WOODCREST UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST
8107 THOURON AVENUE, PHILADELPHIA, PA 19150
A PLACE OF LOVE, GRACE, MERCY AND PEACE
A church that is Bible based, Christ centered, Holy Spirit led and Mission Bound. We are here to glorify God by changing lives through Worship, Discipleship, Fellowship and Stewardship.
Reverend Venord M. Cowan
Rev. Venord Mark Cowan is one of four siblings born and raised in
Delaware County by his parents, Venord and Mildred Cowan.
Venord was introduced to the Lord at an early age while attending
church with his family at St. Barbabas Episcopal Church; Currently,
St. George St. Barnabas Episcopal Church is located in the Cobbs
Creek area in West Philadelphia. Venord was very active in the
church’s life and served as an acolyte as a young man. Venord is a
Darby Township High School graduate and attended Temple
University’s School of Journalism and Communication. Rev. Cowan
has been inducted into the Chapel of Four Chaplains.
In 1989, Venord joined the Salem Baptist Church of Jenkintown
under the pastorate of the late Rev. Dr. Robert Johnson Smith, Sr.
Salem Baptist Church is now located in Abington, Pennsylvania.
Rev. Cowan has a heart for ministry and a love for people, but his
thirst for God’s Word and desire to serve others guided his footsteps
to serve in many capacities. Venord has been an instructor in the
Salem Bible Institute; he has led a couples ministry alongside his wife
called “Sunday Soul: Strengthening Our Union of Love”; he is a
charter member of the Jennie Mae Smith Usher Board; and a charter
member of the Salem Voices of Praise. Rev. Cowan has served as
District Lay Pastor, overseeing small group ministries, and was co-
director of “The Pioneer Club,” a youth program for children ages 2-
12. Rev. Cowan is an Associate Minister at Salem Baptist Church
and serves as a worship leader when time permits.
In 1993, Rev. Cowan was ordained as a Deacon and served under
the pastorate of the late Rev. Smith Sr. and his son, the late Rev. Dr.
Robert Johnson Smith, II. Venord has trained walking Deacons
entering the Diaconate. In 2006, Rev. Cowan answered God’s call
and was licensed by Rev. Dr. Leslie D. Callahan to preach the
Venord’s desire to preach the Word of God led him to attend the
Urban Theological Institute Ministry Program at the Lutheran
Theological Seminary, currently the United Lutheran Seminary,
where he obtained his certification in Christian Ministry. On June 8,
2014, Minister Cowan was ordained at his home church under the
pastorate of Rev. Marshall Paul Hughes Mitchell.
In 2014, Venord was asked to preach at the Woodcrest United
Church of Christ, and after preaching a few times, the church
leadership asked if he would consider submitting his name for the
position of Supply Pastor. Venord’s love of this branch of Zion led
him to say “yes.”
In 2016, Venord completed the History and Polity Course of the
United Church of Christ and was granted dual standing from the
United Church of Christ, acknowledging his Baptist ordination. One
heart, one mission, one destination . . . with the Almighty.
On May 22, 2021, after a 7-year covenant, the congregation of
Woodcrest United Church of Christ voted to make Rev. Cowan its
11 th pastor.
Rev. Cowan has worked with the First Judicial District for over 25
years. Venord is married to the love of his life, the former Roslyn
Kinney, and they are the parents of two grown children, Chandler
Marie and Venord Mark III.
Rev. Cowan’s favorite scripture is “The Spirit of the Lord is on me
because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He
has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of
sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of
the Lord’s favor.” Luke 4:18-19