Longtime Episcopal leader, RPM Bowden, dies at 80. Rest in Peace and Rise in Glory!
RPM Bowden, lifelong Episcopal churchman, dies at 80
From Episcopal News Service
RPM Bowden, a lifelong Episcopal churchman who served as a deputy to 10 General Conventions and two terms on the church's Executive Council, died Oct. 5 in Atlanta after an extended illness. He was 80.
Born Richard Perry Milas Bowden in San Antonio, Texas, he was known throughout the church simply as "RPM." He was the eldest of three sons born to an Episcopal priest, the Rev. Henry Bowden, and Minnie Lee Bowden of Atlanta. He was proud of saying that he first donned the vestments of an acolyte at the age of 2.
From Texas he moved in 1934 to North Carolina, where his father was rector of St. Mark's, Wilmington. Another call in 1946 took the family to Tuskegee, Alabama, and St. Andrew's Episcopal Church. As a 1950 graduate of Tuskegee Institute, Bowden came to Atlanta to teach at Booker T. Washington High School. He remained an educator and administrator for more than 40 years, teaching instrumental music and later focusing on community education. He was inducted in 2002 into the National Community Education Association Hall of Fame.
Bowden was sent to General Convention from the Diocese of Atlanta for the first time in 1973. He was elected a deputy seven more times and as an alternate deputy twice, filling in both times for other deputies. He also was elected to serve on the Episcopal Church's Executive Council from 1994 to 2000 and from 2003 to 2009.