The Rev. Neely P. Towe was the Pastor of Stanwich Congregational Church in Greenwich,
CT for 19 years, until her retirement in February, 2007. Neely’s ordination in 1987 as
Associate Pastor at Stanwich was the culmination of a 25-year dream that began when she
was a student at Hollins College in Virginia. At that time, she asked her home congregation
in Jacksonville, Florida, to sponsor her as a Divinity student, but she was turned down due to
prevailing gender attitudes. This denial did not dampen her enthusiasm for serving God, so
she devoted herself to church-centered volunteer ministries and to her family, including
husband Rolf and three children. Their family traveled extensively, including living in Hong
Kong for four years. In 1982 Neely felt God’s call on her life again, and with the full support
ofher family and the Stanwich congregation, she enrolled in Yale Divinity School.
She graduated and was ordained five years later as an Associate for Outreach at Stanwich,
the Towes church of many years.
After only seven months, she became Interim Pastor following the unexpected death of her
beloved pastor and mentor, Nate Adams, and was invited to become Senior Pastor in
1989. The hallmark of Neely’s leadership at Stanwich was her deep love and compassion for
people, her sincere and humble desire to serve God, and her ability to teach, inspire and
guide the congregation on how to apply Biblical principles to modern life.
After an 18-year tenure that has oversaw extensive growth in the number of members and
ministries at Stanwich Church, Neely retired in 2007. Presently, Neely and her husband Rolf
live in Jacksonville, Fla. Neely continues to have a powerful ministry in leading and
mentoring bible studies and retreats. We are thrilled to have Neely Towe's blessing and permission
to share her God inspired words of wisdom.