When Dr. H. Frank Collins visited Don Bowles for the first time he asked
him if he was a Christian. Don replied, “Not according to you!”
Dr.Collins was not put off by his smart answer and three months later Don
was saved. Mrs. Collins led Mona to Christ and this led to a lifelong
relationship between the two couples.
Don and Mona were active in Church, and became Sunday School teachers.
After a year they moved to Springfield, MO and Don enrolled in classes at
Baptist Bible College. Due to her family responsibilities, Mona audited
some classes and was active in Women’s Guild, an organization for student’s
wives. Don graduated in 1963 as salutatorian of his class.
The Bowles went to Shelbyville, Indiana where Don worked as associate pastor of
the Baptist Temple. Leading the music program and teaching the young
people were included in his responsibilities. The youth class gave $500 to
their first mission offering and remained faithful. Nine of the young
people followed the Lord and attended Bible College. One of those returned
to Shelbyville and became pastor of the church.
During the time that Don was pastor at Anthony, Kansas, he led Central Baptist
Church in their first mission conference to promise $8,000. During this
time the couple considered going to Hong Kong, but were told they were probably too
old. Later they moved to El Reno, Oklahoma and Don also led the dear people of Bible Baptist Church to hold their first faith promise
mission conference raising $12,000 for missions. During the conference God
spoke to the whole family about going to Korea.
After a year of mission training, Don and Mona along with their six children, Cindy, Christy, Don,
Colleen, Dan, and Carrie arrived in Seoul, Korea. The other missionaries there asked Don to take the oversight of the
Bible College and he reorganized, relocated, and rebuilt the college.
Don was gratified when he returned for a visit in 1996 and saw many of the
pastors were ones he had helped to train and they were still faithful in
the ministry. Upon leaving Korea in 1977 Don was Executive Vice President
of the Atlantic Bible College for a year and then left to pastor in Bloomington, Indiana.
After their children were raised, Don and Mona determined to return to the
mission field. This time they chose to go to Congo and established a Bible
College to help train faithful workers. After the evacuation in 1991, they
moved south to Zambia and helped Faith Baptist Church, the first B.B.F. church in Zambia, to grow and become self supporting with it’s own pastor.
Along with his son, Dan, the Baptist Bible College of Zambia was begun.
To this date there have been 17 graduates from the three/four year course.
Don’s vision for the work is to “commit the things he has heard to faithful
men, who shall be able to teach others also.” (2 Tim. 2:2)