Bob Cowles, 1922–2013


At its closing meeting on May 20, 1968, the 71st General Council of The Christian and Missionary Alliance elected Rev. H. Robert (Bob) Cowles editor of The Alliance Witness (now Alliance Life), for which he will be profoundly remembered. Bob assumed this role, previously held by President Nathan Bailey, in July 1968 and remained until September 1983. He was later asked to return as interim editor from December 1996 through May 1997.

During his tenure, Bob continued the standard of writing set by previous editors, most notably A. W. Tozer. Bob was best known for his pointed admonishments to the greater church Body to follow hard after Christ and commit herself wholeheartedly to the Great Commission task. In his first editorial, “Time for Revival,” Bob challenged readers to seek personal revival:

Shall revival always elude us? Must this current generation, which has not known revival except in localized instances, be doomed to die without the gracious outpouring of God’s Spirit? Each of us must answer those questions for himself. Or, to put it another way, we can blame no one but ourselves if revival does not come.

Similarly, in his final editorial, “On the Death of a Nation,” Bob made prophetic comparisons between the downfall of the Roman empire and the fate of our own “Christian nation,” if it were to proceed on a path of spiritual decline. He had an undying passion to awaken the Church to its Christ-appointed calling.

During his tenure Bob significantly increased the flow of story reporting from Alliance fields. Under his leadership, the circulation of the Alliance magazine reached its pinnacle, resulting in unprecedented levels of engagement and support from the Alliance constituency.

C&MA leadership and the staff of Alliance Life wish to express our deep gratitude for the rich legacy of journalistic excellence and ministry passion Bob brought to this magazine.

Past Alliance Life Issues


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