Bayhealth is pleased to welcome new Chaplain Blake Bowers of Smyrna to meet the spiritual needs of patients and employees.
Bayhealth Chaplains may be called upon by patients and their families, as well as employees, to provide services such as bedside communion, emotional and spiritual support, counseling and comfort, and much more.
Bowers’ Bayhealth roots go way back – in fact, he was born at Kent General, graduated from Smyrna High School and has remained a life-long Smyrna resident throughout his military and divinity career. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in Bible and Theology from United Wesleyan College in Allentown, Pa., he next received his master’s degree in divinity with a concentration in counseling from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., where he has also completed post-graduate work.
In 1989, Bowers was accepted active duty in the U.S. Army Chaplain Corps, where he served until his retirement as a Major in June 2009.
“I was raised in a very conservative Christian home where church was a way of life,” he said. “I had been told I would make a good minister, and I believe that God calls people to their lives’ work, and I felt it was my calling. I come from a family committed to public service so that’s ingrained in me. While in seminary, I thought about military chaplaincy so I pursued that goal and the rest is history.”
During his time in the service, Bowers served in various locations, including deployments in the old Soviet bloc, Germany and Iraq, where he was responsible for the pastoral needs of hundreds to thousands of soldiers depending on his assignment.
After his retirement, he worked for the State of Delaware as a Chaplain at the Delaware Home for the Chronically Ill in Smyrna before joining Bayhealth.
“I was attracted to Bayhealth because I was looking for a very challenging position that would allow me to grow professionally, teach, plan and have a voice in the organization,” he said. “I am very pleased about the possibilities here. There is a lot of potential here and I am looking forward to the many opportunities.”
Bowers also serves as Chaplain to the Delaware Volunteer Firefighter Association, the Kent County Volunteer Firefighter Association, the Kent County Volunteer Chiefs Association, and the Citizens Hose Company in Smyrna, where he has also served as a volunteer firefighter since April 1975. Bowers is the Senior Vice Commander for VFW Post 8801 in Smyrna and is also on the State of Delaware Critical Incidence Stress Management Response Team. He is ordained with the Evangelical Association of Christian and Reformed Churches.
In his spare time, he enjoys riding his 2009 Harley Davidson Electra Glide Classic, hunting, traveling, reading and going to the beach. He and his wife Debbie have five children combined and two grandchildren.