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'Lady Father' tells local female priest's tale

"It happened a couple of times that I got there and people stormed off," she said.

When she relocated to the Capital District, the same kind of things happened, and she had to build up a reputation all over again. Some might wonder why Bowman continued to fight in the face of rejection, hostility and barriers thrown up by the very institution she adored. That's a complicated question, she said.

"At the beginning, I think it was stubbornness, that the national church had said we could do this," she said. "As time went on, I think it was knowing in my heart and in my spirit that I was doing what God wanted me to do."

Today, Bowman resides in Delmar, where her son and grandchildren also live. She's retired from the full-time ministry, but she still serves as a part-time pastor for Jermain United Methodist Church in White Creek, near the Vermont border.

She enjoys the small size of the church, and also being able to focus on preaching and tending to the congregation, instead of dealing with administrative duties.

"It's the finest thing for any pastor to live to become," she said.

"Lady Father" is still being finalized and is on track from a spring release. Bowman plans to hold book signings throughout the area. For more on her work and her blog, visit ladyfather.com. ""

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