02 May Mom’s Healing & My Calling – Scott Gray
The year was 1990. The diagnosis from the doctor was grim and bleak. My mother, Debbie, discovered that she had stage 3 breast cancer; five malignant tumors that had invaded her body. She was divorced, lived in poverty, and was raising three young boys on her own. Yet the God-shaped hole in her heart compelled her to turn to God for help. After all, she was not completely ignorant of the Christian faith—she was raised in a Catholic family by adoption. Her mother had died from a brain tumor at the age of 11 and her father gave up his rights to all of his children. Her adopted mom imposed a strict rule on her adopted children—they must attend her Catholic church every Sunday. But my mother Debbie didn’t find the physical healing that she desperately needed in a Catholic church; she found and experienced God’s power in an Assembly of God church.
A few weeks after her diagnosis, on a warm summer Sunday evening, the family and I were walking down a main street in Shamokin, PA to get to the grocery store. God had orchestrated a plan for all of us to pass by an Assembly of God church on that main street. From the sidewalk, we were able to hear loud music, shouting, and praising from inside the building. It certainly peaked my mother’s curiosity, so we proceeded towards the sanctuary and were immediately greeted by friendly smiles and handshakes. We slipped in the last row, made ourselves comfortable, and simply observed the service. The wonderful worship music had ended and a tall, young preacher entered the pulpit. His name was Rev. Stephen Roser. He was a fiery preacher. People got excited from his charisma. He was preaching a message on God’s healing power—the message my mother inevitably needed to hear!
At the conclusion of his message, Pastor Steve received a word of knowledge from the Lord about a woman who had cancer and extended the invitation to her to come to the altar and receive prayer. My mother reluctantly went forward, but she knew she had nowhere or no one to place her trust in. The pastor and deacons anointed her head with oil and prayed vigorously over her. She collapsed to the floor; her body began to shake under the power of the Holy Spirit. She laid on the floor for what seemed like days to me. I was worried and confused. I was only ten years old. Had my mother just died? Someone reassured me that she was okay and God was moving on her. I was seeing the power of God with my own eyes. My heart began to be overwhelmed by faith in Jesus.
My mother returned to her doctor, professing that she had been completely healed of breast cancer. Initially, the doctor had simply dismissed her claims as wishful thinking or superstitious belief. The miracle was undeniable when the lumps were no longer palpable. The X-ray further confirmed the results of belief and prayer. My mother had been completely and miraculously healed of five breast tumors! From that moment, we placed our trust and adoration in Jesus Christ. He is our Healer!
The following Sunday I responded to the altar call to receive salvation from the Lord Jesus. Pastor Steve laid his hands upon my head, prayed in tongues, and began to speak a prophecy over my life. I distinctly recall that the Lord was calling me into ministry and that my life would reach thousands of people with the gospel. That prophecy was fulfilled in the context of Milton Hershey School, a private school for poor and needy children in Hershey, PA.
During my senior year, I assisted to establish the first internship with the religious programs of the school. I was mentored by the school chaplain, Rev. Michael Wagner. My first opportunity came to publicly speak at the school during a chapel service. I put my best effort forward and shared the story of David and Jonathan and related their friendship to our friendship with Jesus. 1,300 people heard about Jesus that day from my mouth!
I graduated with honors at Milton Hershey School in 1998. I sensed the Lord calling me into pastoral ministry, so I attended Valley Forge Christian College and graduated cum laude in 2003 with a B.A. in pastoral ministries. I became licensed to preach, got married, and entered into full time youth ministry in 2006 at Lewistown Assembly of God. The Lord redirected us to our hometown in Shamokin, where I served as an associate pastor at Mountainside Assembly of God from 2008-2011. Our first son Noah was born in 2008. Even though I was bi-vocational, the Lord called me to higher education. I earned a Master’s degree in Theology from VFCC in 2010, graduating summa cum laude with a 3.92 GPA. Our second son Zion was born in 2010. After serving at Mountainside for four years, the Lord led us to help plant a church in Lewisburg, PA with Rev. Tony and Elisha Cruz. I served as an associate pastor there for over a year, yet I knew the Lord was calling me into a lead pastorate role. I have been serving at Cross Valley Assembly of God in Forty Fort, PA as the lead pastor from 2012 until present. I also share the gospel with over 2,000 students, house-parents, and alumni at Milton Hershey School every year during Homecoming weekend.
What an amazing journey! God stepped into my world at the age of ten and miraculously healed my mother. As a result, I received salvation from my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and my life has never been the same since the day I saw God’s power with my very own eyes!
By: Rev. Scott A. Gray