Melvin "Bro. Mel" Lowell Rowell

June 28, 1939 - August 14, 2020

Melvin “Bro. Mel” Lowell Rowell passed away Friday, August 14, 2020. He was born on June 28, 1939, to Hallie Belle Strange Rowell and Lowell Asa Rowell, in Hereford, Texas.

Mel grew up in Optima and Guymon, Oklahoma and then played college basketball for South Plains Junior College. After a brief but meaningful courtship during the summer of 1961, Mel married the love of his life, Judith Ann Dugar on October 28, 1961. The 1960s would bring various job opportunities throughout Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Texas, along with the blessing of the birth of their two daughters, Margaret and Katherine. In 1970, the family moved to Beaumont and Mel began to work for the Mobil Oil Refinery. Mel’s career at Mobil lasted 25 years and spanned a wide array of job titles at the plant. In the early 1970s, their sons, Robertson and Tim, were added to the family.

Of most importance in the lives of Mel and Judi, was their desire to serve the Lord. Together over the years, they were involved in several mission opportunities, including Lay Renewal Ministries in local churches and many foreign mission trips as well. Some of those trips included mission work in Russia, Germany, and even a solo trip that Mel took to Africa. As Mel’s career at Mobil was coming to an end, he sensed a call on his life to serve the Lord as a pastor. In 1993, after serving as a supply preacher in the local area, Mel accepted the call to serve as full-time pastor for Emmanuel Baptist Church, Honey Island, a place and community that he lovingly served until the time of his passing. In more recent years, Mel also enjoyed mission work with other family members, including serving in India and as “Texas Opa” to many children in Germany. In addition to all of the great service to the Lord, Mel enjoyed spending time with all of his grandkids and great grandkids, supporting them in their various activities.

Mel was preceded in death by his parents and his wife.

Survivors include his children, Margaret Allen and her husband, Joseph, of Beaumont; Katherine Rowell of Alabama; Robertson Rowell of Kountze; and Pastor Tim Rowell and his wife, Debra, of Flatonia; grandchildren, Serena Walker, Robert Walker III, Jessica Gerber, Jeffrey Gerber, Travis Gerber, Sidney Gerber, Matthew Rowell and wife, Kaci, and Kaitlyn Rowell; great-grandchildren, Peyton, John, Presley, Hayden, Joey, Xavier, Christian, Noah, Mila, and Luke; siblings, Vivian Gregg, Juanice David, and Dorothy Morris; brother-in-law, Danny Thornhill; and nephew, Jason Thornhill.

A gathering of Bro. Rowell’s family and friends will take place from 5:00 to 8:00 pm, Friday, August 21, 2020, at Cornerstone Baptist Church. His funeral service will be held at 10:00 am Saturday, August 22, 2020, at Cornerstone Baptist Church, 1600 South Pine Street, Kountze. His interment will follow at Haven of Rest Cemetery, Beaumont, under the direction of Broussard’s, 1605 North Major Drive, Beaumont.

Please observe social distancing guidelines. By attending any public event you are acknowledging the risk of exposure to the Corona Virus. Please follow the guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control:


Haven of Rest Cemetery - Beaumont

Haven of Rest Cemetery - Beaumont
  • hwy 90 west at greenpond road beaumont texas 77713

Funeral Service

Funeral Service
  • 1600 South Pine Street, Kountze, Texas 77625
  • 08/22/2020
  • 10:00 am

Gathering of Family and Friends

Gathering of Family and Friends
  • 1600 South Pine Street, Kountze, Texas 77625
  • 08/21/2020
  • 5:02 pm

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Cecil & Juanita Johnson

Bro. Mel was a fine Christian man. Always friendly and a wonderful servant of God. Our prayers go out to his Family. Cecil & Juanita Johnson

Ron Cherry

On behalf of the entire Cherry families, I want to express our most heartfelt condolences to Brother Mel's family. I will always have the deepest admiration and respect for this lovely man. I'm so happy he is now in the presence of his holy Father, He was a very devoted Christian and served God with all his heart and soul. He told me on several occasions that he couldn't wait until the day he meets Jesus and sees his loving wife and deceased family and friends again. He and my father, Homer, had a very special relationship. Brother Mel officiated my father's funeral and many other of my family. His loving, graceful demeanor gave us great comfort. I am very blessed to have known him, and he will always have a special place in our hearts. Rest in peace, Brother Mel. I will miss your wonderful smile and joyful laugh.

Walter and Teresa Johnsin

Brother Mel, you are a special man, forever in our hearts. Thank you for your weekly visits to our Mother, Betty, for your encouragement to her and for being there for all of our blended family throgh every event. You became a brother to us and we will miss you here. God bless this family with comfort and peace in the assurance you are with your heavenly Father now and forever.

Shay Granger

Margaret, All my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this time. Wish I could be there to give you a big long hug. Love and prayers

Mary Coleman Adams

Praying God’s comfort for his family.

Shodi Jacobson

Oh the fun we’ve had! Lots of laughs at Christmas parties over a bag of pork skins to genuine Silver Fox Fur costs! The trips to the Evangelism Conferences and prayer meetings for mission trips. Oh the joys we’ve shared. I already know the reunion with Jude (Judi) was a sweet one. I know my Emily was there to greet you as well I sure hope you have her a love from us. JESUS! Oh to see Him Face to face!! What a day that will be for us to experience! Heaven does grow sweeter as time goes by~ until I get to see you again.

Greig Woddail

My deepest sympathy goes out to Mel’s family. What a great man to be around at Mobil. It was obvious from the first time that I met him that he was a Christian. Thank you Mel for your help and kindness when I started at Mobil. RIP Mel. Prayers for Family.

Yvonne Hilliard

Brother Mel was a very dear person to me and my family, I used to go to church in Honey lsland with my dad and mom, Robert & Rosemary Hailey, my daughter and l, Sonya Hilliard we're baptized there with brother Mel, shortly afterwards, Sonya passed and brother Mel held her funeral, He was a very special friend to my family,Rest in paradise We love you brother Mel.

Regina Maze

Brother Mel was my momma (Liz Marcontell) and my aunt Nell’s (Ida Nell Wilson) pastor for several years. They bothe thought the world of brother Mel and Sister Judy. I can just imagine that they are all singing praises around the throne eternal together now. Thank you Brother Mel for loving your church family like you did all those years. You will be missed.

Jan Jacobson Davis

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Bro. Mel. Many a fun time at Grayburg. Especially the time we made yard decor at Christmas time with lights and some pretty crazy people. Love you all..

Vaughnell Rowell Brannon

Melvin has always been a special part of our family.. lots of fun times at Grandpa and Grandmother Rowell’s house when we were all there. Love and prayers to all.. Joe and Vaughnell Rowell Brannon.

Gerry Drake

Just saw this news about Mel's passing. I worked with Mel at Mobil during the '70s. He was a good, honest man that did his job well. He always had a smile and made the job interesting with his antics. I learned a lot from Mel. My prayers to his family for their loss of such a great person. I know he is missed by all.