“Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works,
and glorify to your Father in Heaven” Matthew 5:16.
A Brief Autobiographical Summary
I was born and raised in the village of Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts, the oldest of six children. My father suffered from a severe form of mental illness that began when I was about 9 or 10 and became progressively worse. At the age of 12 I became an alcoholic as a means of coping with my family situation.
At 16 I watched my father, in a state of extreme psychosis, engage in an armed stand-off with the state police in my childhood home, over an incident involving my dropping out of school. He eventually surrendered and was driven away in the back of a police cruiser, never to return. He spent the rest of his life in the state mental hospital.
I was on my own from the age of 16, finishing my high school credits in a hippie alternative school called The King Philip Project. I was the first of only about a dozen students to graduate from that school before it closed from lack of funding. Class of 1, December 1976.
I was an alcoholic and drug addict for 16 years, drifting around the United States, often homeless, sometimes sleeping under bridges and begging for spare change on street-corners. I visited every one of the 48 continental states and logged over 25,000 miles by thumb, bus and train in my wandering. I didn’t learn to drive a car until I was 25.
On February 1, 1986 I surrendered my life to Jesus Christ on my knees by myself in an alcohol treatment facility in Portland, Oregon. In an instant I was completely healed and delivered from my bondage and I felt the rush of the Holy Spirit through me. It was a miracle which completely removed my desire for alcohol and drugs — something I had been unable to do for myself over several years of a desperate futile struggle to find some way to freedom. I have never since had the slightest desire to go back.
I was married by then and had two children, but it was only after accepting Jesus that I learned how to be a husband, a father and a provider.
In 1987 at an intersection in Portland I encountered my former drug dealer and partner in partying and occult circles. He pulled up next to my pick-up truck on a motorcycle and took off his helmet. I literally waved him off, saying “I don’t do any of that any more. I’m a Christian now.” He got a big smile on his face and said “So am I.”
That Sunday my former drug dealer took me to a Bible-believing church for the first time. I had been going to AA meetings instead of church, and Jesus was my “higher power.” But as we walked through those doors and I experienced the spirit-filled worship in music, I felt instantly at home. I didn’t miss a single service there at Portland Foursquare Church for the next five years. Within a few weeks I reunited with my wife, from whom I had been separated for about three months, expecting to divorce. (We will celebrate our 36th wedding anniversary in June of 2016.)
In 1988 I received my ministry when a pro-life activist showed me pictures of aborted babies. I was both horrified and outraged. How could this be happening in America? Within a few months I became a full-time missionary for the unborn. I didn’t join any group, I just started doing it on my own: picketing, protesting and educating the public.
In 1989 I met Pastor Lon Mabon and got involved with his organization, Oregon Citizens Alliance, the largest state-wide Christian political group in the nation. Within a few weeks, having no formal education or experience, I became the State Communications Director. We were running a pro-life ballot measure for the 1990 election.
In 1991 OCA shifted from the abortion issue to homosexuality due to the rapid advance of that agenda in Oregon. I knew very little about the issue but over the next several years had my eyes opened to things very few Christians have ever seen or experienced. I realized that homosexuality was even more destructive to society than abortion.
In my advocacy of the Biblical position re homosexuality I came under serious and sustained attack, the like of which has driven most pro-family defenders off the cultural battlefield. Determined not to be silenced in my advocacy of Biblical truth, I accumulated skills and credentials over the next dozen years that equipped me to be a prominent leader in the now global pro-family movement — attempting to reflect the love of Christ to homosexual sufferers and His example of long-suffering, despite severe and malicious persecution by LGBT activists and their allies.
At the same time, however, my primary purpose and goal has always been to advance the Kingdom of God, and so throughout my career I have interwoven evangelism and discipleship with Christian activism.
In 2008, following a 50-city speaking tour through eight countries of the former Soviet Union, my wife Anne and I moved into the inner-city of Springfield, Massachusetts to launch a seven-year campaign to created a model for re-Christianizing America’s “post-Christian” cities. That unique inner-city mission is now thriving under local leadership and we are working to recreate the model in other cities. (See www.redemptiongate.org).
Today I am able to wear various hats as the circumstances dictate: attorney, pastor, apostle, author, public speaker, missionary and international human rights consultant, with service in more than 30 countries. We now travel the world under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, seeking fellowship with like-minded believers, and open doors to advance the Kingdom of God.
Feel free to contact us at [email protected] if we may be of service to you.
Scott Lively Shares Childhood Memories
Viewed from the outside, and in many ways from the inside, too, my early childhood was idyllic. The oldest of six children in a Roman Catholic family I was born and raised in the quaint and picturesque Village of Shelburne Falls. Our home at 9 South Maple Street had a big backyard with a hill for sledding in the winter, and a flat hilltop for a large garden in the summer. Behind the garden and up the slope, passed the historic Mohawk Trail over which the French-allied Mohawk Indians had transported British captives to New France (now Canada) in the mid-1700s. Across the highway, the slope continued rising till it reached the summit of Mount Massaemett and its old stone fire tower atop a ridge of granite ledges, reached by a hiking trail I used frequently as a boy.
Across the Mohawk Trail’s two lanes and off to the south was a short street where my best friend Tommy lived. Our homes weren’t visible from each other, but they were close enough that we could signal our availability to play by giving a Tarzan yell. We both got pretty good at that, and later in adult life I won a “Tarzan Yelling Contest” at my wife’s company picnic – one of my most satisfying life achievements 🙂 . And still later when I section hiked about 500 miles of the Appalachian Trail over a seven year span starting in 2011, my “trail name” was Tarzan.
Shelburne Falls was small, peaceful and secure. We walked to elementary school and back every day, and when I was a little older I had a paper route delivering the Greenfield Recorder all over town. Several of my stops were in the center of the village, just a quarter mile from my house, including the Rexall Pharmacy, with a soda fountain right out of a Norman Rockwell painting. And the Pratt Memorial Public Library – my very favorite place – where I spent countless hours perusing the collection, typically going home each week with six or eight books. I read more books than any other child I knew, and won the summer reading contest, hands-down, two years running.
The library had a narrow stone ledge about six feet off the ground that ran about 2/3rds of the way around the building, and (when it was closed and none of the adults were around) it was a test of courage and agility to walk the whole length.
A few blocks away, down behind Main Street, the “falls” – known in Indian days as Salmon Falls, were a small but spectacular set waterfalls cascading over and slowly shaping the largest collection of glacial potholes in North America. The biggest was a cauldron-shaped swimming hole maybe thirty feet across and fifteen feet deep that you could jump into from a ledge, but the entire riverbed there was one giant, contorted slab of granite, carved and pocketed like swiss cheese. I spent countless hours there. One of my fondest memories was going down to “the potholes” after an unusually massive rainstorm to see the swollen river flooding over the falls and hitting the “cauldron” pothole, creating a geyser-like vertical plume of water at least fifty feet in the air.
A hundred yards upriver, a steel bridge connects Shelburne Falls with Buckland, and parallel to that is the old trolley bridge, converted in 1929 into the “Bridge of Flowers” a beautifully tended and world famous garden.
I was blessed, growing up, that our big house was divided in two, and my Nana and Gramps (and my two aunts – my Mom’s parents and sisters) lived in the other half. Gramps was a minor league baseball player and worked in his day job as a machinist. Nana was very active at Trinity Episcopal Church, and recruited me to work in their food concession booth at the Franklin County Fair every fall. My first stop every day after elementary school was to see Nana, who always had a snack waiting. And I’d play with “Tammy,” my Aunt Sue’s spider monkey who live in a cage in their kitchen and loved to eat grapes.
As the oldest boy, followed in age by three younger sisters, I had my own bedroom, right at the corner of the house on the second floor, overlooking Maple Street on the front and a mature maple tree on the south side of the house. There was a huge two-trunked fir tree at the corner of the front yard and an old baseball bat someone had left in the crotch of the tree, which had grown around it, so the handle of the bat protruded like the Sword in the Stone of Arthurian legend. On the other corner of the yard, another huge fir tree featured a waist-high gash facing the street and an old license plate was embedded in the wood from an old car-crash.
One weekend my Dad planted a row of Maple saplings across the entire front of the lawn. Those trees which were about an inch in diameter then, are now about a foot wide.