Grad uses poetry and videos to spread the Gospel David Bowden

By Josh Watson

OC alumnus David Bowden (10) is a multi-book author and world-renowned performer whose videos have been viewed by millions. 

The impressive career of OC’s 2017 Young Alumnus Award recipient started in his dorm room.

“OC is where I learned to do poetry every Monday night with Taylor Walling (10),” David said. “My first performance was at a Wishing Well charity event.”

OC Professor of Bible Dr. Dudley Chancey saw David and invited him to perform at Winterfest.

“That was really catalytic to being validated in my art form in front of so many people,” David said. “It started a long string of providential appointments in my life that were not my doing. It was all God’s work.”

Shortly after that first Winterfest, another OC connection helped David. Chase Layman (08) worked on the video staff for LifeChurch, and he invited Bowden to create a video for Valentine’s Day. That video was followed by another for Easter titled “Sting in Defeat.” It now has more than two million views. 

Soon, many more churches and organizations wanted Bowden to perform his spoken word poetry.

“I was being invited by multiple groups in the United Kingdom to speak to schools and churches, sharing the gospel with people who had never heard of it,” David said.

The positive reception led David to write a poetry book and produce CDs and DVDs of his work. All are available on his website, 

Just a year ago, he created the video curriculum for young, post-church people in the U.K. The project coincided with his first non-poetry book, “When God Isn’t There.”

The book addresses how people may feel God is distant. It emphasizes that God chooses to come near to His children through Jesus. David wrote it after a difficult time in his life early in his ministry.

“I hadn’t learned how to revel in Christ, to enjoy God yet,” he said. “Through the book and my ministry, I try to encourage people to make sure we’re always making Christianity about Christ.”

David’s former Bible professors aren’t surprised by his whirlwind of faith-led success.

“Anyone who meets David is immediately struck by his creativity, independence, and confidence about what God could do with his life,” Professor of New Testament Dr. John Harrison said. “He imagines what could be and invests in that to make it happen.”

Professor of Bible Dr. Jim Dvorak (95) agreed.

“He was always attentive and had a lot of discipline,” Dvorak said. “He desperately wants to teach the Word of God, and he wants to teach people in meaningful ways, whether through the spoken or written word.”

David says he always loved learning, and he’s now pursuing a master of divinity degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. 

He is a consultant with the Seed Company, a Bible translation organization, and serves as artist-in-residence at Bridgeway Church in Oklahoma City.

“It is almost too good to be true that I am paid to do what I do,” he said. “The way God has used my relationships from OC is immeasurable.”


Fall 2017

View more stories from the Fall 2017 issue of Vision magazine.