Reverend David P. McDowell

On Sunday, July 18, 2021, loving father and grandfather, loyal husband, and faithful servant of the Lord, David P. McDowell, passed away at the age of 74 at his home in Lancaster, PA.

Dave “Mac” was born on August 27, 1946, in Schenectady, NY.  He graduated from Wheaton College (IL) where he excelled in sports, earning All-American honors in wrestling and excelling on the football field.  He received graduate degrees from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Union Theological Seminary, and a PhD from Trinity Theological Seminary.  His ministry of more than 48 years has involved four pastorates, including serving as Assistant Chaplain at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Pastor of Bethlehem Community Church in Delmar, NY, Senior Pastor of College Church of Northampton, MA, and Senior Pastor of Community Fellowship Church in West Chicago, IL.  He considered these congregations to be filled with wonderful examples of a warm and engaging evangelical faith, unafraid to live out the Gospel.  Most recently, he served as the Interim Chaplain at Wheaton College, IL, and the Chaplain of the Wheaton College Graduate School until his retirement to Lancaster, PA.

Dave leaves behind his wife Gloria (Farneth) McDowell (with whom he recently celebrated 50 years of marriage), his 5 children, Bethany (Peter) Fiorello of Strasburg, PA, Joshua (Wendy) McDowell of Annapolis, MD, James (Stella) McDowell of Lausanne, Switzerland, Jeremy (Danielle) McDowell of West Chicago, IL, and Joy (Seth) Rumsey of Hanover, MD; his sister Judy Van Vorst of Australia; and 12 beautiful grandchildren (whom he loved most of all). He was preceded in death by his parents Joseph W. and Alta M. (Freeman) McDowell, brother Warren T. McDowell, and sister Joyce E. Goff.

Throughout his life, he was heavily involved in Christian summer camp ministries on the East Coast.  He authored four books and also wrote a weekly blog at davemcdowell.org.  Dave’s last book “The Goodness of Affliction”, was written during his bout with cancer, as an encouragement for those who suffer to trust in the Lord’s timing and wisdom.  In his spare time he enjoyed coaching shot put and discus throwers (high school and college), competing in the Senior Olympics, and cheering on the New England Patriots.  He found peace and hope from Jesus.  His life verse that he chose upon ordination was 1 Thessalonians 5:24, “The one who calls you is faithful; He will surely do it.”

If you ever heard him preach, you will know that he often closed his sermons with benedictions.  His favorite one was from Jude 1:24-25, “Now unto him that is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever, Amen.”

Cremation Services of Lancaster     717-273-6283

Condolence Messages

  1. Peter Anderson

    Dear Gloria & family. Our thoughts and Prayers are with you all at the passing of your dear David. We feel so privileged & thankful that we knew him & you & have fond & lasting memories of you both. We have been blessed by his blogs & books he wrote. We send our condolences & love your friends Pete & Lee Anderson.

  2. Cole McDowell

    Hey Bampi,

    I am so thankful for you being my grandpa. I always loved talking with you and sharing opinions with you as well as the bible. I will miss you and thank you for being such a great grandpa and being a person I will always look up to. I also am lucky to share a middle name with you!! Although we will miss you here on earth, I am so glad you are living in peace and joy instead of being in pain with nothing to do about it. We will take care of Grammy for you! I miss you already.

    Love Always,

    (Your favorite grandkid) Cole DAVID McDowell

  3. Denise Chicoine

    To Gloria and the many McDowells: you are loved and we grieve with you and for you as Dave’s absence from this world impacts you the most. You are all missed back here in Illinois.
    Dave was a special Pastor and brother in Christ, he was a big guy, but humble and sweet. His faithfulness to the very end is a challenge and inspiration to me personally and the thoughts he shared on his blog always gave us something deep to think about.

    Sorry he had to leave this earth but rejoice that he is at home with the God he loved and served so well.

    Praying for you sweet Gloria as well as the rest of your lovely family. ❤

  4. Dina Mastrangelo

    Dearest Gloria and family

    Praise the Lord that I met you guys at College Church.
    My ears were so attentive to Pastor McDowell’s preachings. I was in awe of his teachings and devoured every word.
    You and David made a world of spiritual goodness in my life. I will never forget you or David…

    Our deepest condolences…

    Dina Mastrangelo and Family
    Northampton MA

  5. DALE Elizabeth WERE

    No words can begin to express the deep sense of loss on this earth with the loss of Dave. He lived and breathed Jesus the One whom he has come face to face with. How truly blessed we all have been to have known Dave. A true man of God. He leaves a beautiful legacy through Gloria and his children and grandchildren, that will be passed on to all of the generations to come. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD! We bless you from the house of the LORD. Blessed are those who mourn, for they Shall be comforted. Keeping all of the McDowell family in prayer. Soon we will all be united in Glory!!

  6. I have such great memories of Dave and our short time at Wheaton together. What a good man and dedicated servant of Christ. And how he loved his family! I grieve with you, Gloria.

  7. Gloria and Family , So sorry to hear of your loss. My mind goes back to my sons funeral Dave preached at and the white dress you wore , My heart soared ,I knew my heart was being upheld in the arms of the only one who had power over all. I would wear a white dress, We are praying for you, and the Family. Don, Stef Franco

  8. Jonathan and Elena Banegas

    Dear Gloria and family, we send you our love and condolences from Spain. You and Dave encouraged me when I also went through my cancer. Your example of faith, hope and love inspired us to keep our eyes in Jesus.
    Blessings.
    Jonathan and Elena Banegas

  9. Jonathan and Elena Banegas

    Dear Gloria and family, we send you our love and condolences from Spain. You and Dave encouraged me when I also went through my cancer. Your example of faith, hope and love inspired us to keep our eyes in Jesus.
    Blessings.

  10. Dave..l hardly know were to begin. You are a giant of a man in more ways than one. You excelled in so many areas during your short 74 years…l’m proud to not only be..but..call you “friend”. we met over 50 years ago and many times separated by hundreds of miles..but you have always..in all ways been one that selflessly traveled through life being a Godly servant to all. l count it a privilege to be your friend and brother in Christ. We are saddened by your passing from this life but rejoice in knowing you’re with our Savior.

  11. Dear Gloria and family,
    I will never forget my freshman year at Wheaton College with Mac as my roommate. He was certainly a “gentle giant” and I always looked forward to meeting with him for breakfast over the years. I will miss “Just a Thought” and his Godly wisdom! God’s Peace to your family. Jerry Webb

  12. Barb McColgan

    Praying for the family. Thankful for the memories and how he impacted my life. He will be missed, yet praising God for His faithfulness and knowing pastor Dave is safe with Jesus🙏❤️

  13. A great man of God is now in the presence of the God he so faithfully served, … may you find comfort in that assurance and in the the sure knowledge that your separation is but temporary.

  14. I am so sorry for the loss of a special man of God. My parents are for his dear family.

  15. I am so sorry for the loss of a special man of God. My prayers are for his dear family who I knew through College Church.
    Ruth and Martin Gorton

  16. Linda Kellogg Warriner

    Dearest Gloria & Family- This loss makes me even more eager to look to the hopes we have in heaven! Unhindered, eternal fellowship with our Lord Jesus and our brother Dave, and each other! In the meantime, we will press on and hold each other up in prayer as we keep looking UP! Always and forever, Linda

  17. Renee DeJager

    Dear Gloria and Family,
    Sending you and your family condolences as you grieve, but also rejoicing that Dave is out of pain and in the presence of God the father. Dave was a wonderful pastor and we are blessed to have been members at CF during his time there. He taught me and my family so much. May memories bring you comfort and may you feel peace knowing he is in the presence of the Holy One.

  18. Norman Christiansen

    Learning of Dave’s passing on, leaving this body for one of glory brings pause to my heart. In what is often referred to as grief I am lifted by the deeper realization that grief is an expression of love. He was love and will always signify the essence of God’s love for everyone. Blessings to your entire family in the conscious love of Christ.

  19. Dear Gloria & family, Your family is in my thoughts & prayers. I was so thankful to hear that you were able to celebrate your 50 anniversary together & baby Brooke got to meet his grandfather. Speical moments that will never be forgotten. Dave will be greatly missed but I know he is cancer free now & rejoicing with our Heavenly Father & my mother. Continued prayers as you celebrate his life & morn his loss xoxo. Love, Cindy

  20. Karen Palchick

    Dear sweet Gloria and family,
    Our thoughts and prayers are with each one of you. Will always remember Pastor Dave as the most caring, encouraging person we have ever met. You as well, Gloria. We’ve missed you both terribly after your move. We purchased several copies of Dave’s recent book and have found it to be of such comfort in our journeys. God bless you all.
    Love,
    Karen and Rich Palchick

  21. Gloria & Family
    I am so saddened to learn of your loss, please accept my thoughts and prayers. Dave was a long time Millington Rd neighborhood Pal, and a great and supportive friend and teammate. I feel blessed that I had the privilege to know and participate with him.

  22. Patt and Kent Long

    Dear Gloria and family,

    We are saddened by Dave’s passing, but rejoicing with you that he is enjoying his Savior and you will be together again. May God’s peace surround you as you celebrate his life. He lived well and finished strong. Such a testimony to God’s faithfulness.

  23. Dr. Michael Looman

    My sincerest condolences to Gloria and family at this bitter/ sweet time. I sat under David’s preaching for several years at College Church. In my mind, Dave was a pillar in God’s house.

  24. Steve & Charlene Oh

    Dear Gloria & family, we are so sorry and sad to hear about Pastor Dave passing. You all hold a very special place in our hearts and were reminiscing about our days in your Massachusetts home when we were going through premarital counseling and the wedding. We loved the way that God spoke through Pastor Dave. May God bless you all as you celebrate his amazing life and mourn his loss. We love you all!

  25. Margaret Diddams

    I was blessed by Dave just too many times as he served as Graduate Chaplain. His final blessing was to ask me to write the introduction to his book. I know that people will continue to be blessed by his memories, his sermons and his writings. My prayers to his family abs the many who loved him. I am heart-broken.

  26. Pearl and Jim Gould

    Words cannot express the impact of Pastor Dave’s ministry to us as individuals and as a family. Please accept our sincere condolences in his passing and our deep thanks for sharing Pastor Dave with us.

  27. Gloria and Family,
    My condolences to you all. I will be forever impacted by Pastor Dave’s teaching, and how he brought me closer to Christ. He is missed here on earth but I rejoice that he is now with the that he served SO WELL!!! Praying for your family ❤️

  28. That “Prince of A Man” is a cliche won’t keep me from using it to describe Dave McDowell. What a dear, wise, fun man whose smile and countenance is, and surely is now, a perfect mirror of Christ’s. Our warmest love to Gloria and family and friends.

  29. Christopher Wenger

    I met Mr. McDowell on a Thanksgiving break I spent at their home in Northampton visiting Josh. I was going through some family drama and he completely welcomed me into his clan. You could quickly tell he was the kind of Dad that Josh always talked about. A man who loved his family and had a living faith that made me want to latch onto. He also made the absolutely most perfect omelettes of all time and kindly shared how important temperature is towards that endeavor. Thank you McDowell family for sharing him with me for a little bit. He was everything Josh promised he would be.

  30. John & Brooke Hauf

    Dear Gloria, and Family
    We were so sad, when we learned of Mack’s home going. We have always held you and Dave very close to our hearts. Cindy Lovelace Durkee was thinking “Yaaaa Lew will be overjoyed welcoming Dave Home. I can only IMAGINE🎼 Hope that your crew will be comforted in knowing that it’s just a matter of time for your eternal reunion. Our love today and always. Brooke and John

  31. Ed and Marion Caes

    Dear Gloria and Family, May the God of all grace and comfort be yours each day as you wait to see your loved one in the presence of Jesus. Dave was a model of trust in the Lord to us and an encouragement to follow Him.
    I Thess. 5:24 has been a lifelong verse for me as well, especially when God called us to serve Him in Italy. Dave hammered home the necessity to
    faithfully trust Him. PTL.

  32. Mary and Ted Djaferis

    Gloria and family we were so saddened to hear of David’s passing. Our love to all of you. David was our beloved pastor and friend who impacted all our family’s life for over 20 years while at College Church. A great man of faith who lived by example, and full of compassion and love for his family and those of us who had the privilege of knowing him. He will be missed!! May God comfort you and give you peace during this difficult time knowing that he is in the presence of the Lord.

  33. Anastasia Burr

    Dear Gloria
    My deepest sympathy to you and your
    family!! Only you can feel the heart-wrenching grief of Dave’s leaving!!!!
    What a friend he had been to Richard and
    me!!!! I will be lifting you to the presence
    of our ever loving Father and His Spirit!!!

  34. Karen and John Ainsworth

    Dear Gloria and family,
    We were so sad to hear Dave had gone home to be with the Lord. We know he is experiencing joy but our human selves wanted him to stay much longer !! We are praying for you all in this great loss.

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