Bowen is the son of Paul and Wanda Bowen. He graduated from Coosa Christian High School and worked at his father's butcher shop while taking seminary classes. He joined the staff of CrossPoint Community Church in 2003 and led the "x-roads" city-wide Bible study for students, which grew into a television program broadcast worldwide on the TCT Network. He published his first devotional for students, entitled Escape the Noise, in 2007.
In 2010 Bowen accepted an invitation from David Nasser to come to Christ City Church in Birmingham. That position gave him greater freedom to travel to to speak at events and make appearances as a commentator for FOX News.
Bowen founded his own Gadsden-based Acton Bowen Outreach Ministries (ABOM) in 2011. Attorney Trenton Garmon joined the ministry's board of directors. Through ABOM Bowen became a frequent speaker at youth conferences, camps and retreats in 37 states and two countries. He advised young people "behind the scenes" during several Walt Disney productions. He befriended Justin Bieber and was invited to attend the 2012 Grammy Award ceremony.
In 2012 Bowen succeeded Franklin Graham as student chaplain for the Lay Witnesses for Christ International outreach at London Olympics. Brown's follow-up devotional book, Moment, was published in 2014. Bowen married nurse practitioner Ashley Nabors on October 19, 2015 on the grounds of Steven Tyler's beach house in Hawaii. The wedding was officiated by Jay Haizlip, founder of Los Angeles' The Sanctuary Church, where Bowen appeared many times. Later that year, Bowen co-hosted "Top3" on JuceTV.
In April 2018 Bowen was arrested by Hoover Police in connection with the sexual abuse of a young teenage boy. Ashley filed for divorce the next day. Within a week, Etowah County Sheriff's Office had filed 11 additional charges involving five other alleged victims. Bowen pleaded guilty to 28 counts before Etowah County Judge Debra Jones in December 2019. She sentenced him to the maximum of 1,008 years in prison and an $840,000 fine. In February 2020 he pleaded guilty to four additional counts in Jefferson County and was sentenced to another 20 years.
- Rogers, Lisa (March 26, 2012) "Gadsden native Acton Bowen serves as chaplain for Summer Olympic Games." Gadsden Times
- Tipps, Laura Ann Brown (June 20, 2014) "Southside native busy with active ministry" The Messenger
- Savage, Lisa (November 29, 2015) "Love is Patient: Local couple finds marriage through ministries." Gadsden Times
- Robinson, Carol (April 13, 2018) "Evangelist's wife seeks divorce after husband jailed on child sex charges; 2 board members resign." The Birmingham News
- Robinson, Carol (April 25, 2018) "Bond reduced for evangelist charged with sex abuse of teen boys." The Birmingham News
- Robinson, Carol (June 28, 2018) "Evangelist Acton Bowen indicted on new Jeffco child sex charge." The Birmingham News
- Thornton, William (December 3, 2019) "Alabama evangelist Acton Bowen pleads guilty to 28 sex crimes." The Birmingham News
- Robinson, Carol (December 3, 2019) "Prosecutors want evangelist Acton Bowen declared a ‘sexually violent predator’." The Birmingham News
- Thornton, William (December 20, 2019) "Alabama evangelist Acton Bowen sentenced to 1,008 years in sex abuse cases." The Birmingham News
- Robinson, Carol (March 6, 2020) "Fallen evangelist Acton Bowen gets decades more for sex crimes." The Birmingham News