E&H Mass Comm Student Story: Destiny Fulton tells the amazing come-back story of Rev. Scott Spence

Posted by Monica Hoel
This is part of a series of stories by members of the 2022 E&H Mass Comm 302 Class. 

For most people college comes directly after high school; but for E&H alumnus Scott Spence, it took an accident in his adulthood to lead him to pursuing a college degree.

After graduating high school as a mostly C student, Spence swore to his mother that he would never go back to school. He went on to be a welder and got married.

When he was 25 years old, he got into an accident on the job and was given a five percent chance of survival. He was in a basement with three high pressure boilers and had to crawl 15 feet up a ladder to escape. One of the tubes ruptured and high pressure steam came pouring out. His skin was instantly hit and he was directly exposed on his face and neck; his clothing soaked up the rest.

“My skin burnt so fast on my face that it didn’t even have time to hurt.” Spence said.

In that moment, he cried out, “Almighty God, please don’t let me die,” and got the energy to climb up the ladder to escape the room. He lost consciousness and his vision after the accident. He was sent to the UVA hospital burn center and stayed there for 3 months and had 19 different reconstruction surgeries.

After crying out to God a few more times, healing for around five years, and gaining his vision back, Spence said he had a “discerning call into ministry” and then decided to go to college.

Almost ten years after his accident at the age of 35, he drove to E&H’s campus near the end of the spring semester and walked into the admissions office with no appointment. He hadn’t applied but he told them what he wanted to do, and they referred him to talk to someone in the religion department. He talked to Dr. Kellogg and “the rest is history.”

He chose E&H because he heard that Emory & Henry really opened up the door to graduate programs. He graduated in 2011 with a religion major and a history minor. He then received a degree from Hood Theological Seminary and got ordained by the United Methodist church.

Spence has been a pastor for around 20 years now, and is currently serving as the pastor at Reynolds Memorial United Methodist Church in Bristol, Virginia.

 

Story byDestiny FultonClass of 2022BS in Business, BA in Mass CommunicationsMarketing Career Appr...Story by
Destiny Fulton
Class of 2022
BS in Business, BA in Mass Communications
Marketing Career Apprentice at the E&H Van Vlissingen Career Center

  • Rev. Scott Spence
    E&H Class of 2011

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  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/2440-gail-weaver-norwood-publishes-escape-from-grief"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,13,1537,1548/11848_FBS_GailNorwood32.rev.1661365997.webp 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,13,1537,1548/11848_FBS_GailNorwood32.rev.1661365997.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,13,1537,1548/11848_FBS_GailNorwood32.rev.1661365997.webp 3x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,13,1537,1548/11848_FBS_GailNorwood32.rev.1661365997.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,13,1537,1548/11848_FBS_GailNorwood32.rev.1661365997.jpg 3x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,13,1537,1548/11848_FBS_GailNorwood32.rev.1661365997.jpg" alt="Gail Weaver Norwood Emory & Henry Class of 1971" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,13,1537,1548/11848_FBS_GailNorwood32.rev.1661365997.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,13,1537,1548/11848_FBS_GailNorwood32.rev.1661365997.jpg 3x" data-max-w="1537" data-max-h="1535" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/2440-gail-weaver-norwood-publishes-escape-from-grief">Gail Weaver Norwood Publishes “Escape from Grief Prison: A Story of Love, Loss, and Healing”</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"> The title of <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><a href="http://www.gailnorwood.com/">Gail Weaver Norwood’s book</a></span> may mislead you. This book is about more than grief; it’s about learning how to manage our emotional well-being in times of challenge.<br/><div/><div/><a href="/live/news/2440-gail-weaver-norwood-publishes-escape-from-grief" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/1533-jonathan-turpin-is-never-too-busy-to-think-of"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,800,800/9020_jonathan_Turpin.jfif" alt="Jonathan Turpin, Emory & Henry Class of 2017" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225"/></a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/1533-jonathan-turpin-is-never-too-busy-to-think-of">Jonathan Turpin is Never Too Busy to Think of Others</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"><p> Think back to the sort of activities that occupied <em>your</em> senior year.</p><p> Now…consider the story of Jonathan Turpin’s senior year.</p><a href="/live/news/1533-jonathan-turpin-is-never-too-busy-to-think-of" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/1378-got-a-minute-find-out-how-stephen-gunter-got-his"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/129,321,2316,2507/8569_7AA73ECC-4777-46C2-8D31-501118F2DD3E.rev.1600903019.webp 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/129,321,2316,2507/8569_7AA73ECC-4777-46C2-8D31-501118F2DD3E.rev.1600903019.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/129,321,2316,2507/8569_7AA73ECC-4777-46C2-8D31-501118F2DD3E.rev.1600903019.webp 3x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/129,321,2316,2507/8569_7AA73ECC-4777-46C2-8D31-501118F2DD3E.rev.1600903019.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/129,321,2316,2507/8569_7AA73ECC-4777-46C2-8D31-501118F2DD3E.rev.1600903019.jpg 3x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/129,321,2316,2507/8569_7AA73ECC-4777-46C2-8D31-501118F2DD3E.rev.1600903019.jpg" alt="Stephen Gunter, E&H ?04, at the 2019 Homecoming football game." width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/129,321,2316,2507/8569_7AA73ECC-4777-46C2-8D31-501118F2DD3E.rev.1600903019.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/129,321,2316,2507/8569_7AA73ECC-4777-46C2-8D31-501118F2DD3E.rev.1600903019.jpg 3x" data-max-w="2187" data-max-h="2186" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/1378-got-a-minute-find-out-how-stephen-gunter-got-his">Got a minute? Find out how Stephen Gunter got his career on track.</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"> Hear that train a’comin’? It could be Stephen Gunter (E&H Class of 2004). <a href="/live/news/1378-got-a-minute-find-out-how-stephen-gunter-got-his" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>