In August, Pastor Scott Sokol stepped fully into the role of spiritual resources coordinator, vacated by Pastor Rich Murray, who retired in July.
Pastor Scott worked as a personal support professional (PSP) in one of the ICF cottages before transitioning into his new role. He graduated from Moody Bible Institute in 2003 and served for more than 10 years in pastoral ministry.
Pastor Scott is married to Heidi and together they have five daughters: Hannah, 18; Rachel, 16; Abigail, 14; Sarah, 12; and Chloe, 10. He grew up in Maquoketa and currently lives in Miller.
Tell us about where you were before the Village, both professionally and personally.
Professionally, I enlisted in the Marines after high school and served as an Embassy Guard in several different countries. After the military, I worked in sales and owned a couple of direct sales businesses. In my late thirties, I shifted gears, got a ministry degree, and started working full-time in pastoral ministry.
Personally, I love spending time with my family. We enjoy going to church, playing games, going to the beach, biking, hiking, hunting, having friends over, listening to music, and watching movies.
What made you pursue a life of ministry?
I did not grow up in a Christian home, but shortly after entering the military, I visited a church where I heard a simple Gospel message and prayed to receive Jesus as my Savior. On that day, my life was forever changed. Since those early days in my faith to the present, I have been actively involved in Christian service.
What made you choose to work at the Village?
I first visited Opportunity Village to speak at one of the mid-week Spiritual Life services. Later, after leaving a ministry position, Pastor Rich encouraged me to apply for a job here. After being hired as a PSP, I worked in the ICF cottages for four years. During this time, I developed a deep appreciation and respect for both our clients and staff.
What kept you here?
I always enjoyed working with the people we serve. They are the reason I’m still here.
What factors went into deciding to assume Pastor Rich’s position?
For a couple years, I prayed for God to open another full-time ministry position for me. When I received a call from the Village that Pastor Rich was retiring and they wanted to interview me as a possible replacement, I was very excited. I always was impressed with Pastor Rich’s ministry here and was overjoyed at the prospect of continuing it.
How do you see the first few months of this new job? How will you approach it?
I feel so fortunate the leadership here at Opportunity Village allowed me to work alongside of Pastor Rich for the first four weeks of my new position. During that time, I learned a great deal about the people we serve and the ways Pastor Rich ministered to them in the past. My strategy going forward is to continue many of the programs and practices he used. I believe this familiarity will help the people we serve through this transition.
What are your goals as spiritual resources coordinator?
In the short-term, my focus is to develop friendships with as many individuals we support as possible. I plan to accomplish this by being available to them every morning in the Atrium for conversations, visiting several of their homes each week, and helping to provide for their spiritual needs. My long-term goal is to be an effective liaison between local churches and the people we serve.
What is one thing the Village community should know about you?
I love people, am very approachable, and consider it a great privilege to serve the Opportunity Village community.
How can individuals get in touch with you?
My contact information is as follows:
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Office phone - 641-357-5277
Cell phone - 641-425-9978.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at any time!