Every year the ABCCR Ministers Council Executive Committee selects from among Central Region clergy, one whose life and ministry exemplifies faithful Christ-like service that portrays the legacy of a life given in service to Christ and His church.
This year’s Legacy Award was presented to Rev. Bill and Carole Cowell of Victory Village, “For showing God’s unconditional, healing love to teenage girls for 50 years!”
Bill and Carole both grew up in Kansas. Bill studied Agriculture at Kansas State University, and while there was heavily involved in Intervarsity, Campus Crusade and other ministries. Through this campus involvement, his love for people and desire to do full-time ministry grew. Answering this call of God at 21, he went on to earn his Master of Divinity at Wheaton College, near Chicago.
Meanwhile, Carole was attending Moody Bible Institute in Chicago and studying Christian Education and Missions. Bill and Carole met at Moody during a campus visit from Bill, and they were married in 1963. Carole later received her Bachelor’s degree from Liberty University.
After Bill’s graduation from Wheaton in 1965, they returned to Kansas and began pastoral ministry in Hoisington. Later, while pastoring a church in Marion, they found a young boy in jail for not going to school. They took him into their own home and cared for him. After the boy left, they took in two girls, and later three more.
As their ministry to wounded youth grew, they started praying for property, and also for individuals who would be interested in supporting this new work.
In May of 1970, they found a piece of land covered with grass and trees near Hutchinson.
In November, Heart Ministries was incorporated; and the land was dedicated and named Victory Village.
Work was begun on a girl’s dormitory and school, and the ministry of showing God’s love and compassion to teen age girls continues today.
To learn more about the work and ministry at Victory Village, click here.