Meet Pastor Scott
Pastor Scott's journey of faith has been marked by a profound exploration and a deep commitment to following truth, regardless of where that led. Scott from a very young age was passionate about justice and about respect for all people.
Pastor Scott's journey began in his youth when he was raised in a conservative evangelical household. His father was a pastor, and his parents instilled in him a strong faith foundation, a deep respect for Scripture and the Church, a genuine desire to serve others, and above all to follow Jesus. As a young man, he felt a call to serve God’s people, but was uncertain what that meant and did not know how to pursue that call, as he emphatically felt he could not be a good pastor.
A few years after he claimed his faith as his own, his parents were drawn to the charismatic movement, which at the time cost his father his relationship with the denomination, and so his parents embarked on a search for a church that would accept them, which Scott was taken on as well. This exposed him to multiple experiences and denominations, all over the country, as his father moved jobs all over the country. This has profoundly influenced Pastor Scott to be welcoming of all people in the Church and to understand multiple perspectives on the faith journey.
After a bachelor’s degree in International Studies, Pastor Scott reluctantly answered God’s call to go to law school. While in law school, he was given the opportunity to help low income immigrants and refugees with their immigration legal cases. This led upon graduation to him focusing his law practice on immigration matters. In particular, many of his cases involved asylum and refugee work, and he saw first hand how our nation’s immigration laws were cruel and unjust. This crystallized for him a foundational commitment to fight and advocate for justice for a group that politically and culturally was increasingly marginalized and vilified.
Pastor Scott was often distressed at seeing his fellow believer’s attitudes toward immigrants. After his father’s death at only age 52, he struggled with loss and a sense of no longer having a spiritual home. After several years of feeling lost, he found a refuge in the United Methodist Church. And it was here that his pastor finally helped him put the puzzle together of the call to serve God’s people. Despite deep misgivings, and even thinking God had made a mistake in calling him, Pastor Scott began the journey to be credentialed as a UMC minister.
He underwent years of training and education, and as he began to explore and analyze Scripture and his faith understanding, his faith deepened and transformed. He was finally able to put the evangelical faith of his youth together with the passionate pursuit of social justice. The United Methodist Church’s combined tradition of personal holiness and evangelism along with a commitment to social justice, inclusivity, and theological diversity resonated deeply with him.
Pastor Scott’s experience as an immigration attorney informed his understanding of following Jesus. He saw that the Gospel's call was emphatically to love and care for the stranger and the marginalized. The United Methodist Church's emphasis on welcoming the immigrant and advocating for immigrant rights aligned with his professional work and his deepening faith understanding.
In 2008 he was appointed to his first UMC appointment. In 2015 he was appointed to Oregonia UMC. In 2017, Pastor Scott’s immigration expertise and his pastoral calling finally came together. He became a leading voice in the West Ohio conference on immigration matters. He advised the legislative team on an immigration proposal at the Annual Conference, which passed overwhelmingly.
Over the next year he developed a team from multiple UMC churches to carry out immigration ministry, culminating in a legal clinic for low income immigrants. He continues to lead and develop matters regarding our faith as it intersects with immigrants and is the Director of the United Methodist Immigration Legal Clinic.
As the UMC has been going through a period of upheaval with churches disaffiliating over LGBT issues, Pastor Scott remains committed to the UMC. Though having been raised traditionally on the question of homosexuality, his study of Scripture, his and his understanding of God’s love, and justice, have drawn him to conclude that the traditional interpretation has missed the mark. He therefore stands committed to inclusivity of all.
Today, Pastor Scott serves as a devoted minister at the Oregonia United Methodist Church while continuing his work as an immigration attorney. His journey through different Christian traditions, combined with his professional experiences, has shaped his compassionate approach to ministry and fueled his commitment to creating a more inclusive and just society. He draws upon his diverse background to guide and inspire his congregation, encouraging them to follow Jesus by living out their faith through acts of love, mercy, and justice in the world.