On the morning of November 15, 2017, a strong husband and father, a loyal soldier for his God and country, and a humble servant of Christ, Jim Scott, passed away, graduating into the presence of his Lord and Savior. Jim Scott was a proud and devoted husband, father of 5 children, grandfather, and great-grandfather to many. However, when you speak to the people that Jim Scott that were touched by Jim Scott’s service and ministry, many would refer to him as their “spiritual father.”
Jim was the type of man that invested in the lives of those around him, both in their physical needs and eternal spiritual life. God used Jim in Eastern Europe and Africa to bring up local leaders from those regions that now lead World Reach ministries in serving their communities, teaching the Gospel, and training national Christian leaders. German missionary Botho Heinz, Ukrainian missionary Andrew Bulyhin, Kenyan missionary David Magiri, Albanian missionary Thomas Fleming, and global missionary Bobby Wilson are just some of the missionaries and Christian leaders that were led and discipled by Jim. Through Jim’s teaching, evangelism, and his investment in the lives of those he ministered to, God laid the foundation for ministries that have impacted generations of leaders and believers, and brought many to Christ.
“I have often described Jim as “my spiritual father.” He took me on my first experience in door to door evangelism when I was at Shades Mountain Independent. One of my early missionary journeys in 1994 to Russia was with Jim for 3 weeks. I remember a lot of stories. We studied the Word together. He encouraged me as I sought God’s will for my life. Over later years we made multiple trips to Russia and Ukraine together. I watched him, listened to his wisdom and grew to love him. He was my Barnabas. Jim was a big influence in my decision to join World Reach. He left a legacy and role model as a “builder of men, not buildings.” For me he modeled Philippians 1:21. His life was Jesus. Heaven gained a soldier of Christ. I am grateful to have served with him.” – Testimony from Bobby Wilson
Jim was also a man of many skills and talents, and if something needed to be done, and he could do it, then he would do it. 24 years in the Marines gave him much wisdom, experience, and knowledge to draw upon as he addressed the needs of the communities and churches he served. One day he could teach a class, the next help build a water-well. Jim was respected for his leadership and can-do attitude by his peers and those he trained. He did all with his work with a smile, and was known for making others laugh.
“Jim Scott on the mission field was a trail blazer opening up places for ministry. A can-do will-do kind of man. We followed in his path in Russia, Ukraine and Kenya. Everywhere he went, people respected him. We remember, as our field director, how protective he was of us in our early years fresh out of college. He has been a dear friend. His is one of the only phone numbers I remember in the U.S. even today. We miss him already.” – Testimony of Thomas & Rindy Fleming
Jim’s life had a huge and meaningful impact on all of us at World Reach. Ask any one of the missionaries who serve with us, and you’ll be quick to hear a story of Jim’s encouragement, Jim’s generosity, or a time when Jim taught them something. He intentionally invested in each person God put in his path, and you can see that in the fruits of his ministry. Through each of those people that Jim ministered to, encouraged, taught, and invested in, Jim’s legacy will live on.
“My first meeting with Jim Scott took place in October of 1999 at Central Baptist Church of St. Petersburg, Russia. I was asked by the local minister to translate for an American brother who was to introduce an Inductive Bible Study course there.
Little did I know that those few minutes of translation will grow into beautiful 18 years of friendship and ministry in Ukraine and Russia. Old Marine became more than fellow minister and friend – he was like a father to me. He taught me to love the Lord and His Word, to love the ministry, to love my wife, my family and my country.
I’ll never forget those long arguments we had over the Word of God. Jim would always say: “Read the Word. Scripture interprets Scripture”. I had a very hard time with a concept of eternal salvation. It took quite a bit of time and a lot of patience for Jim Scott to convince me through the Bible that I can’t lose my salvation. It revolutionized my life!
Years 2001-2004 were probably the most intensive in our ministry together as we served at Sumy and Vinnitsa World Reach Bible Institutes in Ukraine teaching men and women there. Many of those students are in the active ministry now.
His military stories and humorous situations he shared always added special flavor to our time both with the students and at home.
His book “I’m Still On a Battlefield” is one of the most cherished in my library. Jim Scott heavily influenced my life. His thoughts and ideas are so valuable for me.
Every time I called him I heard: “Brother Andrew, I am praying for you!” It sounded almost like “Son, I’ve got your back! Serve the Lord!” I felt the power of those prayers in my life.
And today I am not saying “Good Bye” to my spiritual father, dear friend and fellow minister. I am saying “See you soon at the feet of the Lamb”!”
Testimony from Andrew Bulyhin, Sumy, Ukraine.
Jim Scott’s family has requested that donations be made to World Reach en leiu of flowers. If you would like to donate, you can Click Here, or send a check to:
World Reach, Inc, P.O. Box 26155, Birmingham, AL 35260 with a note for the check to go to “Jim Scott Memorial.”
You can read more testimonials from World Reach missionaries below.
“Let me take this opportunity to honor my late my brother Jim for the hard work and legacy he has left in our Kenya ministry. Many pastors and church leaders were trained through Jim’s evangelism ministry, the landmark Jim has left but will never be forgotten by us in Kenya. The staff in Kenya have been saddened by the death of Jim Scott. May almighty God rest his soul and give him internal peace. we are looking forward to seeking him in heaven.”
– Testimony from Reverend David Magiri, Director, World Reach Kenya
“I was able to go on two mission’s trips with Mr. Scott. I’ll never forget his laugh and joy that he spread to each of us on the team! I remember also when my husband and I were very low on funds, he being in missions himself helped us. I know He is glad to finanally see Our Saviour face to face!” – Testimony from Elise Velasquez, Peru