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Rev. Ronald Fowler

It was a miracle that led Dr. Ronald J. Fowler to a life of service.

As a young boy living in Bedford, he fell into a segregated swimming hole where he almost drowned. A white girl — June Miracle — jumped in to save him, a sign that he, too, should dedicate his life to helping people of all colors and means.

Dr. Fowler's life of service began in the Detroit Public Schools, where he shaped the lives of students both in the classroom and on the football field. His commitment to education continued as president of Akron's school board, co-chair of This City Reads and on the board of Summit Education Initiative.

Fowler recently headed the University of Akron's Student Discipline and Law Enforcement Policy Review Commission, helping improve the university's disciplinary and law enforcement policies for years to come.

For more than 37 years, Fowler has led Arlington Church of God in holistic service to the East Akron community. Elderly adults find housing through the church's AHOPES program. Residents gain much-needed health assistance and education through the church's medical board. A scholarship committee helps college-bound and career-oriented high schoolers achieve their goals, and a food bank is open to all in need.

Degrees from Kent State University, Anderson University and Pittsburgh Theological Seminary might have equipped Fowler for leadership, but nothing short of a miracle prepared him for service.

"…autograph life with excellence," Fowler says. "We will all leave a signature somewhere."

Nowhere is that signature clearer than in Greater Akron.

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