Meet Rebecca Lynn Wharton Bowers
Rebecca Lynn Wharton Bowers
Master of Pastoral Care and Counseling (Clinical)
What is your hometown and educational background?
I was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, attended Parkview Baptist School through high school, and then went to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, where I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in communication.
How has your time at Garrett-Evangelical shaped your ministry and calling?
I served as a psychotherapist intern for the Center for Religion and Psychotherapy as part of my internship and graduation requirement in the master of pastoral care and clinical counseling program. During my time as an intern, I worked with people struggling with depression, anxiety, trauma, and LGBTQ-related trauma and issues. I have seen that my time as a deacon in the Louisiana Conference will be best served as a therapist for young people and youth, in consultation with pastors and church staff. I enjoy working with others to support the church, but I especially feel called to work with individuals both inside and outside of the church walls. The students and staff at Garrett-Evangelical taught me to fight for what I believe in and to stand up and be as vocal as I can about change. They taught me to never stop learning, to never stop reading, and to never stop fighting for equal rights.
What is your most transformative experience at Garrett-Evangelical?
My first advisor, Dr. Pamela Holliman, taught my first pastoral care course at Garrett-Evangelical. This first course created the foundation I needed to start my journey toward being a licensed counselor, pastoral counselor, and deacon in The United Methodist Church. This course taught me to widen the scope of church work beyond the church walls and showed me how important relationships are in ministry. I feel that through relationships in ministry, we, as followers of Christ, begin to embody Christ’s work while He was physically on Earth. I believe that Christ often showed us that by sitting in relationship with others, both individually and with the masses, the hard work of God and how the Word is spread with glorious joy. Holliman taught me all of this and more in my introduction to pastoral care course.
What are your plans or your hopes for your future?
My hope is that I keep my life, my words, and my spaces open and safe for others to find comfort. My hope is that churches and people of religion may one day emphasize words of love, grace, kindness, and support in the journey toward sacred peace. I hope to provide more inclusive spaces for LGBTQ youth and hope to create a steadfast support system for pastors and church staff in the Louisiana Conference. I have accepted a job at a private practice counseling group in Louisiana, where I will be able to live out my call to ministry.