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John Gallatin Rowe  

The History of Bowling Green Methodist Church
The church was organized in 1832 as an Episcopal Church. The original church, which was rectangular in shape and built of brick, is today enclosed in the middle of the present structure. Additions were made to the building in the 1940's using materials salvaged from old Upper Zion Baptist Church when it was torn down to make way for Camp A.P. Hill (Route 301S just before entering Bowling Green)

Rev E. H. Rowe, well-known educator and son of Rev John G Rowe, records it as "a dim recollection" that he heard his father say the first Woman's Foreign Missionary Society ever organized in Methodism was in St Paul's church on Caroline Circuit. This church has a long established custom of setting apart every 5th Sunday for special services under the auspices of this Women's Foreign Missionary Society.

At a session of the Virginia Sunday School Association held in Bowling Green in 1921, the Rev. Andrew Broaddus, D. D., remarked that "The Methodist Church in Bowling Green has more wealth than any other church in Caroline"; to which Rev E H Rowe replied, "I hope that it may be as truly said that our church is equally rich in faith and good works." And it may be stated as a matter of impartial history that Mr Rowe's hope has not only been realized in the Bowling Green church, of which he is a member, but in the world at large, for Methodism has had a salutary effect wherever it has gone.

Originally there were many graves behind this church, but when the landscaping was done these graves were leveled over and there were only two or three mounts left which were still visible in 1937. John Gallatin Rowe's body was moved from behind the church, to further back on the property to make room for a parking lot Nov/Dec 1998.

Many Caroline County families lived on this ground that was taken over by the government. They were displaced, some with no money paid to them for anything, and had to start all over again. The graves that were on the properties taken over the Camp Hill were removed and reburied in the cemeteries just outside of Bowling Green. Many of the Rowes in our line are buried in Lakewood Cemetery in Bowling Green
.
The Episcopal Church membership became so small by 1866 that the members transferred to St. Margaret's Episcopal Church near Ruther Glen. At that time, the building was sold to the Methodists with the consent of the Bishop of the Diocese. The Methodists began it's services in 1866 under the leadership of Rev. John G. Rowe who lies buried back of the church. Rev. Rowe earlier in life was a Baptist minister and converted to Methodism. A tablet in his memory was placed inside the church.

Source: Gloria Gatewood, Wingfield's History of Caroline




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