Molested Boy Scout Transformed by the Gospel

Bob Bevington
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Molested Boy Scout Transformed by the Gospel | December 13th, 2012

Molested Boy Scout Transformed by the Gospel


This is by no means an indictment of the Boy Scouts of America. Strenuous measures have been taken to assure things like this no longer happen.

That said, this is a true story. The names have not been changed to protect the innocent. Tom Scott has been a member of my community group, The Cellar Dwellers, for almost two years. We have walked through this amazing process with him and it has not always been pretty. The man who molested him, Mr. Smith (his first name might be Bill), went to prison in the late 1970’s and that’s the last Tom heard of him.

After you read his story, please send this link to anyone who might be able to help Tom find Mr. Smith.

But the main question this raises is this: What kind of power is in a Gospel that can change a person as deeply as it has changed my friend Tom?

MY STORY, by Tom Scott

It was the summer of 1977 and I was a typical 13-year-old spending a weekend at Boy Scout Camp. On Saturday, a trusted Scout dad named Mr. Smith molested me in the cabin. I’ve been anything but typical ever since.

Overcome by shame, I didn’t reveal the attack to anyone. But the next twenty years I used every drug and drink known to man to numb the pain. None of it helped. And no woman in the world could make me feel like the man I thought I should be.

Nothing could fill the cavern in my soul because, as I’ve recently discovered, there was a huge wall of suppressed anger and hatred blocking it. I had anger toward a man who wounded me at the core of my being—but my anger spilled out on anyone who came near. I had hatred for a man who literally changed my personality in a moment of time—but my hatred spilled out onto anyone who came within arm’s reach. As a result, my family has endured so much ugliness from me it turns my stomach.

I eventually got free from drugs and alcohol with the help of AA. Gradually my mind cleared until 2010 when I was introduced to Jesus Christ by Pastor Jim Colledge at Christ Community Chapel in Hudson, Ohio. That’s when I realized I had been using people all my life to try to fill the void but there is only one who could actually do it—Jesus.

I had no idea how much being molested hurt me spiritually till it all came out in the spring of this year. Specific suppressed memories of the attack came back and I was repeatedly overcome by feelings of rage against Mr. Smith. I found out he went to prison for similar crimes, but that wasn’t enough—part of me wanted to hunt him down and really make him pay.

Meanwhile my new church family (The Cellar Dwellers and my CLC brothers) rallied around me to help. They were patient and kind and yet firm when they told me I must forgive. I thought they were nuts.

But slowly my heart started to change towards Mr. Smith. I discovered I could forgive, since I myself had been forgiven so much because of the Savior’s cross. I discovered I could forgive but I certainly could not stop hating him.

What happened next stunned and amazed me. It happened during a sermon on Hebrews 12:1-4 by Pastor Joe Coffey. He pointed to

Jesus . . . who for the joy set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

I went up to Joe afterwards, trembling. I told him about Mr. Smith and what happened at Scout Camp. How I’d forgiven Mr. Smith, but still hated him. Then I asked a question as my tears flowed:

What he did to me ultimately brought me to Christ three decades later, so . . . do you think I could love him for his part in that process?

I shuddered as I waited for his answer. Joe thought for a moment, then smiled and said,

Yes. Yes you can.

God gave me a sledgehammer at that moment and I knocked down the wall of anger and hatred in my soul. And I walked over the rubble to freedom because I not only forgive him, I love him.

Ever since that morning I’ve been driven to find out if Mr. Smith is still alive. Whether he is still in prison. If he is willing I’d like to share my story with him. If he has not found salvation as I have, maybe he would if I tell him that no matter how we lived in the past, we can change at the core of our being through the amazing love of an all-powerful, joyful Savior who despised the shame and endured the cross for sinners like us.

How do you think he’d respond?

In any event, I now know what the paralytic or blind man in the Bible must have felt like—being afflicted their whole lives only to be cured in an instant by the One who can heal us body and soul. His name is Jesus Christ.

  • Jessica Scott

    I just wanted to say no matter what…. I’m proud of you to be able to forgive this man, and even more so that you want to help him. no matter what things you feel bad about from your life to follow after that camping trip up until the point you reached now in life, that I love you always, as I’ve always have. Im most happy that you have found what you really needed in life “Jesus.” You have many great qualities and talents to offer the world. you always have :) good luck i hope you are able to find and complete helping him.

  • Missy Bunsey

    Tom, you are an inspiration to so many with your story. I remember when you found CCC. You told Lenny, and we loved it too. I firsthand have seen you grow as a father, a husband, and friend. We love you.

  • bryan Wilson

    Tom, it’s been fun to watch you throwing yourself into all the different ministries from CLC to mission trips to you name it and now your starting to work on resentments and forgiveness. Every time I see you, you have something new going on with Church. I really get the feeling that you love it at the Hudson campus. Thanks for your story, It’s a very impacting story about you reaping the benefits of letting go and loving a man (like Jesus would do.) who has harmed you. LET THE HEALING BEGIN. God Bless!

  • Paula Kechisen Collins

    Tom, WOW! dude. We never had that chance to sit down and talk about your testimony. I am completely blown away by your story. I am so excited for you and the recent revelation you had on that Sunday after services. I am not sure what I would do if the man who raped me came to ask for forgiveness. I would hope I could extend forgiveness to him.
    I think that after all this time Mr. Smith would probably be blown away and humbled by your forgiveness.

    • tomscott

      Hi Paula, I think you knew my story as much as I did before this recent turn. I truly believe you must forgive.It is all over scripture.Luke 6;27-28,love your enemies,do good to those who hate you,bless those who curse you,pray for those who abuse you….we live in a dark world…he was pierced for OUR transgressions; he was crushed for OUR iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,and with his wounds WE are healed. We don’t call the shots anymore.

  • TParker3neo

    Amazing. Powerful. Loving. Redeeming. Ever-present. Jesus. The One.
    Tom, so great you know Him. Such a privilege to know you.


    I’m watching your story as a play-by-play sitting on the edge of my chair! One of my molesters was looking for me while I was looking for him. When he found me he asked for forgiveness, which had already been granted years ago. Then he asked me if I knew Jesus…
    Love ya, bro.

  • Bob Bevington

    When Tom Scott saw this blog post, he sent me a text. It said,
    “K. There is no more shame, no more hiding. I’m His.”

    • Jennifer Armstrong Wuersig

      This touched my soul beyond measure and I shared it on my own blog. God is so AMAZING and so good! Thank you for sharing.

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