Gene Scott died yesterday, and I feel obliged to say something for some strange reason. I guess it’s because I’m always struck by the vaguely overlapping areas of our lives.
First, he was at one time an Assemblies of God minister in my district. He left the denomination years back (in good standing, surprisingly enough), but the connection is still there.
Second, Dr. Scott had a connection with Stanford University–he earned his doctorate here in 1957 and was apparently once profiled for the cover story of the Stanford alumni magazine (this seems to be an undigitized issue or else I would link to it).
Third, his ministry was by its nature a money-asking sort. His methods were way over the line (some allege immoral and illegal), although he was pretty funny about it: “I sometimes get asked about what happens to all the money that comes in to this ministry. Let me tell you what happens to it. I spend it!”
Fourth, he was eccentric. That’s putting it mildly. If you’ve seen his show you know what I mean, and if you haven’t there’s no way you would believe me–for instance, one of his peculiar worship songs was Kill a Pissant for Jesus (I do not, sadly, have the lyrics). While I applaud the use of the underutilized word pissant , the song gives me pause. If you’ve got a few minutes, read over this old article from the LA Times: The Shock Jock of Television to get a feel for his unique ministry style.
The Assemblies of God, Stanford, fundraising, and eccentricity. That’s really all we had in common as far as I can determine (that, and we were both California white males). In some ways I admire him tremendously, and in other ways I shudder when I think of him. Either way, I consider him a distant cousin in ministry.
I hope he’s in heaven. If so, I imagine there are a lot of surprised people having some very unusual conversations with him.