Greenwood's Craig Scott is a seminary student and pastor intern with a passion for helping others grow in their relationship with Christ through daily Bible readings.
Scott, 33, is taking seminary courses through The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky and he has been serving as an administrative and discipleship pastor intern at Abney Memorial Baptist Church. He is also on the pulpit supply list for Lakelands Baptist Association.
Although he was born here, Scott said he was 3-years-old when he moved away, was raised in Easley and moved back to Greenwood in 2005.
Scott manages a Facebook page called Ephesians245 and a website, ephesians245.org, where daily Bible readings are designed to help people grow in their understanding of Scripture and Christian faith. He started those about two years ago.
"We just started a Bible reading plan that will guide us through a reading of the entire Bible in 2017," Scott said. "I got the idea to use something as big as social media to help others draw closer to Christ.... I had a great response to Bible reading plans last year and started it again this year. To get through the Bible in a year, it ends up being about three chapters from the Old Testament and one chapter from the New Testament a day."
Through his website and Facebook pages, Scott said he encourages participants to comment and engage in dialogue.
"I got the name from the New Testament book of Ephesians, chapter 2, verses 4 and 5," Scott said. "But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ — by grace you have been saved. That's the Gospel. That's the message we want to get out to the community."
Scott has also helped with youth ministry at Harris Baptist Church and the collegiate ministry at North Side Baptist Church, both in Greenwood.
He started seminary in 2013.
Jeff Lethco, senior pastor of North Side Baptist Church, describes Scott as one who is always open "to serving where he was needed." Lethco also noted Scott's drive to "communicate God's word to people."
"A servant's heart and a humble spirit are often keys to being heard," Lethco said. "Craig has both."
Encouraging daily Bible reading is a way to get people "to think about what they spend their time doing," Scott said, noting Abney Memorial started a reading plan on Jan. 1 to take the congregation through the books of the New Testament, with Scripture readings for five days a week.
"Bible reading for me is two-fold," Scott said. "If we're not in the word regularly, we're not going to know it, or the path we are to be on with Christ. This is our guide to life and it's important."
Scott was born with a neural tube defect called spina bifida, in which a developing baby's spine does not form normally, and Scott uses a wheelchair for mobility.
"I sometimes even work a wheelchair joke or two into my preaching," Scott said, noting some people are not quite sure how to take his sense of humor.
Scott said his parents were told when he was born that it was unlikely he would survive or thrive with his severe birth defect.
"I truly believe God has always had a plan for my life, although I haven't always understood it," Scott said. "I've never looked at my wheelchair as a burden and I knew God was going to use this chair for something.... The chair, as far as ministry goes, has allowed me to get into conversation with people I normally wouldn't, about how good God is."
Scott beat the odds, defying doctors' projected outcomes, and went on to receive a bachelor's degree in special education from Lander University in 2008. He is pursuing a master of divinity from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. He is also engaged to be married in April and works with his family's truck and trailer accessory company in Greenwood.
"No matter what you are going through, God can use it for his glory and to bring people to him," Scott said. "One way he does that is through his word."