John Chowning, Minister and Leader at CU, Honored with Special Achievement Award at his Alma Mater, LWC

By Linda Waggener

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. — John Chowning, Campbellsville University vice president for church and external relations and executive assistant to the president, has been honored at his alma mater with a special achievement award.

A 1971 graduate of Lindsey Wilson College in Columbia, Chowning was one of four alumni to receive awards for special lifetime accomplishments at their annual homecoming banquet. In his presentation of the award and introduction of Chowning, Kevin Thompson, LWC associate vice president for development, said, “for his service to higher education and Southcentral Kentucky, the Lindsey Wilson National Alumni Association presents John E. Chowning the Special Achievement Award.”

In accepting the award, Chowning spoke of the similarities in the histories of Lindsey Wilson (Methodist) and CU (Baptist), both schools with over a hundred years of service in Christian higher education. He noted how important Lindsey Wilson and mentors who had guided him had been to his development. He especially thanked former Lindsey Wilson administrator Rev. Doug Moseley and his wife who were seated with the Chowning family at the luncheon.

“Rev. Moseley was a key leader of Lindsey Wilson while I was a student here,” Chowning said. “Rev. Moseley recruited me to attend LWC, and he and others at this institution made numerous other positive contributions to my life.”

“My wife Cathy (Pence) and I met here and actually ran against each other for student government president. She sometimes kids me by saying she should have demanded a recount,” Chowning continued.

Chowning’s service record reads like a who’s who in leadership, including having held the positions of chair and vice chair of Campbellsville University’s Board of Trustees during significant growth years; having led the organizational efforts of Team Taylor County after the loss of thousands of jobs in the closing of Fruit of the Loom as showcased in a feature story at this link: (

He has served on the Kentucky State Board of Elections; as a member and chair of The Center for Rural Development; as a member and chair of Southern Kentucky Economic Development Corporation; a founding member and president of the Heartland Parkway Foundation board; the Heartland regional heritage tourism advisory committee; and founding member and chair of Greater Campbellsville United.

At CU Chowning is the founding director of the Campbellsville University Kentucky Heartland Institute on Public Policy, which focuses discussion of and attention to major public policy issues of the day, and has taught part-time in the institution’s political science program. He currently plays an active role in the continuing development of CU’s heartland Center for Bivocational Ministry, serving the many Christian servant leaders like himself, an ordained Baptist minister, having served as senior pastor of Saloma Baptist Church since 1994 while also working other jobs. He is active in the life of the Kentucky Baptist Convention where he has served as parliamentarian for several years and as chair and vice chair of the Committee on Public Affairs.

He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Kentucky Long-Term Policy Research Center, a state agency which provides research and studies on major public policy issues facing the Commonwealth of Kentucky. He is a member of a number of professional organizations and has received a number of awards including the Governor’s Economic Development Leadership Award, Citizen of the Year in Taylor County by the Chamber of Commerce on two occasions, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Humanitarian Award, and For the Greater Good Award from the Association of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities.

Chowning’s professional career has included serving as a public school teacher, public sector grant writer and planner, vice president and partner in a Lexington-based consulting firm, and former director of economic development for U.S Representative Ron Lewis. He and his brother Joe Chat, sons of the late Chattin and Elizabeth Brockman Chowning, oversee the family farm operation in his native Cumberland County, Ky.

Chowning and his wife Cathy have made their home in Taylor County since 1977. Cathy is a licensed physical therapist. They are the parents of four children. Their daughter Kacey, who works for Community Trust Bank, and her husband Jason live in Green County and have two children, Jacey and Jacob. Kacey’s siblings, triplets, include Kaleb who works in the CU Development Office; Laura, who lives in Frankfort and works in Lexington for Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky; and Emily who currently works at the Grandview Nursing and Rehab Facility, and is married to Jason England. They have one child, Haley. All four of the Chowning children are CU graduates.

Campbellsville University is a private, comprehensive institution located in South Central Kentucky. Founded in 1906, Campbellsville University is affiliated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention and has an enrollment of 2,601 students who represent 93 Kentucky counties, 27 states and 31 foreign nations. Listed in U.S.News & World Report’s 2009 “America’s Best Colleges,” CU is ranked 22nd in “Best Baccalaureate Colleges” in the South for the second consecutive year. CU has been ranked 16 consecutive years with U.S.News & World Report. The university has also been named to America’s Best Christian Colleges®. Campbellsville University is located 82 miles southwest of Lexington, Ky., and 80 miles southeast of Louisville, Ky. Dr. Michael V. Carter is in his tenth year as president.

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