I found myself walking up to the altar in response to the unmistakable conviction that I was in fact lost in my sins. — Tad Sowers, Assistant Pastor
- Raised on Vashon Island
- Married to K. for nearly three decades.
- Father of six children.
- Former practicing lawyer.
- Earned his B.A. in Drama from Whitman College, Juris Doctorate from UW Law School.
How did you become a Christian? I surrendered my life to Christ in the spring of 1973. Despite my being pretty vocal about my opposition to all things Christian, a long-time friend invited me to church. Out of respect for him, but against my “better judgment,” I decided to try it – once. Once led to twice, and I found myself walking up to the altar in response to the unmistakable conviction that I was in fact lost in my sins.
Then the heart-changing work began… As what I had done began to sink in that first week, I realized that the Lord wanted to do some remodeling in my life. I had a terrible relationship – if you can call it that – with my dad (whose marriage to my mother was in the final stages of coming apart). The Lord told me that He wanted me to reach out and unconditionally love this man for whom I had nothing but hostility in my heart. I said “I can’t find it in me to do that.” He said “I will put a love for your dad in your heart if you will act on it.” I said “Ok – give it your best shot. I’ll do it if You’ll do it.” He then completely changed my heart, and glorified Himself by allowing my father to receive love from the most unexpected of sources. This was a turning point for me in that I learned, first hand, that Jesus spoke the truth when he said “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
So, you didn’t begin your career as a pastor. I practiced law here in town (Olympia) until 1989, when I came on staff at Calvary. (Yep – I went from law to grace!) It was a decision made, again, against my “better judgment.” When K. and I moved to Olympia in 1983, we were intending to stay just one year. (I had a one-year job clerking at the Supreme Court.) We did not want to “church hop,” so we spent about three weeks going to as many churches as we thought we might settle at for the year. Calvary had only about 20 people at the time, so we weren’t too interested. (After all, they obviously would not have a softball team.) But as we prayed about where to land, God told us that He wanted us at Calvary. So what were we supposed to do – defy the omnipotent Creator of the universe?
You have a very supportive wife. I still pinch myself to make sure that I’m not just dreaming that God convinced K. to be my wife back in 1982 – but He did and she is! As the years have gone by, I have learned to apologize for being a selfish jerk and she has learned to forgive me. (The key to marital harmony — right there!) In 1988 the blessings from God (i.e. – kids) started coming, and today we find ourselves with six spread out over 15 years – five girls and one boy. (If any of you young men come calling in the future, don’t be surprised if you find me in the living room cleaning my shotgun.)
You’re a busy guy… Between worship, drama, counseling, teaching, coaching, parenting, husbanding, and giving legal advice, I’m not sure that I have a “specific ministry.” Whatever I find myself doing, I hope it reflects my firm belief that the calling God has placed in all of our lives is to bring glory to Him (Ephesians 1) whatever our circumstances might be. If we could learn to trust in the Lord with all of our heart, and learn not to trust in our own understanding and abilities, we would see Him direct our paths. Proverbs 3:5-6. My vision is to see this mindset reflected more and more in my life and the lives of those around me.