The first text message Rev. Scott Scheiber (pronounced Shee’–ber) made immediately after the congregation enthusiastically voted Sunday to call him as senior minister at First Christian was not to his son, Will, a senior at Michigan State. It was to his new local Realtor to place an offer on a Wilson home. Will was second. Wife, Beth, and daughter, Cate, a sophomore at Belmont Abbey College, heard the news and the cheers of his appointment firsthand at the spirited reception following worship.
Scott will start his ministry here in January. To help supplement the schedule of visiting ministers who will fill the pulpit when Rev. Jamie Brame concludes his interim ministry at the end of the month, Scott will return on Sunday, December 10, and Christmas Eve to lead services.
Scott’s visit on Sunday was his final step in the search and call process, a public audition in worship to fill the senior minister position vacant since February 2022.
In the opening remarks of his sermon, Scott talked about the mystery of his call to us and our call to him. “Your search for a pastor began … right when my need for a new renewal in my life and a new congregation began,” he said. “I feel like we’ve been led by the Spirit to this day.”
Scott also addressed the congregation’s continuous prayer for a transformational pastor. “I am not sure I am that,” he said. “What I am is a pastor that is willing to walk with you and wait with you for the transformational God we all worship.
“I believe that transformation can and does happen. I believe that God will show a fresh vision for this church … at the right time.
“It will come as long as our eyes are open looking for new possibilities that the Spirit will surely and inevitably bring to this doorstep. And when that vision arrives, I am someone who will commit to it.”
Scott’s search and call papers appeared in Search Committee Chair Christy Proctor’s email on August 10, another of many profiles provided by Regional Minister Valerie Melvin during the 17-month search. On August 23, the committee got to know Scott during a two-hour ZOOM interview as he answered questions about specific experiences in ministry, worship, Christian education, pastoral care, mission outreach, church growth, sermon preparation and delivery, stewardship, extending a welcoming embrace to all and transformational behavior on his part and ours.
After the interview, the committee unanimously voted to invite Scott and his wife, Beth, to Wilson for an official visit. On Wednesday, September 13, they arrived. Across three busy days, Scott shared meals with the committee, toured the church campus and the YMCA, talked with community leaders, met with the elders and with Minister of Music Casey Childers and experienced a chauffeured excursion through Wilson. Beth accompanied Scott to appointments as her busy marketing career allowed.
On Friday evening, September 15, the committee gathered with Scott in the church parlor for a second two-hour interview. With what he’d learned about First Christian and the community during his visit as the basis for his answers, he spoke again about transformational leadership, teaching and preaching, administration and planning, open and affirming behavior, pastoral care and mission work. After the interview, with clarity of perfect awareness, the committee extended to Scott an invitation to preach on World Communion Sunday, certain that this congregation was called to Scott and he to us.
Scott earned a Batchelor of Arts in English Language and Literature, specializing in creative writing, from Ohio University in 1994 and a Master of Divinity from Methodist Theological School in Ohio in 2011, specializing in church leadership. He was ordained by the United Church of Christ in 2011.
In 1989, the United Church of Christ and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) approved a historic partnership of full communion proclaiming mutual recognition of their sacraments and ordained ministry. By this agreement, Scott is considered an ordained minister within our denomination.
Scott is currently concluding a yearlong intentional interim ministry at Northwest Christian Church in Upper Arlington, Ohio. He served as pastor at Highwater United Church of Christ in Newark, Ohio, from 2011 to 2022 and as Adjunct Instructor in Field Education for Methodist Theological School in Ohio from 2017 to 2019.
Scott is an avid Ohio State University fan.
Search Committee members included Chair Christy Proctor, Trevor Dildy, Patsy Ferrell, Kendra Howell, Clayton Bardin, Beth Williams and Bob Kendall. Board Chair Theresa Mathis and Casey Childers served as ex officio members.
These thoughts and reflections come from our Senior Minister, Minister of Music and Board Chair. We hope that they provide both challenge and inspiration for your spiritual life.