He was born at Chester on 19 July 1796. His father, Henry Bowers (d. 8 January 1830, aged 59) was a Chester druggist and was mayor of Chester in 1817 and 1827. Brought up an Anglican, he was converted under Methodist preaching, and became a local preacher and a class leader.
His son John Bowers entered the Wesleyan ministry in 1813 and became an outstanding pulpit orator. Having been for some years General Secretary of the Theological Institution, he served as House Governor of Didsbury College from 1843 to 1864 and was President of the 1858 Conference. He retired to Southport, where he died on 30 May 1866 after a lengthy illness. His son Thomas Bowers (d.1878) was an alderman like his grandfather.
Henry Bowers' portrait hangs in Chester town hall and there is a memorial to the family in the St. John Street (now 'Wesley') chapel.
'John Bowers was a man of strong partialities and strong dislikes, an ardent friend and a good hater. He took a grip and would not let go!'
F.J. Sharr, Life's Golden Thread (n.d.), p.ix