He graduated from Hendrix College in 1938, where he became a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity. He earned degrees from Duke University and Boston University. Prior to his election to the Episcopacy, he was a Pastor of Methodist churches in Texas and Oklahoma. He also served as a staff member of the General Board of Education of The Methodist Church, and as a delegate to various world conferences of Methodism.
Bishop Stowe was elected by the South Central Jurisdictional Conference of the Methodist Church, the only Bishop elected by this Conference in 1964.