Fred Lynn Lowery (born March 16, 1943) is the retired senior pastor of the large First Baptist Church of Bossier City in northwestern Louisiana, whose Sunday sermons under the title "The First Word" was broadcast on KTBS-TV, the ABC affiliate in Shreveport, and on several cable television outlets.
Lowery's father was a Baptist pastor, also named Fred L. Lowery. His mother, the former Esther Burkhalter resided in Hurst, Texas, prior to her death in July 2013. Lowery's younger brother, John Daniel Lowery of Aiken, South Carolina, a former automobile salesman and dealer and an Alabama native, died in 2013 at the age of sixty-eight. He has a sister, Jeannie Metts and husband H. Leroy "Roy" Metts of Colleyville, Texas, and another brother, Dr. Charles S. Lowery and wife Penny of Plano, Texas.
Lowery received his Bachelor of Arts from Samford University in Homewood, a suburb of Birmingham, Alabama, a Master of Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Luther Rice University, then in Jacksonville, Florida. While at SWBTS, Lowery was accepted into the honors program to participate in interdisciplinary seminars at the doctoral level. He was the recipient of the Sella P. Ross Award for scholarship and service in the field of evangelism. He was a teaching fellow in both evangelism and church growth. Prior to coming to First Baptist Bossier in 1983, Lowery worked full-time in evangelism and served as pastor of First Baptist Church of North Spartanburg in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
Lowery and his wife, the former Lisabeth Leigh Jones (born 1951), whom he frequently mentions in his sermons, have two daughters, Christy Camille Lowery Faciane and Shelby Lynn Lowery Koch. He previously lived in Homer in Claiborne Parish, Louisiana, Avon Park in Highlands County in southern Florida, and Inman in Spartanburg County in northwestern South Carolina.
Called to the ministry in 1960 at the age of seventeen, Lowery came to First Baptist Bossier in 1983 at the age of forty. Since that time, FBC has added a 2,500-seat worship center, remodeled each building on campus, purchased additional land, and added a children's addition, and a state-of-the-art preschool building called Tiny Town. Lowery bases most of his sermons on the themes: "Faith, Family, and Friends" and "Steps to Restoring Relationsips".
First Baptist Bossier has more than seven thousand members. Lowery's website describes the pastor as having "a wonderful sense of humor, [who] goes straight to God's word and offers fresh insight as he communicates the truth of Christianity in practical ways. To him, life's bottom line is faith, family and friends." The First Word broadcasts, which began in June 1983, air at 7 a.m. Central Time Sundays. For a number of years, Lowery's broadcast has been the top-rated Sunday program in the tri-state area of northwestern Louisiana, east Texas, and southwestern Arkansas. Sermons can also be accessed at SermonSearch.com.
Upon his retirement, Lowery was succeeded as pastor by the Reverend Brad Jurkovich, who came to Bossier City from Lubbock, Texas
Lowery is a former president of the Louisiana Baptist Convention, based in Alexandria, and a former vice president and president of the Pastor's Conference, an influential position, in the Southern Baptist Convention, headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee. At the 1993 Pastor's Conference in Houston, when Lowery was the president, the speakers focused on II Chronicles 7:14 "to encourage and help our pastors as they deal with hurting people. he path of our society is causing incredible problems in the lives of our people." Lowery said at the conference, "We have a moral and spiritual crisis in America today. ... To me our choices are revival or judgment."
Lowery has been a trustee of Louisiana College in Pineville and the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, of which he had been a candidate for the chancellorship in the 1990s.
With Charles Stanley of the First Baptist Church of Atlanta, Georgia, Lowery is the co-author of Making the Bible Clear (1980). Lowery has also written Starting Here, Starting Now: A Christian's Guide to Getting Unstuck (1986), and Home Improvement 101.
Lowery's book Covenant Marriage: Staying Together for Life was published in 2002. According to his website, a Covenant marriage is one designed by God who knows that an otherwise simple "contract, easily cancelled, would not sustain the pain of a flawed marriage. God knew that the inevitable hurts and hassles, storms and struggles, difficulties and disappointments would tear at the heart of a contractual agreement, and it would disintegrate into a thousand pieces scattered along a trail of hurt, horror and hell."
Other Lowery books, published before 2000, are:
- Jogging Through The Bible
- Seven Habits of Highly Successful Marriages
- How to be Happy and Stay Married.
In 2012, Lowery invited the Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum, former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania, to speak at First Baptist Bossier. Before Lowery's congregation, Santourm related his personal and emotional story of the loss of his newborn son, Gabriel, and the trials of a physically-handicapped daughter, Bella. On that same Sunday, Santorum delivered a similar address an hour later at the large Calvary Baptist Church in Shreveport. Days later, he handily won the Louisiana primary but still withdrew from the race early in April after defeat in Wisconsin.
Lowery called Santorum a politician "who really is a statesman and he believes exactly what I believe about faith and family."
- [http://www.shellhousefuneralhome.com/fh/obituaries/obituary.cfm?o_id=2043936&fh_id=11117 John Daniel Lowery (August 21, 1944 – April 3, 2013)]. shellhousefuneralhome.com. Retrieved on May 29, 2013.
- LoweryFeatured Speaker for Oklahoma Baptist University Chapel Service, February 14, 2000. okbu.edu. Retrieved on June 16, 2012.
- Search Results for Lowery, Fred in LA. peoplesearch.com. Retrieved on June 16, 2012.
- Jane Bokun, "Dr. Fred Lowery celebrates 50 years in ministry", Shreveport Times, September 15, 2010
- Dr. Anil & Laura Nanda. Shreveport Times, October 30, 2005. Retrieved on June 20, 2012.
- The First Word with Dr. Fred Lowery. oneplace.com. Retrieved on June 16, 2012.
- Art Toalston, "Pastors' Conference to focus on America's need for revival. Baptist Press, March 31, 1993. Retrieved on June 20, 2012.
- Fred L. Lowery and Charles Stanley, Making the Bible Clear, Love Publishing, 1980, 308 pp., ISBN 0-961079223
- Starting Here, Starting Now: A Christian's Guide to Getting Unstuck, ISBN 0939359006. Love Publishing Company, 1986. Retrieved on June 15, 2012.
- Covenant+Marriage:+Staying+Together+for+Life.&hl=en&sa=X&ei=pTPdT7vfKoHM9QSQqLTwCg&sqi=2&ved=0CEEQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=Covenant%20Marriage%3A%20Staying%20Together%20for%20Life.&f=false Covenant Marriage: Staying Together for Life ISBN 1-58229-393-7. Howard Books. Retrieved on June 16, 2012.
- Juana Summers, "Rick Santorum's faith journey takes center stage", March 20, 2012. politico.com. Retrieved on June 16, 2012.
- Kristi Johnston, "For believers, Santorum's the ticket,". Shreveport Times, March 19, 2012. Retrieved on June 20, 2012.