Dick Scott, former Foursquare missionary, college president and pastor, went to be with the Lord this week. He was 86.
The president of LIFE Bible College (now called Life Pacific University) from 1994-2003, Dick entered the ministry as a pastor in Missouri in 1958 before heading to the mission field in Panama. On that assignment, he also worked in Ecuador.
While living among the Indigenous Chocó people for more than a dozen years, Dick launched the translation project that ultimately led to the publication in 2013 of the Bible in the Emberá language, the tongue spoken by members of the tribe in both Panama and Ecuador.
Remarkably, while in demanding roles after returning to the States, Dick continued the translation work that he had started in 1960 with the help of his Choco associate, Jose Cabrera. Jose became a believer after his son, Ricardo, was healed of a sickness so bad he couldn’t sit up or eat. Afterward, Jose asked Dick if the same God could cure him of his drinking habit—and He did.
“This same Jose would later become my language informant, the one who would help me translate the Bible into the native Choco language,” Dick later recalled.
LPU President Angie Richey adds that Dick will “always be dear to me and to countless others. He is an example to all of leaving behind a great legacy and faith to follow.”
Dick started his work on the Emberá translation after arriving on the mission field following a year of linguistic training at the University of Oklahoma. He and Jose started their Emberá translation with the Book of Mark, which was published by the United Bible Society in 1969.
Dick Scott possessed the missionary grit, grace, and anointing required to go to remote people with the Gospel,” says Ted Vail, D.I.S., VP of global operations. “His life project of translating the word of God into the heart language of a people Group comes from an incarnational life lived to the fullest.”
Dick returned to Los Angeles in 1973 to become a representative for Foursquare Missions International (FMI) and help other Foursquare missionaries develop their communication skills. However, he continued working on the translation project at night, overcoming Jose’s untimely death in 1977 and other challenges to finally complete the task.
“Getting the Bible translated and published is only the beginning.”—Dick Scott (1936-2022)
“Getting the Bible translated and published is only the beginning,” Dick said at the time of the translation’s release. “It’s what the Bible really does for people, and about the lives that will be changed, that really matters.”
In addition to this translation project, Dick left his mark in many other ways. After seven years in the FMI office, he served as a pastoral consultant in Oregon for two years before returning to Los Angeles to become an assistant to Foursquare President Rolf K. McPherson.
In 1983, Dick transitioned to pastoral roles in California and Oregon for nine years. He became executive vice president at LIFE in 1992, assuming a day-to-day operations role before being inaugurated as the school’s seventh president in 1994. His wide-ranging experience as a minister, linguist, missionary and administrator proved beneficial to Dick’s presidency. Interested in computer technology and building improvements, he helped spur sweeping changes that culminated with the adoption of the school’s new name, Life Pacific College (which again changed to Life Pacific University in July 2019).
During his tenure, LPC achieved regional accreditation with the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, grew enrollment to record numbers and built McPherson Residence Hall to accommodate the growth. The school also raised funds and built the Hicks Student Center (named after Roy Hicks Jr.), which housed a new gymnasium, athletics facilities, weight room, music facilities and student lounge. Dick dedicated himself to other campus improvements and such beautification projects as a signature gazebo and landscaping, which completely changed the campus atmosphere.
Since 2003, Dick had served at Beaverton Foursquare Church in Beaverton, Ore., first as associate pastor, then as pastor emeritus. He also served as associate pastor from 1985-1992.
Dick was preceded in death by his wife, Dawn, and is survived by one son; two stepchildren; and six grandchildren.
A memorial will be held on Nov. 2 at 11 a.m. (PST) at B4 Church (Beaverton Foursquare) in the auditorium, with a reception to follow in the Commons. Watch the service here.
Watch this interview with Dick Scott about his translation work,
which was recorded live at Foursquare Connection 2014.