Gene Scott

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


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]

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.

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.


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.

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.


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 Oct. 14, 2019, 14 volumes of "The Dr. Gene Scott Pulpit" have been published by Dolores Press for Pastor Melissa Scott. This work in progress comprises every Sunday message preached by Gene Scott since his arrival at the Faith Center in 1975. The entire series is available for purchase individually or as a set at the Dolores Press website. [16]


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


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] Williams had previously discussed his love of Scott's theatrical preaching on The Tonight Show , saying, "I take no medications, but I'm on TV 48 hours a day!" [23]

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 .


Related Research Articles

Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Mainline Protestant (religious) denomination

The Christian Church is a Mainline Protestant Christian denomination in the United States and Canada. The denomination started with the Restoration Movement during the Second Great Awakening, first existing as a loose association of churches working towards Christian unity during the 19th century, then slowly forming quasi-denominational structures through missionary societies, regional associations, and an international convention. In 1968, the Disciples of Christ officially adopted a denominational structure at which time a group of churches left to remain nondenominational.

The Pentecostal World Fellowship is a fellowship of Evangelical Pentecostal churches and denominations from across the world. The headquarters is in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Its leader is Dr. William M. Wilson.

Andraé Crouch American musician

Andraé Edward Crouch was an American gospel singer, songwriter, arranger, record producer and pastor. Referred to as "the father of modern gospel music" by contemporary Christian and gospel music professionals, Crouch was known for his compositions "The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power", "My Tribute " and "Soon and Very Soon". He collaborated on some of his recordings with artists, such as Stevie Wonder, El DeBarge, Philip Bailey, Chaka Khan, Sheila E. and vocal group Take 6, and many recording artists covered his material, including, Bob Dylan, Barbara Mandrell, Paul Simon, Elvis Presley and Little Richard. In the 1980s and 1990s, he was known as the "go to" producer for superstars who sought a gospel choir sound in their recordings, appearing on a number of recordings, including Michael Jackson's "Man In the Mirror", Madonna's "Like a Prayer", and "The Power", a duet between Elton John and Little Richard. Crouch was noted for his talent of incorporating contemporary secular music styles into the gospel music he grew up with. His efforts in this area helped pave the way for early American contemporary Christian music during the 1960s and 1970s.

KPXN-TV, virtual channel 30, is an Ion Television owned-and-operated television station serving Los Angeles, California, United States that is licensed to San Bernardino. The station is owned by West Palm Beach, Florida-based Ion Media Networks, as part of a duopoly with Inglewood-licensed Ion Plus owned-and-operated station KILM. The two stations share offices on West Olive Avenue in Burbank and transmitter facilities atop Mount Wilson.

D. James Kennedy American evangelist

Dennis James Kennedy was an American pastor, evangelist, Christian broadcaster, and author. He served as senior pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, from 1960 until his death in 2007. Kennedy also founded Evangelism Explosion International, Coral Ridge Ministries, the Westminster Academy in Fort Lauderdale, the Knox Theological Seminary, radio station WAFG-FM, and the Center for Reclaiming America for Christ, a socially conservative political group.

KKLA-FM Christian talk radio station in Los Angeles

KKLA-FM is a commercial radio station licensed to Los Angeles, California and serving the Greater Los Angeles area. The station is owned by the Salem Media Group and broadcasts a Christian talk and teaching format. The KKLA-FM studios are located in Glendale and the transmitter is located atop Mount Wilson.

Faith Broadcasting Network

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

Holy Family Catholic Church (Glendale, California) primary school

Holy Family Catholic Church is a Catholic parish located on Elk Avenue in Glendale, California that consists of a Catholic church, an elementary school and an all-girls high school. Founded in 1907, it is the oldest parish in Glendale.

Ace Hotel Los Angeles highrise hotel and movie theater building in downtown Los Angeles, California, United States

Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles, originally built as the California Petroleum Corporation Building and later known as the Texaco Building, is a 243 ft (74 m), 13-story highrise hotel and theater building located at 937 South Broadway in downtown Los Angeles, California. It was the tallest building in the city for one year after its completion in 1927, and was the tallest privately owned structure in Los Angeles until 1956. Its style is Spanish Gothic, patterned after Segovia Cathedral in Segovia, Spain.

Frederick K.C. Price is the founder and presiding bishop of Crenshaw Christian Center (CCC), located in California. He is known for his Ever Increasing Faith ministries broadcast, which is aired weekly on both television and radio.

Scott George Bauer was the senior pastor of The Church On The Way from late 1999 until his sudden death in 2003. He also served as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the King’s College and Seminary and as the supervisor the Los Angeles North Valley District of Foursquare Churches. On weekdays, he was known for his messages that aired on the KTLW radio program titled Life on the Way. Before his death, Scott Bauer had finished writing his first book, The New Church On The Way. He helped in the founding the now defunct Los Angeles Community Builders Inc. which battled against neighborhood deterioration and juvenile delinquency. He is credited with assisting in the founding of the Israel-Christian Nexus with his “encouragement” and “guidance”. Among Southern California clergy, he was known for bringing Jewish and Christian leaders together.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in California

As of year-end 2017, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints reported 767,301 members in 1,278 wards and branches, 16 missions, seven temples and 228 Family History Centers in California.

United Church of Christ in the Philippines

The United Church of Christ in the Philippines is a Christian denomination in the Philippines. Established in its present form in Malate, Manila, it resulted from the merger of the Evangelical Church of the Philippines, the Philippine Methodist Church, the Disciples of Christ, the United Evangelical Church and several independent congregations.

Pentecostal Church in Indonesia

Pentecostal Church in Indonesia is a Pentecostal denomination of Indonesia. It was founded in 1921 and claims a seven-digit-membership. It used to bear the name Vereeniging De Pinkstergemeente in Nederlandsch Oost Indie. It is one of the largest Pentecostal denominations in Indonesia.

Swami Vivekananda in California 1899 sojourn

Swami Vivekananda, the 19th-century Indian monk, came to Los Angeles, California in 1899 during his second visit to the West. His oratorical skills and presentation of Hindu religious tenets and comparison with other religious beliefs made him a celebrity among a wide spectrum of American audience. Between 1893—1897 and 1899—1902, he traveled widely in the US lecturing on a wide range of subjects and also established Vedanta Centers. There are such centers in many cities in the US including many centers in California. In 1899, after delivering lectures in New York, he travelled to the western part of United States and reached Los Angeles via Chicago. He then went on to deliver lectures in California at Oakland, San Francisco and Alameda.

Ralph Basui Watkins is the Peachtree Associate Professor of Evangelism and Church Growth at Columbia Theological Seminary, in Decatur, Georgia, United States. He also serves as the senior pastor of the historic Wheat Street Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, United States.

R. L. Hymers Jr. American baptist minister

Robert L. Hymers Jr. is a conservative Baptist pastor noted for his evangelistic sermons and for his emphasis on classical Protestant conversion. He is the founding pastor of the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles. In the 1980s he drew media attention for his demonstrations against abortion, during which he led prayers for the death of pro-choice Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan, which he later regretted and retracted, and for demonstrations against the movie, The Last Temptation of Christ. He is the author of several books on conversion, apologetics and theological subjects.

Global Church Network is an incorporated educational, networking and strategic resource for evangelical leadership. The headquarters is in Melbourne, Florida.

Neil G. Cazares-Thomas is the senior pastor of the Cathedral of Hope in Dallas, Texas, the world’s largest liberal Christian church with a primary outreach to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. Cazares-Thomas is a former senior pastor of the Founders Metropolitan Community Church in Los Angeles, California.

Jack MacArthur

Jack MacArthur was an American pastor.


  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". Archived from the original on 2007-11-05. Retrieved 2007-11-01.
  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
  15. Dr. Gene Scott's Bio on Pastor Melissa 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."
  20. Larry B. Stammer, "Gene Scott, 75; Television Preacher Famous for His Unconventional Ministry", Los Angeles Times, February 23, 2005,
  21. Canby, Vincent (July 20, 1983). "FILM: WERNER HERZOG DOCUMENTARIES". The New York Times .
  22. SNL Archives Details