Servant stands strong
Melissa Lilley, BSC Communications
May 31, 2010

Servant stands strong

Servant stands strong
Melissa Lilley, BSC Communications
May 31, 2010

Mount Vernon Baptist Church

on Falls of Neuse Road in Raleigh once sat in a rural part of town. The

two-lane road out in front of the church didn’t seem to lead much of anywhere,

and city planners said the area would never grow and the 35-member church would

always be a rural church.

That was 32 years ago. The

two-lane road turned into a four-lane road leading to shopping malls and

restaurants, and 35 members turned into more than 600. Shannon Scott is the

first and only full time pastor of Mount Vernon. When he met with church

leaders 32 years ago they told him their church would die soon if something did

not change. Scott did not let their honesty and a seemingly unpromising

situation turn him away.

BR photo by Norman Jameson

Shannon Scott, center, visits at the May Baptist State Convention of North Carolina board meeting with Joel Stephens, left, and Don McCutcheon.

“Do I know God called me

here? Absolutely,” Scott said. When he came the church did not have a big

facility or many ministries; they didn’t really have much at all. Yet, Scott

said during those early years “God was building a base of dedicated people.

They came because God called them.” Scott can still look out Sunday mornings

and see scattered throughout the congregation leaders who have been with him

for nearly 32 years.

When Scott arrived at Mount

Vernon he preached God’s word, and people came to know Jesus Christ as their

personal Lord and Savior. When he first arrived the church had no Sunday School

teachers, but after praying for laborers to be sent into the field, Sunday

School teachers came. “God’s hand was on it,” Scott said. “The Lord saved us.”

Throughout the years Scott

faithfully served the Lord, and the Lord has changed lives through the ministry

of Mount Vernon.

The church is now

intentional with their evangelism efforts and people are being called out to

share the gospel in areas of the world with no gospel witness. Scott continues

to watch as new families come into the church and God grows them up to be

leaders in the church and community.

Change did not happen

overnight and at times Scott did consider leaving. When God never provided a

way out Scott knew he needed to stay where he was, for God had work left for

him to do. Scott encourages younger pastors not to get discouraged when life is

hard, for sometimes the church needs to see that the pastor “can take a storm.

Sometimes God’s people need to see if this man is going to stand up in trouble.”

Serving in one place so many

years has challenged Scott to “dig personally.” “I can’t preach the same

sermons I preached 10 years ago,” he said. Preaching to the same congregation

week after week requires even greater Bible study and sermon preparation.

“You’ve got to give them something new. You can’t live off what you’ve gotten

in seminary or at a Bible conference.”

Scott plans to continue

serving the Lord many more years. “I’m ready to do whatever He wants me to do,”

he said. “With God, you can’t dream big enough.”