Tribune-Star staff report
TERRE HAUTE —
The ordination of a senior pastor at Maryland Community Church isn’t a regular occurrence.
But that isn’t the only unique aspect of Scot Longyear being ordained during the Sunday morning service Oct. 28 at the church south of Terre Haute on Indiana 46. Indeed, in the past 42 years, Maryland has ordained only two other senior pastors — Gary Greven in 1970, and Vince McFarland in 1986.
Yet, when the church elders conducted the recent ceremony for Longyear — standing alongside both Greven and McFarland — they ordained a man who grew up in the Maryland congregation. Since infancy, Longyear, now 43, has been part of the church, which formerly was located on South Seventh Street and later on south U.S. 41, before moving to the current location. At Maryland, Longyear was baptized, met his future wife, Stephanie, and preached some of his first sermons after joining its pastoral staff.
“I am beyond excited to lead the organization that helped shape who I am,” Longyear said. “The people of Maryland Community Church helped me take steps closer to Christ. Today, we are doing the same for others. Because we have such a great past to build on, I believe the best is yet to come.”
His move into the senior pastorship is the culmination of a five-year transition, allowing McFarland to help prepare his successor. Rather than retiring now, McFarland will step into the senior associate pastor role that Longyear had filled. “Is Vince retiring? Yes, but not anytime soon,” Longyear said. “We need him on staff. He brings tremendous wisdom and experience to the table.”
McFarland, he added, is “a leader full of humility.”
Longyear is a 1989 graduate of Terre Haute South Vigo High School, attended Indiana State University, and earned his bachelor’s degree in Christian ministry from Lincoln Christian University. He will complete graduate studies through Hope International University in Fullerton, Calif., in May 2013. He has taught and led worship in California, Illinois, Virginia, and internationally in Russia, Spain, and most recently Africa. Longyear was part of the Pastors Discipleship Network — a ministry to teach and provide resources for pastors in Uganda. He has written and recorded four worship music projects, and a live concert video.
Longyear authors a blog at www.scotlongyear.com. Its aim, just as that of the church, he said, is “helping people move one step closer to Christ.”
He and his wife were both born and raised in Terre Haute, and have two daughters — Mariah and Madison.