Three-year starter on his high school basketball team and member of the 1975 NOL Championship team, Galion’s leading scorer and First Team All-NOL and Northwest District Team in 1976, holder of a basketball scoring record at Mt. Vernon College (now University), winner of Good Conduct, Overseas Deployment and Humanitarian Service recognition while serving in the United State Marine Corps.
Who accomplished these things before age 25?
Galion graduate: Pastor Scott Reynolds.
However, there’s another component to Reynold’s story: College dropout; boat accident survivor; drug user and international drug smuggler, convicted and sentenced to prison in Japan; and finally, a redeemed individual who turned his life around and became a leader in helping others recover from self-destructive, life-controlling problems.
How did this turn around occur? In his award-winning essay “Redeemed: The Scott Reynolds Story,” Jon Kleinknecht, former Galion Inquirer sports editor, details Reynolds’ life and recovery. (The essay can be found at The Amy Foundation’s website.)
According to the article, the turnaround started when Reynolds hit bottom and considered suicide in 1980. Reynolds explained the event this way:
I carried guns with me wherever I went. For some reason, I ended up at my Aunt Alice’s house. I began crying and she started talking to me about God and how much God loved me. I gave her all my guns, my sister Sarabeth came and got me from Fort Wayne, Indiana, and she took me to a place in Muskegon, Michigan, called Teen Challenge.
(Teen Challenge, founded in 1958, is a Christian-based organization which has the goal of helping individuals struggling with drugs and other self-destructive problems. There are more than 200 residential centers in the United States and over 1000 worldwide.)
After spending the usual 13 months in the center as a “student,” Reynolds moved on entering the business world and doing volunteer work. However, he continued to be involved with Teen Challenge. In 2004 he was ordained and later became the executive director of the Midland, Texas, Teen Challenge Center. While in Texas, he helped raise $5.5 million dollars to help pregnant and abused women. In 2008 he was named a recipient of the Presidential Call to Service Award, presented by President George Bush. He has also served as Senior Pastor of the Teen Challenge Center in Lansing, Michigan, one of only five centers to serve pregnant women.
Today, Reynolds pastors a small church in Howard, Ohio, where his wife Shannon reports “He’s actively involved in the community supplying over 18,000 meals a year at the church food pantry.” Scott has a daughter Lauren, a son Chase, and two stepdaughters, Tiffany and Lydia. He lives by the belief that “…what goes on in your head or what you’re thinking about has a direct effect on your heart and emotions and that’s what you become.”
Scott Reynolds, honored GHS graduate, reformed drug user and dealer. Today, a role model and mentor for others, his life exemplifying how one can turn things around and serve.