Charles W.H. Scott (1904-1993) served the Assemblies of God with distinction as a church planter, executive presbyter, district official, and as an assistant general superintendent where he had oversight of a number of important AG ministries.
Born in Arundel, Quebec, Canada, Charles Scott attended public school in Montreal and attended two years at Rochester Bible Training School in New York (1922-1924). He also attended Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, New Jersey (1925-1926). His first pastorate was in Trenton, New Jersey, in 1924. He was ordained with the Eastern district of the Assemblies of God on June 14, 1925. He married Gertrude V. Northrop in Rochester, New York, on Oct. 16, 1926.
In 1927 the Scotts pioneered a church at Altoona, Pennsylvania, followed by pioneer works at Tyrone, Roaring Springs, and Lebanon, Pennsylvania. While serving as pastor of Riverside Tabernacle, Flint, Michigan (1933-1941), through the vision and energy of the Scotts, several nearby towns received their first Pentecostal witness. These included Bethel Tabernacle (on the east side of Flint), Goodrich, Lapeer, and Owosso, Michigan. The Scotts also pastored in Atlantic City, New Jersey (1929-1933), where the Scotts broadcast the Sunshine Gospel Program, and Church of the Four-Fold Gospel (AG) in Battle Creek, Michigan (1941-1945).
Scott served as a district presbyter for the Central district from 1938-1945 and was an executive presbyter from 1954 until his retirement in 1971.
When the Michigan district was organized in 1945, Scott was elected superintendent. During his time as superintendent, the Michigan district opened 90 new churches. Scott held that post for 12 years.
From 1957-1971, Scott served as an assistant general superintendent of the Assemblies of God. He was an executive director for Home Missions (now U.S. Missions), Benevolences, Ministers Benefit Association, Sunday School, the Education Department, and the Men’s department. One major home missions activity under his direction was new church evangelism. More than 900 new Assemblies of God churches were opened during his six years as director of Home Missions (1966-1971).
Scott’s first initiative as Home Missions director was called “Branch Out,” which encouraged local churches to branch out beyond their four walls and plant churches, as well as ministering to needy people groups. He focused on reaching Native Americans, the deaf culture, the blind, and those with drug and other addictions.
Under Scott’s leadership, the missions work in Puerto Rico was placed under the authority of the Home Missions Department. He and Curtis Ringness, director of Special Ministries, began to aggressively pursue building churches in Puerto Rico, and they were aided by a Spirit-filled businessman who donated two choice properties in Puerto Rico which were used for planting churches.
In the late 1950s, Burton Pierce, the Men’s Fellowship director of the AG, noticed that many young boys were drifting away from the local church. He declared, “Our number-one priority is to get men involved in soul winning and the discipling of boys.” In 1960, Scott suggested the name, “Royal Rangers,” for such a discipleship program, and two years later, the Royal Rangers program was inaugurated with Johnnie Barnes as the first Royal Rangers national commander.
In addition to church planting, Charles Scott was a large proponent of Christian higher education in the Assemblies of God. When Evangel College (now Evangel University) began classes in 1955, while still superintendent of the Michigan district, Scott served as the first chairman of the board of directors.
During 1959 Charles Scott and Cordas C. Burnett, national education secretary, compiled a thorough analysis on the need for a seminary in the Assemblies of God. This eventually led to the establishment of the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary. Scott served as chairman of the board for American Indian Bible College (now SAGU-American Indian College) and also served as a board member for Central Bible College and Northeast Bible Institute (now The University of Valley Forge). Both Evangel College and American Indian Bible College honored him by naming campus buildings after him. He also served as chairman of the board for Hillcrest Children’s Home in Hot Springs, Arkansas, and Highlands Child Placement Services in Kansas City, Missouri.
At Scott’s retirement in 1971, Curtis Ringness said, “It is the prerogative of God, both to call and to qualify a man to be a successful minister of the gospel. Charles W. H. Scott has steadfastly maintained the distinction and dignity of his calling. His deportment has always been correct, his character pure, and his spirit excellent. The strength of his faith and his dedication to the cause of Christ have been an inspiration to all who know him.”
In later years, when approaching their seventies, the Scotts moved to Sun City, Arizona, to pioneer Evangel Church for nine years (1972-1981). The church began with services in private homes until a more permanent building could be established. At a time in life when most people plan to gear down activities, Charles Scott launched a fund-raising program to purchase property and construct a new building. The first services were held in the new church sanctuary on Easter Sunday of 1977. The church grew to about 150 people while Scott was pastor.
The Scotts moved back to Springfield, Missouri, in 1985 to live at Maranatha Village, where he passed away on Jan. 3, 1993. His wife, Gertrude, passed away in 1996.
General Superintendent G. Raymond Carlson said of Charles Scott, “His contribution to God’s work and the Assemblies of God cannot be measured by words. He had an illustrious career of service to the Lord and our Fellowship.”
Read Charles W. H. Scott’s article, “World Crisis and Coming Events,” on page 3 of the Dec. 2, 1956, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.
Also featured in this issue:
• “God’s Plan for Palestine,” by Robert C. Cunningham
• “God is Still on the Throne,” by Ralph M. Riggs
• “Christian Conduct in View of Christ’s Coming,” by J. Bashford Bishop
And many more!
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Pentecostal Evangel archived editions courtesy of the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center