Houghton College has announced that Rev. Dave Rowe is this year’s recipient of the Claude A. Ries Youth Pastor of the Year Award.

Rev. Rowe serves as youth pastor at Houlton Wesleyan Church in Houlton, Maine. He was a lay leader at Houlton Wesleyan Church for many years and a school teacher in Houlton for 10 years before joining staff at the church 17 years ago.

“His heart for the teens and their need to hear the gospel is infectious, and he doesn¹t just leave them there, he continues to love and nurture,” said one church member. “I love that as these teens that Dave has had over the years, have gone on into adulthood, they continue to seek advice and counsel from him. Dave is highly respected in the community also as he pours into local schools.”

“I have seen the love and compassion Dave has for the youth to see Christ in their lives, said another church member. “It is as real today as the day he was hired. Dave’s energy level for youth has never lowered.”

“It has been a great honor to work alongside Dave for the past 17 years, as pastors of this great church,” said Rev. Wayne Robertson, lead pastor at Houlton Wesleyan Church. “We have walked through so much of life together that we have become family and friends. His heart for the Lord has been a model of devotion and faith. His passion for the teens has been used to impact hundreds with the gospel. His tireless energy has set a high standard for youth ministry and loving those God has called us to minister to. Also beyond the teens, the overall impact of his life, alongside his wife, Vicki, has touched many from the youngest to the oldest.”

Dr. Claude A. Ries was a professor and administrator at Houghton College who is remembered fondly as an excellent scholar and for his personal character and warm personality. Houghton College has been honoring a Claude A. Ries Pastor of the Year since 1968, and in recent years has also been honoring a Claude A. Ries Youth Pastor of the Year to recognizing the critical role of youth ministry.