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Dinner to honor retiring pastors Lloyd and Joan Scott to be held May 2

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RUSKIN - Pastors Lloyd and Joan Scott of Ruskin’s Foursquare Gospel Church are moving to the Ocala area to be near family after their retirement May 2.

The couple has served at the church, located at 106 Seventh Ave. N.W. in Ruskin for more than 20 years.

One member of their congregation, Maggie Lewis, summed up her feelings for the Scotts in an email to me saying, “We will really miss these folks more than any words can express. Pastor and Sister Scott have been there physically by our sides, holding our hands, and diligently praying with my family through my mother-in-law and father-in-laws deaths,  our son’s tonsil-and-adenoid surgery, my surgery, and many sicknesses, bringing food and visiting us at any hour for spiritual comfort and prayer. There are many other stories like mine, because these pastors are more than family to us. Our 6-year-old son cried crocodile tears when we told him of their moving.”

Lloyd and Joan Scott, both licensed pastors in the Foursquare Gospel Church, are retiring from their position at the Ruskin church, located at 106 Seventh Ave. N.W. after their 11 a.m. service Sunday, April 25. A dinner is planned May 2 to celebrate their retirement and anyone in the community who wants to say goodbye to the Scotts is invited. Penny Fletcher photos
I visited the Scotts at their church April 8 and saw that the parsonage where they live is a modest house next door with a large yard adjoining the church parking lot and grounds. Only one block off U.S. 41 downtown, entering the property is like entering the past. The small country-type church with attached parsonage and laid-back atmosphere reminded me of the small-town churches where I lived in Tennessee.

As it turned out the Scotts were gracious hosts, having seen the air conditioning was turned on in advance of my arrival, and obviously always ready to host a guest.

I found that neither had always belonged to the Foursquare denomination. Before getting his papers to preach at Foursquare, Rev. Lloyd had been raised a Baptist and ordained in another denomination.

After the death of his first wife and having been away from church awhile, he moved to the Orlando area and couldn’t find a Baptist church there he quite felt comfortable in, so he started going to the Church of the Nazarene where his present wife, Joan, was heavily engaged in church work.

They married, and began doing ministry together. Later, they both joined Foursquare and became ordained.

When they moved to Ruskin, the building they now occupy was a nondenominational church, but after awhile, Foursquare was founded there. Most of its original members have died or moved.

Handy with carpentry tools, the Rev. Lloyd Scott built the bell tower outside the church with his own two hands and also did a lot of the recent outside repainting himself.
Pastor Lloyd was involved in a men’s prison ministry for more than 10 years for which he was recognized by the Florida Department of Corrections. During this period he went to many prisons around the state, including the Florida State Penitentiary in Starke.

The plaque he received from the Department of Corrections is one of the things he treasures most because he said many souls were saved in prison.

Another thing he is taking with him is the red bandana that currently hangs on a hand-made wooden cross in the sanctuary.

He made the cross with his own two hands because of a vision he had while several other area pastors were praying in the church in their regular weekly prayer group. “I was told if I built it the way God directed me, it would save souls,” he said. So he set about to make it as close to the Biblical description as possible, with all the elements present, including a crown of thorns (made from a crown of thorns plant), a cat-o-nine-tails whip and sponge on a reed.

One thing on it, however, does not follow Biblical tradition- a red  bandana given to him by a prisoner at Starke nick-named Bush-Ax Williams who had killed six men.    


The Rev. Lloyd Scott is also a craftsman and built the cross and Baptismal Pool with his own hands while serving as pastor of the church. The inspiration for building the cross was given one day during group prayer but he kept the details to himself until it was completed.
Being a lifelong prisoner, Williams didn’t have much to give him after the pastor brought him comfort and told him the salvation message, but he did have the red bandana he always wore. That Rev. Scott will remove when he leaves but the cross will stay.

So will the bell tower he built with his own two hands, and the Baptismal Pool he installed.

“You know why it isn’t flush with the floor?” he asked me, pointing to the small rise into the pool. “Having come to Florida from North Carolina I didn’t realize when you dug a certain depth you hit water. Well, the first rain after I put it in it rose up, and up… It was a real mess.”

“Yes, we had a Noah’s Ark-type flood,” Sister Scott added.   

She looked around the small but beautifully-decorated and immaculately-kept sanctuary. “We’ve buried more than we’ve married here,” she said. “But there have been a whole lot of wonderful times.”

Their last service will be May 2, followed by a dinner in their honor at Ozzie’s Buffet & Grill, 3074 College Ave. E., Ruskin at 1:30 p.m.

Anyone who wants to see the Scotts before they leave and pay them tribute for their local work, or simply say goodbye, is invited to the dinner.

Meanwhile, people may find out more about the beliefs of Foursquare on line at www.foursquare.org. The name stands for the church’s four main beliefs, Joan Scott said: That Jesus Christ is Savior, Healer, Baptizer and Holy Sprit/Coming King.

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