The Cowans were appointed by Missions Door as church-planting missionaries to Utah in 1961. After starting and pastoring churches for several years, they wanted to do more to evangelize Mormons and help other Christians become more effective in reaching them. To accomplish that, Marv has taught seminars on witnessing to Mormons and he and others launched Utah Christian Publications, which he oversees. As part of that ministry he wrote and published books and tracts that show the difference between Mormonism and the Bible. Utah Christian Publications makes those available with other good books, tapes, videos, DVDs, etc., that provide help in witnessing to Mormons.
Marv's relatives were Mormon pioneers in the Salt Lake area. His parents were sealed to each other and to their children for eternity in a Mormon temple ceremony. Marv served as a deacon and teacher in the LDS Aaronic priesthood before being confronted with the biblical Gospel as a teenager.
Marv and Jan were married in 1956 and have four grown children: David, Cynthia, Kimberly and James. Jan passed away on February 21, 2014 as a result of cancer.
After receiving Christ as Savior, Marv graduated from Bible College with a B A in 1957 and from Denver Seminary with a M.Div. in 1960. In 1987 he received an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Western Seminary.
WAYS TO SUPPORT
Marv by making a financial donation using your credit or debit card.
Learn more about where this ministry happens
In colorful communities and along scenic highways, diverse people and landscapes span coast to coast
Iconic American traditions include Thanksgiving dinner, jazz music and the Super Bowl. They meld with eclectic examples of multicultural heritage: numerous local Chinatowns, family-owned taquerias and even cowboy boots, which originated among the nomadic Huns of eastern Europe.
The nation's landscape shows just as many contrasts — sandy beaches and rocky coastlines, open plains and vast deserts, rugged mountains and winding canyons, and abundant rivers and lakes.
The ideals of life and liberty that founded the United States have made the country one of the world's most prosperous, though not without dark chapters and present troubles. Crime, discrimination and ethics violations make regular headlines, and many people live below the national poverty level.
Families view education as essential to the pursuit of happiness, if not also a path to wealth and power for the most ambitious. Yet Americans also demonstrate a charitable spirit of generosity toward neighbors and nations in need.
Freedom of religion grants opportunity for all faiths, but Christianity holds particular influence in country's history and daily life.
Your participation with Missions Door supports ministry in the United States among college students, including many international students, in collaboration local churches. It also enables social outreach, church planting and leadership development in a wide variety of communities — among Native Americans and other cultural groups, and in urban and suburban settings where growing and changing demographics create new opportunities for the Gospel.
Aside from the Native American, Native Hawaiian and Native Alaskan populations, nearly all Americans and their ancestors immigrated to the United States.
In a 2013 survey, 56% of Americans said that religion played a "very important role in their lives” — a larger number than any other wealthy nation.
Population: 320 million
Major Religions: 47% Protestant, 23% unaffiliated, 21% Catholic, 6% other
Languages: 82% English, 11% Spanish, various others
Ministry service area:
Utah, United States