One person whose life was significantly influenced and dramatically channelled was Mark Tronson, a Baptist minister who pioneered the Sports and Leisure Ministry, the Australian cricket chaplain and now the chairman of Well-Being Australia.
The story goes back to M V Tronson's seminary years at Morling (NSW Baptist Theological College, Sydney). M V Tronson completed his four year degree 1977-80 with First Class Honours in three years and when undertaking his fourth year undertook specialised ministry courses.
His interest was ministry outside the cloisters of the church and one of these specialised courses was with the "InterChurch Trade & Industry Mission" (ITIM).
Reverend Kenneth L. McDowell was the NSW Director of ITIM and addressed the seminary students from the different denominational colleges on industrial chaplaincy ministry. His comments are as clear today as they were then, 33 years ago, when he looked over the brethren and stated that it always astonished him how God calls a new generation of Christian leaders.
ITIM's rules were that a Minister could only initiate ministry as an industrial chaplain after five years of pastoral ministry. Yet in M V Tronson's case, as a mature aged seminarian and 10 years as a locomotive engineman, he was permitted entry into ITIM and became the two day a week industrial padre at Shell Australia in 1981.
A year later M V Tronson was invited to Hong Kong as an Australian representative for the 2nd World Congress on Sports Mission. He approached the Reverend Kenneth L. McDowell and ITIM assigned him to bring back a report as professional sport was in the throws of becoming a major Australian industry in the early '80s.
Likewise, his own denomination, the Baptists approved his attendance and to bring back a report. Upon his return the report was officially received by both ITIM and the the Baptists, and Mark Tronson was commissioned to initiate a chaplaincy ministry to Australia's professional sports.
Reverend Kenneth L. McDowell and M V Tronson visited each of the Heads of Churches so as to initiate this ministry under Heads of Churches, and it was the Reverend Kenneth McDowell who coined the phrase, the 'Sports and Leisure Ministry'.
Three years later in 1985 having established several professional sport chaplaincies under the ITIM banner including the Australian Cricket Board. It was found however that the ITIM model where industry paid for the services of the industrial chaplain did not fit professional sport, where so many volunteers participated.
That year ITIM with the blessing of Reverend Kenneth L. McDowell released the Sports and Leisure Ministry (SLM) from within its supervisory orbit, and SLM continued under Heads of Churches orbit. Reverend Kenneth L. McDowell and fellow senior ITIM minister the Reverend Roger Reid became inaugural SLM board members of the Sports and Leisure Ministry.
Meanwhile M V Tronson had undertaken a study tour of US Sport Ministries in 1984 coinciding with the Los Angeles Olympics which initiated his Olympic ministry, and while in the US linked in with the Baptist University system. With the assistance of Dr James Starkes from the Jupiter Road Baptist Church in Dallas Texas and the agreement of Reverend Ron Rogers the Principal of Morling Seminary, M V Tronson undertook a doctoral dissertation on Sports Chaplaincy in Australia.
Reverend Kenneth L. McDowell was one of the supervisors of that theological work (1984-86) and graciously spent many hours with him in analysing what Sports Chaplaincy meant within the industrial settings of professional sport in Australia. He was a man of singular giftedness in theological analytical thinking. Likewise Kenneth L. McDowell's wife Heather always made Mark and Delma Tronson very welcome.
In M V Tronson's 1994 book "No Orchestra, No Trumpet" published by IFH Publishing, he detailed the Reverend Kenneth L. McDowell's contributions as described above. Then in 2007 M V Tronson wrote a series of articles on "People of Influence" in his ministry, and one of the people of influence was the Reverend Kenneth L. McDowell. Heaven is richly endowed with Reverend Kenneth L McDowell.