Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
William Eugene Scott or Dr. Gene Scott (August 14, 1929 – February 21, 2005) was an internationally known U.S.-based religious broadcaster and author of 20 books. Dr. Scott served as pastor of the University Cathedral in Los Angeles, California, which claimed a membership of 15,000 people. Outside Los Angeles, Dr. Scott's ministry reached listeners in more than 180 countries and was the first Christian broadcaster to cover the globe through satellite, shortwave and internet media.
William Eugene Scott was born in Buhl, Idaho, to William Theodore Scott , a traveling Pentecostal preacher, and Inez Leona Graves Scott . In 1934, when Scott was six, his mother gave birth prematurely to twins, of whom one died shortly after birth. His mother told an interviewer in 1980 that she was visited by angels at this time, stating that she "saw a stairway begin to roll down from heaven and come right down to the side of my bed," and that "two angels walked down and they stopped in front of Gene." At this point, his mother claims to have said "Oh no, Lord, you can't take Gene!" and that the angels "just went around him and picked the baby up".
Scott excelled in primary and secondary school both academically and athletically — allegedly a seventh grade teacher even attached a note to his report card informing his parents that their son was a genius. However, his father's conservative congregation disapproved of his athletic pursuits, for playing basketball meant that he needed to wear shorts.
Dr. Scott earned his Ph.D. in Philosophies of Education at Stanford University in California in 1957. The subject of his thesis was Reinhold Niebuhr. In 1992 he was the featured cover story for the Stanford Alumni Magazine. After receiving his Ph.D., he briefly taught at Evangel College (now Evangel University) following which he assisted Oral Roberts to establish Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Gene Scott's first marriage was to Betty Ann Frazer , his high school sweetheart at Oroville Union High School . This marriage lasted 23 years. In later years Scott was openly critical of Ms. Frazer on his television show, calling her "the devil's sister" as well as remarking, "If I go to heaven and she's there, I'm going to another planet." Subsequent marriages include those to Christine E. Shaw and Melissa Pastore. Since Dr. Scott's death in February 2005, Mrs. Melissa Scott is now the pastor of both Wescott Christian Center and Faith Center churches.
Dr. Gene Scott joined the pentecostal denomination called the Assemblies of God and over the years preached in many countries. After leaving the AOG, he was voted Vice President of the fledging Full Gospel Fellowship of Churches and Ministers International (which his father was a member) and later served as its President from October 1975 to July 1984. From time of his pastorate at Faith Center forward, his worldwide preaching was via shortwave radio, satellite television and internet broadcasting.
Wescott Christian Center
In 1970, Scott resigned his Assemblies of God credential in good standing and returned to Oroville, CA, to launch his own ministry with his father; they named this Wescott Christian Center . Wescott Christian Center still maintains a branch in Oroville.
It was while serving his Oroville ministry that Scott was approached to serve as a finanical consultant for the 45-year-old Faith Center church in Glendale, CA by its then pastor, Ray Schoch , along with its four broadcast stations, which included KHOF-TV channel 30, San Bernardino, CA, KHOF-FM 99.5 Los Angeles, CA, KVOF-TV channel 38, San Francisco, CA, and WHCT channel 18 in Hartford, Connecticut. Faith Center was in crisis because its founder, religious broadcast pioneer Ray Schoch , had suffered severe cardiac problems, leaving his Faith Broadcasting Network hemorraging money by the mismanagement by those left running the network.
Los Angeles University Cathedral
In 1985 Dr. Scott attempted to save the former Church of the Open Door building; although unsuccessful, he was able to save the historic red neon "Jesus Saves" signs which had formerly adorned the roof of the Church of the Open Door and which had become a very familiar sight to Los Angeles area residents over the years.
In 1990, Dr. Scott and his congregation moved their Sunday activites to the former United Artists flagship theater (which was built by Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. in 1927)in downtown Los Angeles, which was renamed the "Los Angeles University Cathedral". The Cathedral was acquired in December 2002.
With more than 15,000 members in the Greater Los Angeles area, the Baroque-style University Cathedral is the largest Protestant church in downtown area of the city. Both the Cathedral and the world-famous "Jesus Saves" signs are designated historic monuments. Over 100,000 people have viewed the church exhibition of the "Dr. Gene Scott Bible Collection" with its many historic Bibles, books and manuscripts.
In 1975 Scott began a series of broadcasts which resulted in the creation of the University Network. By 1983 the University 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 four languages on AM and short wave radio stations heard in many parts of the world. His programs consisted in the main of an informal style of Bible teaching mixed with music and video of his interests in such diverse subjects as philately, painting, and American Saddlebred horses.
Stage and broadcasting presentation
Scott's broadcasts fell into two distinct categories. The first was the broadcast of the traditional Sunday service in a format familiar to Protestant Christianity. The second was a broadcast of what Scott has named the "Festival of Faith". The "Festival of Faith" was a very informal, non-traditional broadcast which featured Scott sitting alone in a chair, often smoking a cigar or a pipe, telling jokes, interacting with the crew and "Voices of Faith", pastoring his staff and/or his congregation, and making occasional remarks that to some might considered "off-color." These "Festival of Faith" broadcasts also featured Scott reading from books on UFOs, demonology, The Great Pyramid of Giza, or similar viewer-grabbing topics. He would often call out "AM I BORING YOU?", to which his staff would shout "NO, SIR!" He frequently exhorted his viewers to "Get on the phone!" to respond to the programing.
- Assemblies of God — many ministers of this denomination have had individual styles of presentation that sometimes shocked outside observers.
The membership and interests of Dr. Scott 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.
- Official biography
- A Los Angeles Times article on Scott, hosted on an anti-Scott site
- San Francisco Chronicle Obituary
- Pasadena Star obituary, with a detailed account of Scott's life
- Daily Telegraph obituary
- Dr. Scott launches into a vulgar rant against his detractors
- A Rotten.com library article that is somewhat whimsical and critical
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