by Jennifer Svetlik, Salford Congregation
“I love working with churches and helping them to reach the unique potential of who they are,” explains Leadership Minister Scott Roth. “Some churches wish they were more like they used to be, but I encourage them to take time to pray and ask, ‘Where is God calling us now?’”
As a young adult, Scott didn’t intend to become a pastor or conference leader. He graduated from Messiah College with a degree in business information systems and then worked in technology-related jobs. In 2002, some difficult life changes shifted Scott’s life’s direction. “In those challenging times, church felt more like an institution than a mission. It helped me to see how we could do church better,” Scott reflects.
He began attending New Eden Fellowship (Schwenksville. PA) and eventually began to pastor there. A few years later, after a devastating suicide by a local student, Scott felt moved to do something. “This kid had been in church. Why had this happened?” Scott recalls. “We as a church need to see our community as our church and stop creating walls.”
In 2012, Scott helped to open a community center in partnership with the school district. The center offered after-school programs and community development work. When the town built a bigger community center, Scott helped open Bike and Sol in East Greenville, PA which teaches kids how to fix bicycles and provides a welcoming space for kids who are facing challenges at school or with the law. “Fixing and riding bikes is a freeing way to explore who you are, how you’re made, what God can do with you,” shares Scott.
Scott currently serves as the interim pastor at Line Lexington congregation (PA) and is a Young Life missionary in the Upper Perk Valley. “I have a passion for the whole church, not just Mennonites,” Scott explains.
Scott served as the Conference Minister for Eastern District Conference, beginning in 2017, and joined the staff of the reconciled conference as a Leadership Minister in 2020. Previously he had been a credentialed leader in both Eastern District and Franconia Conferences. In 2015, when Eastern District’s conference minister was retiring, Scott offered to lead a revisioning process for the conference. As part of the revisioning process, Eastern District began to engage more fully with Franconia. This path eventually led to the reconciliation work between the two conferences.
Scott grew up in Quakertown, PA. His dad was a realtor and his mom was a bus driver; they both knew a lot of people in town. From them, he gained an understanding that “my world is not my church – the center of my world is my community, and the church is part of that community.” This passion has continued to his work as a Leadership Minister. “I am excited to work with churches that really want to be a light in the darkness and that care about their neighbors,” reflects Scott.
He and his wife have two young children and two basset hounds. He loves bacon, board games, video games, building things, fishing, and boating. “Friends call me a cultural design expert,” he says. “I love creating communities, getting people connected to each other to do something.”
Although Scott is known as a people-person in ministry, he has another side to him. “It may surprise people that my favorite time is actually by myself,” shares Scott. “I also enjoy being with another person on a boat, fishing rod in hand, but not talking. I adore sitting in silence with another person.”