My ultimate goal is to set up a secure web server, ftp server, and share files with my Windows machine.
What a noble goal! This is exactly what linux is good at doing: making computers work FOR you.
I don't know fedora, so I don't know what the 'service' command does. Obviously, you have to first figure out _why_ it failed. Find the logfiles and find out what's up. They're usually in /var/log, but its different on almost every distro. Apache's main log file is usually called 'access_log'.