JP Rowan will be missed by many. 

The longtime pastor of Springdale Baptist Church is being remembered as a good man who loved the Lord with all his heart and who was always sharing the word of the Lord. 

Rowan served as pastor of Springdale Baptist church in Boaz for 48 years before retiring in 2016. 

“He used to come up here to the police department for years,” said Assistant Boaz Police Chief Walter “Little John” Colbert. 

“He would minister to the officers and the inmates. He would preach to them, and then he would come out and talk to us and pray with us.

“He also used to do programs at the schools. 

“He was an awesome guy.”

Rowan, 90, died Feb. 17, 2021, at Shepherd’s Cove Hospice. 

He is survived by his son and daughter-in-law, Rodney James and Renea Rowan, of Guntersville; daughters and son-in-law, Margaret Rebecca Battles, of Altoona, and Deborah Evelyn and Lynn Bayne, of Sardis City; five grandchildren; six great-grandchildren, and a sister, Lillian Crim.

Services were Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021, at 3 p.m. at McRae Funeral Home Chapel with Bros. Ricky Williams and Nick Bayne officiating. Burial was in Hillcrest Cemetery. Visitation was from 1 to 3 p.m. at the funeral home with strict adherence to wearing of masks and social distancing mandates.

Shared memories

Several residents took to Facebook to share their memories of Rowan after Boaz Police shared news of his death. 

“He was such a sweet, Godly man,” wrote Stephanie Dawn Yates. “Anywhere he went, he would tell people about his Jesus. I always loved seeing him walk through the doors at work, with his Bible in hand, excitement on his face and love in his heart!”

Donna McCormick wrote about how Rowan would get “excited for God” while pastor at Springdale Baptist Church in Boaz. 

“I absolutely loved to hear him preach about our wonderful savior,” she wrote. “I’ve seen him get so excited for God, he’d kick his shoes off and run around the church with pure excitement.”

John Anderson remembered him reading his Bible.

“I saw him in the cafeteria reading his Bible many times,” Anderson wrote. “He always brightened my day and was a blessing to everyone he encountered.”

Springdale Church

Current Springdale Baptist Church Pastor Andy Sims said although Rowan served the church for many years both in and out of retirement, he held a special place in many hearts. 

“Whether you are a member of our church now or you used to go here, you know his impact went a lot further that this church,” Sims said. 

“Even the workers at Gadsden hospitals asked if he was ‘THE famous Bro. Rowan.’ Any fame he had had to do with his witnessing and work for the Lord. Jesus was his savior and he wanted to share that with everyone. He’s been a faithful warrior.”

Sims said Rowan took young pastors under his wing, giving them the opportunity to preach and learn from him.

“He would talk to us about marriage even before some of us were married,” Sims said. “He walked about how he made it his business to make his wife happy.

“He showed us his prayer place at his home and prayed with us. He taught us how to get ready for a revival.

“He meant a lot to us. He witnessed, whether at lunch or somewhere else. He always had a word for the Lord. He just wanted to see people be saved.”

No fear

Colbert said Rowan was never afraid to share his faith with others.

“He told me one time that he was going to witness to a motorcycle gang,” Colbert said. “This was somewhere in Etowah County. He got out of the car and witnessed to them. When he got back into the car, he said his spine was really rattling the seat, he was nervous about facing that gang.

“Now, whether it was truly a motorcycle gang or just a bunch of rough-looking guys who happened to ride motorcycles, I couldn’t say. But nothing stopped Bro. Rowan from ministering.”

Sims said Rowan seemed to be ready to preach at a moment’s notice. 

“He was so bold,” Sims said. “He would walk the halls of the hospital and visited people he didn’t even know, just to let them know someone was praying for them.

“I spent a little time with his family before he died. He was ready to go. He was prepared in his soul.”

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