As the first full-time, Ivy League trained national evangelist to come out of the Black Baptist church, Manuel Scott, Jr. is somewhat of an anomaly. His gifting has fueled an appeal that has led him to conducting well over 1000 revivals and workshops and resulted in thousands receiving salvation.
This Friday, the L.A. faith community will come together to honor a man they hail as a legend among them. The event—hosted by Rev. Dr. J. Benjamin Hardwick and keynoted by Dr. R.A. Williams— celebrates his four decades as a full-time evangelist —a feat he says has never been done in the Black Baptist church.
“The Black Baptist tradition historically has not supported the notion of someone being a fulltime evangelist,” Scott explains. “All of your “evangelists” have always been pastors.”
Which is not surprisingly how Scott started out.
“After I finished Princeton Seminary in New Jersey and returned to Los Angeles, I worked out in San Bernardino, New Hope Church for two years before being called to pastor Park Windsor Baptist Church from 1977 to 1982,” Scott recounts.
Like everything he’d done, the L.A. native excelled at pastoring.
“The five years I was there, the Lord blessed the work so much that it was phenomenal. We grew to over 1100 members. We were on the cutting edge of ministry,” said Scott.
“What we established most churches do not have even today and because I’m a great believer in tithing, under my leadership the tithes jumped 1500%. So, when I came there, the church had $4,000 in the bank. When I left 40 years ago, the church had over $154,000 in the bank.”
But, he says, God was calling him to do something else.
“I kept hearing a voice two years before I actually left”, Scott Recalls, The voice said, this is not for you and it scared me death. At the same time, my revival activities were increasing, and I had enough sense to know that I could not keep both ministries up because I had such a young growing church that needed my attention, not just on Sunday, but during the week.”
Scott, who says he was born to do evangelism, is the son of legendary pastor, Manuel Scott Sr., who was twice named to Ebony Magazine’s list of “America’s 15 Greatest Black Preachers”.
“Most sons of legendary preachers do not make it. What happens is the son tries very unwisely to compete with the legend of their father. But,” notes Scott, “I’m very independent. I’ve always wanted to make it on my own. The name didn’t hurt me. In fact, it opened so many doors, but I had to do my due diligence to keep the doors open.”
Not only did his work open doors in the national Baptist community but expanded to other denominations as will be reflected in the crowd that is expected to gather on Friday at the Praises of Zion Baptist Church to honor him.
However, what you won’t see is any indication of Scott’s slowing down.
“This really signals chapter two.” Scott remarks “I’ve got too much to do, particularly now that the pandemic for the most part is subsiding, things are opening up and my calendar looks like it used to look prior to the pandemic averaging anywhere from 55 to 61 revivals a year and I had not missed preaching on a Sunday morning in 15 years.” “Scott Remarks