Gene Scott

Last updated
Gene Scott
Eugene Scott.jpg
Gene Scott on television, 1970s
Born
William Eugene Scott

(1929-08-14)August 14, 1929
Buhl, Idaho, United States
DiedFebruary 21, 2005(2005-02-21) (aged 75)
Glendale, California, United States
Alma mater
Spouse(s)
  • Betty Ann Frazier (m. c.1951; div. 1972)
  • Melissa Scott (née Peroff)(m. 2000)
ChurchPentecostal then Protestant (Paulinist)

William Eugene Scott (August 14, 1929 – February 21, 2005) was an American pastor and teacher who served for almost 50 years as an ordained minister and broadcaster in Los Angeles, California.

A pastor is an ordained leader of a Christian congregation. A pastor also gives advice and counsel to people from the community or congregation.

Los Angeles City in California

Los Angeles, officially the City of Los Angeles and often known by its initials L.A., is the most populous city in California, the second most populous city in the United States, after New York City, and the third most populous city in North America. With an estimated population of nearly four million, Los Angeles is the cultural, financial, and commercial center of Southern California. The city is known for its Mediterranean climate, ethnic diversity, Hollywood, the entertainment industry, and its sprawling metropolis. Los Angeles is the largest city on the West Coast of North America.

California State of the United States of America

California is a state in the Pacific Region of the United States. With 39.6 million residents across a total area of about 163,696 square miles (423,970 km2), California is the most populous U.S. state and the third-largest by area. The state capital is Sacramento. The Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second- and fifth-most populous urban regions, with 18.7 million and 9.7 million residents respectively. Los Angeles is California's most populous city, and the country's second-most populous, after New York City. California also has the nation's most populous county, Los Angeles County, and its largest county by area, San Bernardino County. The City and County of San Francisco is both the country's second-most densely populated major city after New York City and the fifth-most densely populated county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs.

Contents

Early life and career

Gene Scott was born in Buhl, Idaho. He earned his Ph.D. in Philosophies of Education at Stanford University in 1957 and subsequently served as an ordained minister for nearly five decades. During his career, Scott served as a traveling teacher for the Pentecostal Assemblies of God, the president of the Full Gospel Fellowship of Churches and Ministers International for nine years and, for a combined total of 35 years, as the pastor for the Protestant Wescott Christian Center and Faith Center. For the last 15 years of his ministry, Scott held weekly Sunday Bible teaching services at the Los Angeles University Cathedral in Los Angeles, California. [1]

Buhl, Idaho City in Idaho, United States

Buhl is a city located on the old Oregon Trail in the western half of Twin Falls County, Idaho, United States. The population was 4,122 at the 2010 census, up from 3,985 in 2000. It is part of the Twin Falls Micropolitan Statistical Area.

Stanford University Private research university in Stanford, California

Leland Stanford Junior University is a private research university in Stanford, California. Stanford is known for its academic strength, wealth, selectivity, proximity to Silicon Valley, and ranking as one of the world's top universities.

Assemblies of God autonomous but loosely associated national groupings of churches

The Assemblies of God (AG), officially the World Assemblies of God Fellowship, is a group of over 140 autonomous but loosely associated national groupings of churches which together form the world's largest Pentecostal denomination. With over 397,000 ministers and outstations in over 256 countries and territories serving approximately 69.1 million adherents worldwide, it is the fourth largest international Christian group of denominations and the largest Pentecostal denomination in the world.

In 1975, Scott was elected pastor of Faith Center, a 45-year-old church of congregational polity in Glendale, California. Faith Broadcasting Network was the first Christian television station and the first to provide 24-hour Christian programming. Scott added a nightly live television broadcast to the network, the Festival of Faith.

Faith Broadcasting Network

Faith Broadcasting Network was a Christian television network owned and operated by Faith Center in Glendale, California.

In 1983, the University Network began broadcasting the first twenty-four-hour religious television network via satellite to North America and much of Mexico and the Caribbean. Affiliate television and radio stations broadcast Scott's services and nightly teachings.

Ministry

Early years

Though raised a minister's son, he rebelled against tradition early in life and became agnostic in college. His search for faith caused him to change majors on every degree. “A hard study of the resurrection of Christ led to a firm faith,” and Dr. Scott's journey back to faith is laid out in his summation under the title: “A Philosopher Looks at Christ.” He went on to complete a Ph.D. in Philosophies of Education at Stanford University in 1957; his Doctoral Dissertation dealt with the theology of Reinhold Niebuhr. He taught at Evangel College (now Evangel University), then assisted Oral Roberts in establishing Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Evangel University

Evangel University (EU) is a private Christian university with an embedded seminary in Springfield, Missouri. It is affiliated with the Assemblies of God Christian denomination, which is also headquartered in Springfield. The former Evangel College was renamed Evangel University on June 8, 1998. The campus sits on 80 acres that were originally part of O'Reilly General Hospital.

Oral Roberts Christian religious leader, healing evangelist, author, educator, television personality

Granville Oral Roberts was an American Charismatic Christian televangelist, ordained in both the Pentecostal Holiness and United Methodist churches. He is considered the godfather of the charismatic movement and one of the most recognized preachers worldwide. He founded the Oral Roberts Evangelistic Association and Oral Roberts University.

Oral Roberts University interdenominational, Christian, comprehensive liberal arts university

Oral Roberts University (ORU) is a private evangelical liberal arts university in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Founded in 1963, the university is named after its founder, evangelist Oral Roberts, and accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The university enrolls approximately 4,000 students.

Assemblies of God

Scott eventually joined the Assemblies of God, a Pentecostal denomination, and served overseas as a missionary for several years.

While working as President of Wescott Christian Center, [2] on July 12, 1967, the AG General Superintendent (Thomas F. Zimmerman) appointed Scott as one of fourteen persons to serve on their Committee on Advance as Research Director. [3]

At their August 26–29, 1968 Council on Evangelism held in St. Louis, Missouri, Scott preached one of four major evening messages to a crowd of about 7000 registered participants at the Kiel Auditorium. [4] Focusing on human frailties of Old Testament prophets and New Testament apostles, he concluded that the message of the church (his assigned theme for the occasion) was, "the message of a Person--Jesus Christ and Him crucified. It needs to be told from the Word, and it needs to be experienced, and it needs to be seen." [5]

Wescott Christian Center

In 1970, Scott resigned his Assemblies of God credentials in good standing to focus on the Wescott Christian Center (aka Community Bible Church [6] ) with his father, a pastor in Oroville, California. Later, Scott was elected the church's pastor by a unanimous vote of the board of Faith Center in Glendale, California. His father, known as "Pop Scott", and his mother, known as "Mom Scott", assisted him at his new church.

The Wescott Christian Center is the title-holder to various church properties and bank accounts, according to county records. [7] Upon Scott's death all assets and copyrights transferred to his wife Melissa Scott.

Full Gospel Fellowship

During 1970, Scott's father (W.T. “Ted” Scott) was vice-president on the executive board of the Full Gospel Fellowship of Churches and Ministers International. [8] Gene was a featured speaker at its 8th annual convention in 1970, and served as its president from October 1975 to July 1984. [9]

Faith Center

In 1975, while serving his Oroville ministry, Scott was approached to serve as a financial consultant for the 45-year-old Faith Center church in Glendale, California, by its then pastor and founder, religious broadcaster Ray Schoch.

Faith Center owned four broadcast stations: KHOF-TV channel 30 in San Bernardino, California, KHOF-FM 99.5 in Los Angeles, California, KVOF-TV channel 38 in San Francisco, California, and WHCT channel 18 in Hartford, Connecticut. These stations comprised F.B.N., the Faith Broadcasting Network.

Broadcasting

In 1975, Scott began nightly live broadcasts, and eventually satellite broadcasts extended his services and talk shows to many countries. [1] [10] [11]

Scott became known as much for his stage persona as he was for his preaching skills. He would fill chalkboards with scriptural passages in the original Greek, Hebrew or Aramaic during his exegeses as to their meanings.

During his live fundraising broadcasts, Scott typically stared into the camera and told his viewers to get on the telephone and give if they felt as though the spirit called for it, often wearing one of a variety of hats, such as an English pith helmet or a sombrero. He often played a videotape of The Statesmen Quartet singing the lively hymn "I Wanna Know" repeatedly to get viewers to contribute.

Scott showed disdain for other religious broadcasters like Jerry Falwell and Jimmy Swaggart, and bristled when people referred to him as a televangelist, preferring to be regarded as a teacher and pastor. [12]

Los Angeles University Cathedral

University Cathedral marquee Los Angeles United Artists Theatre 2008 2.jpg
University Cathedral marquee

In 1989, Scott was approached by Bruce Corwin, then president of Miracle on Broadway and chairman of the Metropolitan Theatres Corporation, to restore the United Artists flagship theatre in downtown Los Angeles.

In 1990, Scott and his congregation moved their Sunday service to the building, which he renamed the Los Angeles University Cathedral. According to the Los Angeles County Recorder's office and North American title report, Scott acquired ownership of the building through his entity the Wescott Christian Center in December 2002. Both the building [13] and the neon "Jesus Saves" signs are designated historic monuments. [ citation needed ]

Portions of the Dr. Gene Scott Bible Collection containing Bibles, other books, and manuscripts, were formerly held at the building.

University Network

In 1975, Scott began a series of broadcasts which resulted in the creation of the University Network. By 1983, this network was broadcasting his sermons 24 hours a day via satellite to the United States and Canada, as well as to much of Mexico and the Caribbean. By 1990, his network was available to 180 countries, and by 1992 his sermons were being broadcast in several languages on AM, FM and shortwave radio.

Drawing from nearly 30 years of recorded programming, [14] Scott's radio, satellite and television ministry continues to be broadcast, although on different stations and at different times.

Notable members of congregation

Among Scott's volunteer cadre of telephone-answering "Voices of Faith" was Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Wes Parker. During a 1982 broadcast (index number S-1086-3), Parker spoke with Scott publicly for over 20 minutes, stating that before coming across Scott's television program, he had never understood or felt drawn toward Christianity. He said that it was Scott's intelligent and fact-based approach to teaching that earned his respect and allowed him to build faith. He also said that his earlier exposures to Christianity had had no effect, because they were mostly based on simplistic platitudes such as "God is love" which he found unconvincing.

Actor Don DeFore was also a member of his congregation.

Continuing broadcast presentation

During the years following Scott's death, his surviving wife and successor, Pastor Melissa Scott, has purchased many hours of time over broadcast, cable, and satellite television for the presentation of one-hour programs of his messages from his later years, as well as many recent lectures by herself from Faith Center. Still available are the 24-hour satellite, internet, and shortwave radio broadcasts, carrying the raw network feed, featuring three decades of Scott's recorded teachings.

Starting in 2005, Melissa Scott led the Los Angeles church until it was sold, and she now leads the Glendale church. She is seen weekly on her own national television broadcast. She refers to Scott as her mentor.[ dead link ] [15]

Posthumous publication of writings

As of 2014, 10 of his books have been released posthumously. Currently comprising seven volumes, The Dr. Gene Scott Pulpit is being published with Melissa Scott's approval as a series of book volumes comprising every Sunday message preached by Gene Scott since his arrival at the Faith Center in 1975. The series is published and distributed by Dolores Press, though none of his books are available or even listed on its website (presumably sold only to attendees of church services held by Pastor Melissa Scott). [16]

Hobbies

Scott was an artist and painted well over a thousand watercolors, acrylics and oils. He was a philatelist, once owning the Ferrer block, and an equestrian.

Philanthropic activities and memberships

Scott's charitable activities included raising money for the Los Angeles Public Library and the Rose Bowl Aquatics Center in Pasadena. [17] His interests and memberships included:

  • Los Angeles Central Library Save the Books telethon
  • Vice-Chairman of the Board of the Rose Bowl Aquatics Center and one of its founding directors
  • Member, Board of "Rebuild L.A."
  • Member, Philatelic Foundation of New York

Marriages and relationships

Death

Scott was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2000, but declined surgery and chemotherapy. After four years he was diagnosed with cancer elsewhere in his body. Scott described his battle with the sickness to his congregation during several months of continued live broadcasts.

In mid-2004 he named his wife, Melissa Scott, as pastor of the church and signed papers effecting the transition. In February 2005, Scott suffered a stroke and lapsed into a coma in Glendale Adventist Medical Center.

Scott was pronounced dead at 4:30 pm PST on February 21, 2005. [20]

Scott was profiled in the 1981 documentary God's Angry Man by Werner Herzog. [21]

Samples of his speeches were used in the song "Put yourself in Los Angeles" on the Chris & Cosey album "Heartbeat"

Clips from one of his on-air fund drives were used in the 1981 Cabaret Voltaire recording "Sluggin' Fer Jesus."

In an episode of Saturday Night Live which aired on January 23, 1988, Scott was portrayed by Robin Williams in a skit parodying the CableACE Awards. [22]

Scott is mentioned in Mojo Nixon and Skid Ropers' track "I'm Gonna Dig Up Howling Wolf" (Bo - Day - Shus, Enigma Records, 1987), as well as in the Netflix series GLOW .

Books

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References

  1. 1 2 "Biography of the late Dr. Gene Scott Ph.D." Archived from the original on 2007-07-03. Retrieved 2007-07-09.
  2. Champion et al. (1968), The Message of the Church, p. 217.
  3. Champion et al. (1968), The Message of the Church, pp. 11-2.
  4. Champion et al. (1968), The Message of the Church, p. 7.
  5. Champion et al. (1968), The Message of the Church, pp. 25-8.
  6. Fellowship ("The official publication of the Full Gospel Fellowship of Churches and Ministers, International"), vol. 2, no. 4, Summer 1970, p. 9
  7. Los Angeles County Recorder, North American Title Company, Los Angeles Superior Court of California, Articles of Incorporation on file at the Secretary of State of California.
  8. Fellowship ("The official publication of the Full Gospel Fellowship of Churches and Ministers, International"), vol. 2, no. 4, Summer 1970, p. 7
  9. Past Presidents page of The Fellowship Today website
  10. "Best/Worst Deceased Televangelists". Thesimon.com.
  11. Austin Chronicle: Print an Article
  12. Bunting, Glenn F. (July 10, 1994). "The Shock Jock of Televangelism". Los Angeles Times .
  13. City of Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument (HCM) Report Archived 2014-02-22 at the Wayback Machine Entry #523
  14. Thevolcanodog.com
  15. Dr. Gene Scott's Bio on Pastor Melissa Scott.com Archived 2010-12-16 at the Wayback Machine
  16. "Dolores Press, Inc. Books and Bibles". Dolores Press, Inc. Retrieved September 7, 2015.
  17. Gene Scott -- television preacher and philanthropist, Larry B. Stammer, San Francisco Chronicle, February 24, 2005, Retrieved 2007-07-09
  18. Credited in his 1957 doctoral dissertation, "without whose patience, consideration, and timely aid this work could not have been completed."
  19. Drgenescott.com
  20. Larry B. Stammer, "Gene Scott, 75; Television Preacher Famous for His Unconventional Ministry", Los Angeles Times, February 23, 2005, http://articles.latimes.com/2005/feb/23/local/me-scott23
  21. Canby, Vincent (July 20, 1983). "FILM: WERNER HERZOG DOCUMENTARIES". The New York Times .
  22. SNL Archives Details

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