The church was standing-room- only, Sabbath evening, February 29, 2020, as friends and visitors traveled to the ordination of Scottie Deal. This drug-dealer-turned-Baptist-preacher, now in front of a packed Seventh-day Adventist church, was ordained to the Gospel ministry as Carolina Conference and Southern Union officers, along with several ordained ministers, laid hands on him.
It has been an interesting journey for Deal, as explained by Jim Davidson, executive secretary at the Southern Union, as he shared the history of this member of the Native American Lumbee tribe. Immediately after graduating from high school, Deal entered the workforce in the construction trade. After several years in a destructive lifestyle, he surrendered his life to Christ in 1997. He was ordained to the Gospel ministry under the Freewill Baptist Association on July 17, 2000.
One day on the worksite, he met a fellow worker, Wayne Tinsley. Deal noticed this new acquaintance was different than the others. Tinsley, a Seventh-day Adventist, introduced Deal to the Amazing Facts Bible lessons. The lessons changed Deal’s life, and he began preaching the new discoveries in his church. This didn’t go well for him. Deal explained that he was persecuted for teaching what he’d learned, and as a result, was “exited out of the church.” For the next couple of years, he didn’t have a home church, and he found himself worshiping on both Saturday and Sunday. Deal was later baptized into the Seventh-day Adventist Church in August of 2002. Earlier that year, he married Rebecca Locklear, on January 19, 2002.
In the summer of 2003, Deal met Fred Rogers, retired former director of Native American ministries for the Southern Union. Rogers was in the process of establishing Free Clinic, that would serve non-insured Native Americans. Then, together, Rogers and Deal conducted a church plant in the clinic. In July of 2006, Deal was employed by the local church as a full-time lay pastor for the new church plant.
It was laid on Deal’s heart to conduct a tent meeting on the same ground where he once sold drugs, near the town of Pembroke, N.C. The meeting was a huge success for this new Adventist. Area churches even closed their churches on Wednesday night and bused their members to hear Deal sing and preach at the nearby tent meeting.
At the close of the meetings in May of 2010, Deal needed a place for the new members to worship. He was impressed to contact the Carolina Conference to ask permission to reopen the nearby Pembroke Seventh-day Adventist Church, which had been closed for years. Permission was granted, and he served as the pastor in the reopened church.
In July 2012, Deal was employed by the Carolina Conference. That fall he began his five-year track of education. While living and studying at Southern Adventist University, he, along with his wife and two children, India and Luke, traveled back every two Sabbaths to minister to the members at Pembroke.
Deal graduated magna cum laude, top in his class, December 14, 2017. It was around that time he answered the call to become the pastor of the Concord and Salisbury district in North Carolina. During his time in ministry, he has baptized more than 50 individuals, served as a featured guest on 3ABN Television, held meetings in Africa, and has been featured as a keynote speaker for several Camp Meetings throughout North America.
Carolina | April 2020