William Scales Jr., a well-known evangelist, passes to his rest.
Birmingham, Alabama—William Clinton Scales, Jr., a pastor, and evangelist who spent his life in service to the Lord, passed away on May 27, 2017, at the age of 82. Approximately 750 attended a celebration of his life and legacy on June 11, 2017, at Oakwood University Church in Huntsville, Alabama.
Throughout his career, Scales conducted many public evangelism campaigns, baptizing thousands and establishing new churches. This year, despite being ill, Scales was planning an evangelistic campaign for this summer. And at the time of his death, he was serving as pastor of the Bessemer First and Brent Seventh-day Adventist churches.
“William Clinton Scales, Jr. represented a genre of Adventist preachers who clearly saw their ministry as a ‘calling’ rather than a ‘profession,’” said Alvin Kibble, vice president for the North American Division (NAD), and friend and colleague of Scales.
Scales officially retired in 1997, after being appointed the NAD’s first Ministerial Association secretary in 1986. During this time, Scales helped train hundreds of pastors using evangelistic materials he helped create. In 1997, he was inducted into the Martin Luther King, Jr. Collegium of Preachers and Scholars at Morehouse College. Before his tenure with the NAD, Scales served as associate secretary of the General Conference Ministerial Association from 1978 to 1985.
Scales gave his heart to Christ after almost dying in a car accident in Ohio when he was 8. He promised God that he would become a preacher and devote his life to evangelism. Scales married Lois Yates (1934-1998) in 1958.
Scales began pastoral ministry in the Central States Conference. Ordained in 1962, he served in Allegheny Conference (later in Allegheny East Conference) for many years. He worked with Cleveland to hone an evangelistic ministry approach known as the Real Truth program. This program, strongly influenced by the Ellen G. White book Evangelism, promotes a holistic approach to evangelism. His program includes presenting the gospel, health principles, family enrichment, youth outreach, music, literature evangelism, and special emphasis on lay member involvement.
Scales is survived by his wife, Pat, whom he married in 1999; two children; three step-children; nine grandchildren; and five great-grand-children.
[Kimberly Luste Maran, NAD Communication]
A mission to Mongolia fulfills an ancient request
Mongolia—In A.D. 1266, the great Kublai Khan, leader of the Mongol Yuan dynasty, asked two Italian merchantmen to return home with a letter requesting 100 well-educated Christian missionaries to come back and teach his people about the gospel. Unfortunately, Kublai Khan’s desire was not fulfilled at that time; until now!
Seven hundred and fifty years later, a ministry called It Is Written (IIW), in partnership with the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Mongolia, responds to this ancient request, focusing its attention on Mongolia, a country with 97 percent non-Christian population, with a life-saving message of hope.
The IIW team, along with the Mongolia Mission, held a large evangelistic campaign, June 2017, named In What Can You Trust? Altogether, more than 120 volunteer missionaries came from abroad, and 14 churches and companies in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar got involved in this bold missionary challenge. On the last day of the series, 71 people were baptized.
“Since 2015, IIW has been actively involved in humanitarian and gospel work to help Mongolians get a clearer picture of Jesus as their help in this world and their hope in the world to come,” said Erik Flickinger, associate speaker for the ministry.
Humanitarian work began in 2015 by drilling water wells at local churches where the local community had no access to fresh and clean drinking water. Today, three churches have hot and cold running water and can attract people who otherwise might not take notice of them.
The “Mission: Mongolia” project involved medical, dental, and optical clinics as well as nightly Bible presentations by IIW speaker/director John Bradshaw. More than 700 people attended.
“More than 70 precious souls publicly confessed their love for Jesus through baptism,” said Yves Monnier, IIW evangelism director. “I had the honor of baptizing a young lady with muscular dystrophy. I just cradled her small body in my arms, and we both went down in the water,” he said. “You should have seen her when we came up out of the water: smiling and crying all at the same time.”
Monnier asked church members around the world to keep praying for Mongolia, as locals keep working with others who are continuing to study. “Hundreds more are now being prepared for future baptisms,” he said.
In Mongolia, it seems that Kublai Khan’s original request is being fulfilled thanks to the efforts of Adventist missionaries who proclaim a better, everlasting empire, and the coming of a new Khan (King)!
[Yure Gramacho, Northern Asia Pacific Division]
Barry Black and Wintley Phipps in National Day of Prayer
Washington, DC—For the National Day of Prayer, an interdenominational service took place Thursday, May 4, 2017. It was hosted by recently appointed chair of the National Day of Prayer Task Force, Anne Graham Lotz, a daughter of Billy and Ruth Graham.
Music was provided by Seventh-day Adventist pastor and vocalist, Wintley Phipps.
Ruthie Jacobsen, prayer ministries coordinator of the North American Division, commented, “United States Senate chaplain Barry Black led the packed hall in a prayer that gave us the sense we were in the very presence of God.” Lotz added, “U.S. Senate Chaplain Barry Black followed Wintley, leading us in a prayer that not only invoked God’s presence, but stirred the audience to ‘Amen’ and applaud.”
Jacobsen stated that another transformational moment was a message delivered by Anne Graham Lotz. “She led us carefully through Daniel’s prayer (Dan. 9) and called the country to focus on some specific personal and national sins, with an earnest call to repentance, personally and for our nation.”
The evening concluded, as it had begun, with song. Lotz stated, “Wintley Phipps led us in singing what has become known as our national hymn, “Amazing Grace.” The last verse brought us to our feet as we sang with him, ‘When we’ve been there ten thousand years, bright shining as the sun, we’ve no less days to sing God’s praise, than when we’d first begun.’ ”
[Ruthie Jacobsen and Anne Graham Lotz]