• Last modified 802 days ago (Feb. 10, 2022)


Victory Village visits Aulne Church

Staff writer

A ministry that former Marion pastor Bill Cowell and his wife, Carole, began more than 50 years ago is alive and well, according to their report Sunday at Aulne Church.

Victory Village, a subsidiary of Heart Ministries Inc., is a state-licensed facility for troubled girls ages 12 to 18. More than 2,000 youths have been sent there for help.

The couple brought to Aulne 14 of the 16 girls who currently reside at Victory Village, which includes a dormitory and a school. Students come from various states and even other countries.

Bill Cowell accompanied the girls on the piano as they sang praise songs. Five testified as to what the ministry had done for them. Four were adopted, and one had divorced parents. They suffered from depression and drug addiction and couldn’t get along with their parents.

“I hated it here at first, but if it weren’t for Victory Village, I probably would be dead or in jail,” one girl said.

The Cowells’ vision began when Bill was pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church. They began taking troubled youth into their home.

He resigned his pastorate in 1972 and, after several trials and errors, found acreage near Burrton that they named Victory Village.

The couple suffered numerous setbacks in the first few years but eventually established a dormitory and a school.

They sometimes minister to boys who attend school at the village but don’t live there.

They rely solely on charitable donations.

The Cowells, now in their 80s, plan to continue their ministry until death, if possible. They have a staff of 25.

“There will be people who will carry on this work when we are gone,” Bill Cowell said.

Last modified Feb. 10, 2022