his people. He has joyfully served God for 60 years. Through his witness, one of his brothers, D. Edwards Eubanks, was filled with the Holy Ghost and now serves as Pastor and Bishop of the Greater Faith Temple Apostolic Church in Milwaukee, WI. Elder McDowell truly thanks God for a saved mother, Mother Effie Ruth Eubanks, and for saving all six of his daughter and one son, who have chosen to walk with the Lord. Yet believing God to save the other three sons.
It is truly to God he gives the glory for the things he has done!
Elder Jesse L. McDowell, Assistant Pastor