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History: Clifton L. Fowler Biography

Clifton L. Fowler

The CCU library was dedicated in October 1974 to our institution's founder, Clifton LeFevre Fowler. He was born at Kirksville, Missouri, on August 7, 1882, of Scotch ancestry. At the age of eighteen he had a conversion experience through an invitation to attend a Bible class at the Y.M.C.A. He joined the Methodist Church, but his chief interest was the Y.M.C.A. where he was employed as a personal counselor. He was noted for being zealous in witnessing.

For health and personal reasons, Fowler found himself in Denver. While there, Fowler rededicated his life to the Lord and began preaching in a Methodist mission church in Denver. Fowler continued with the Methodist church for a time, preaching at the mission church and attending Trinity Methodist. However, as a result of C. I. Schofield’s teachings and the influence of friends, he found that his own beliefs concerning Christ’s second coming and the security of all Christians in their salvation were the same as that of the Baptists. In time, he was baptized and joined the Baptist church. One day while kneeling in prayer at a pastor’s home, there came to Fowler the idea of establishing a school where the Bible could be taught just as it was written, a dream which came to fulfillment ten years later.

During a two-year stint in pastoral ministry in Palisade, CO, Fowler was ordained as a Baptist Minister. Following this, he went to Liberty, Missouri, and attended William Jewell College, a Baptist institution. After completing his studies, Fowler matriculated in the college. He displayed his talent in teaching for five years while continuing to preach. Here in Liberty he first began teaching informal Bible classes for William Jewell students. In 1910, Rev. Fowler began publishing his teachings in Grace and Truth, a monthly magazine, which he later continued to publish in Denver.

He did not forget his earlier calling to establish a Bible Institute in Denver. At the time, there were no Bible Institutes in Denver, and in 1914 at the age of thirty-two, he moved back to Colorado and launched Denver Bible Institute. He served in various capacities as Dean or President from 1914 to 1937, when he retired.