Remembering Rev. Alan Rowbotham

For nearly a decade, Rev. Alan Rowbotham was my minister, boss and mentor at First Unity Church in St. Petersburg, Florida. He and his wife, Rev. Kathryn, were good friends, too, for nearly 25 years.

During the time I worked for the church, my responsibilities included creating slide shows, web pages, newsletters and other marketing materials, as well as managing more than 300 volunteers.

Today, I unearthed some old files, just to remind me of all the blessings that came from knowing such special human beings. It was Rev. Alan who encouraged me to serve God in a much bigger way, by starting my own ministry to ministries (Friends of Ministry), which serves churches all over the U.S.

It’s my hope and prayer that these images also remind you of the blessings that Rev. Alan and his wife, Rev. Kathryn, brought into your life, and that they lead you to make the most of this day that God has given you.

— Cheryl Harrison, Founder, Friends of Ministry

P.S. Many of these photos, originally used in presentations I created for the church, were taken by the late Michael Cerone, a New York Yankees photographer and member of First Unity who donated his services, as well as film and processing, to the church. Michael was a dear friend to Revs. Alan and Kathryn, to me, and to many others.


  1. Rev. Alan was a wise and gentle soul. He nurished me when I was struggling with my faith. His ministry of loving kindness will always be an inspiration to me. I am blessed by his love.

  2. Great job Cheryl. This brought back a lot of memories. We have lost a wonderful sweet soul. We will all miss him.

  3. Thanks for the memories Cheryl.

  4. Thanks for all the wonderful photos and memories.

  5. Cheryl, thank you so much for the beautiful and thoughtful memorial you have created for Revs. Alan and Kathryn. The photos renew many memories and remind me of lives beautifully lived. You were a special and devoted friend to both of them. Blessings upon them and you, dear friend.

  6. Catherine Hamel

    Thank you Cheryl for this great blessing. Reverend Kathryn felt like a dear close friend; loved her sense of humor. Reverend Alan – an earth angel; his eyes always sparkling, a smile sincere & joy-filled, his voice a soft confidence always speaking the right words of guidance. How we each at First Unity were blessed with these two ministry teachers and guides.

  7. Thanks for your beautiful work Cheryl. So many of us loved Alan and are full of gratitude for his teachings that changed so many lives for the better. I personally am grateful to you for being such a loyal friend to him especially in his later years
    when you were always there for him to assist him in any and many ways. I’m sure Kathryn is smiling down on you with much love. They were precious friends.
    Lovingly, Nancy Rubino

  8. Thanks again Cheryl. We loved him. He touched so many with his loving kindness and guidance. He was an extraordinary man that will always be in our hearts.

  9. Richard & Pat Schell-Unity Spiritual Center of Port Richey, Florida

    We did not know Rev. Alan real well, but just his presence and his energy was a gift for all of us.

  10. Rev Alan was a magnificent human being who will be forever missed! ?

  11. Elizabeth Nikitin

    I am blessed to have known him from afar – to have had access to his teachings via the internet and his permission to share his words with my church community. I continue to miss his writings – my condolences to his loved ones and church family.

  12. I only met him a few times in my life but he seemed like a genuinely lovely and kind man. I always wanted to have got to know him better but unfortunately he died before I got the chance. Reading these lovely messages confirms what a kind generous person he was.

  13. I knew Alan and Kathryn Rowbotham when they were pastors of Unity of the Roanoke Valley in Virginia.

    They were the kindest people I ever had the pleasure of knowing. No discussion was too difficult for them to talk about. They were the kind of pastors who you could pour your heart out to. They were very special and their ministry unique. It’s too bad pastors today aren’t more like them.

    I am a musical artist who performed for over fifty years. Every time I sang at Unity, the Rowbothams were always so appreciative. It was always a pleasure to sing for Unity of the Roanoke Valley.

    I miss them both very much and I hope when I go to my next destination, I can see them again.

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