In the St. Pete Times article, Bower accurately describes his imprisonment on drug charges. He does not make the claim he shot someone.
In 1994, Bower and his wife Tina purchased a home in the Citrus County town of Hernando. That's where Bower claims his wife gave him an ultimatum: leave the mafia or she and their three children would leave him. According to his book, the fear of losing his family prompted Bower to become a Christian.
Five years later, Frank and Tina Bower opened up a religious ministry in their home called "Jesus Is! II", a spinoff of a similarly-named ministry in nearby Inglis where Bower claims he received spiritual counseling. The current pastor of Jesus Is! Ministries, Jeff Adams, told Local 6 he had not spoken with Bower in nearly a decade and did not feel it was appropriate for someone in his position to comment about Bower's past involvement in the program.
The Bowers later changed the name of their ministry to the Family Prayer Center.
According to records, the couple invited people into their home who were struggling with drug and alcohol addictions. When the ministry outgrew their house, the Bowers relocated it to a old motel in nearby Crystal River.
In 2002, Bower moved his family and their Family Prayer Center ministry hundreds of miles away to a small town in East Texas. According to the ministry's original website, which has since been taken down, "FPC Rehab is committed to extending it's hand in love to reach those in need."
Jack Murphy, an ex-convict who later began his own prison ministry program in the 1980's, was once a guest speaker at the Family Prayer Center. He told Local 6 that Bower was an outstanding religious leader whose rehab program has helped many people.
"I was shocked to hear about Frank's recent arrest," said Murphy.
Murphy confirmed that Bower also volunteered for a well-known prison ministry, Bill Glass Champions For Life, founded by the former pro football player. Neither Glass nor his organization's president responded to emails seeking comment.
A fire destroyed the Bower's Texas home in 2009, according to a fundraising website set up by Fina Perez. Seven months later, Perez and Bower filed papers with the State of Florida to incorporate a branch of the Family Prayer Center in Seminole County. The ministry is based out a home in Oviedo owned by Perez and her ex-husband.
At some point over the past five years, Frank Bower moved into Perez's home, according to neighbors. The two also opened up the F.P.C. Thrift Store on Central Avenue in Downtown Oviedo.
The thrift store's website indicates Bower and Perez are now married and features a photo of the couple together.
"Frank Bower and his wife have seen the best and the worst life can throw at you," reads the website. "It was pure fate that God would have their paths cross and become one."
Perez Bower told Local 6 the pastor recently divorced his former wife Tina, who continues to operates the Family Prayer Center in Henderson, Texas. A reporter for CBS affiliate KYTX-TV dropped by that rehab facility on May 29 and spoke with Tina Bower, who claimed she was still married to the pastor. Tina Bower did not want to comment about Frank Bower's arrest, according to the Texas television station.
According to Perez Bower, proceeds from the sale of used books, clothes, and furniture at the F.P.C. Thrift Store in Oviedo help support the Texas rehab center.
Perez Bower said her husband would frequently visit local jails to pray with inmates. She indicated that when Bower was booked into the Orange County jail last month on kidnapping and burglary charges, he was quickly recognized by several fellow inmates who had heard him speak there.
An Orange County Corrections spokeswoman was unable to confirm Bower had recently volunteered at the jail.
Perez Bower told Local 6 she and her husband are trying to find land in Seminole County to build a women's home. According to their website, the facility, which would be called "Casa Madre", would be a place where women and their children could live free of charge for up to a year to receive vocational and educational training.
As for her husband's arrest, Perez Bower said, "He made a big mistake." She insists her husband had nothing to do with several other home invasion robberies in which the thieves wore ninja-style masks.
Authorities in Collier County are trying to determine whether Bower or his co-defendants are responsible for at least five other robberies near Naples between February and April. The men are also being investigated for two additional home invasions in East Texas that occurred not far from Bower's Family Prayer Center ministry.
Bower's ministry appears to have loose ties to a small church in Southwest Florida called the Family Prayer Center of Immokalee. The church's website includes a link to the now-defunct website of Bower's Texas rehab center. The pastor of that church, Bronc Flint, did not return messages left on the church's voicemail.
Bower's co-defendant in the Windermere robbery, Henry Contreras, was listed as secretary of the Family Prayer Center of Immokalee in 2003. Contreras was also an associate pastor at that church, according to Bower's wife.
Contreras, 48, has been arrested several times for domestic assault, marijuana possession, and driving under the influence.
In 2009, the Collier County Sheriff's Office arrested Contreras and his son Johnathan, 27, for trespassing. Five years later, the father and son would both be arrested again for allegedly taking part in the two Orange County home break-ins.
Orange County deputies took Johnathan Contreras into custody on the night they say he and the others attempted to enter the former boy band member's home. Authorities arrested his dad the following week in Immokalee. Investigators believe Henry Contreras drove the getaway car during the Windermere home invasion.