Remembering Bishop Scott Rathbone
3/1/1965 – 3/7/2012
We’re in business because of my friend Scott. At 6′ 4″ and 350 pounds Scott was a giant to me. He provided the foundation on which this company was built. With his CEM and IPMVP certifications, along with his hands-on “can do” attitude, Scott provided the credibility and made sure our results were verifiable.
More importantly, Scott was a man of God—I wasn’t. And let me be clear, I’m no angel, but I’d like you to see Scott through my eyes. The very first time he and I worked together I was told he was a godly man. This made me very uncomfortable. We had a six-hour round trip drive and all the time I was thinking…well you can imagine what I was thinking.
Within five minutes of the start of the drive I babbled, “I know there’s a God and I’m okay.” Scott had a grin from ear to ear and asked if I had ever read the Bible. I was ready to turn the car around and go home, but we needed the work. I told him I hadn’t read the Bible, and also thought to myself how I wanted this conversation to stop.
But after about five minutes, which felt like three hours, I told him, “Go ahead and tell me a Bible story.” After all, what else could I do? So Scott went on to tell me the story of King Herod Antipas and the birthday party he had for his government officials and the leading citizens of Galilee. I thought he made it up, but he said, “Look it up. It can be found at Mark 6:14.”
Our ten-hour day flew by as Scott continued to tell me Bible stories. We also had a very successful meeting with the customer and we earned their business, a client with whom we still work today. This time that Scott and I spent together was the beginning of an everlasting friendship. Through his storytelling he made me want to seek the truth, and—very candidly-—I’ve been on my knees asking for forgiveness from God ever since.
In the fall of 2011, Scott was diagnosed with a rare form of lymphoma and leukemia. As he and I would talk, I would question him to learn if he was mad at God or if he thought his illness was the work of the devil. He laughed and assured me he was fine.
Actually, to paraphrase him, he stated he couldn’t be in a better position. He knew that if he lived:
- He had a beautiful wife, Patti;
- Two sons Matthew and Jared;
- His parents Carlton and Linda;
- His brother Eric and his wife Kristen
- His sister Kellie and her husband Roger
- Two nieces, Riley and Ellory and his nephew Reid.
…All of whom would “love on him.” He shared stories about how much fun he had playing with his nieces and nephew, and couldn’t wait to eat the food that his family would prepare for him. To quote Scott: his life was “nice.”
But he also made it very clear that he knew that there was a 15% chance that his bone marrow transplant would not be successful. I tried to minimize that thought by stressing the fact that there was an 85% chance he’d be fine. Here’s what he said: “I’m okay, Todd. If I die, I know Jesus has saved me and I’m ready to go Home and enjoy the Love of God.” He then smiled and said, “I can’t wait to get to heaven and not have this pain anymore.” And then he laughed and said that he was ready to run up and down heaven’s stairway and enjoy his renewed body. And finally, he couldn’t wait to meet the Apostle Paul, because he had so many questions for him.
I am still in awe in the peace that he had. Due to the permanent damage caused by his chemotherapy treatments to his immune system Scott would have never been able to enjoy his life as he once did. He would never be able to put his hands in the soil for fear of getting an infection that would kill him–that was no way for Scott to live.
In one of my most memorable conversations with Scott, and there were many, I’ll never forget him saying that his suffering would all be worth it, if he could help just one lost soul find Christ. My happiest moment was telling him that “I got it.” His teachings had reached me, and his prayer had been answered, for he was the one who led me to salvation.
While this may seem like a very sad story, it’s not! This is a phenomenal story! For there was never a time that I saw Scott express doubt. Instead, he literally laughed in the face of death. And while he will be missed, he will not be forgotten. As you look at our company logo please note the foundation which Scott provided: The results. Then connect the dots and you’ll see he’s the shining star that we will continue to follow.
Scott, we miss you and look forward to the day when we will be reunited.
And due to your teachings, “I get it!” If I was a dog I’d be waggin’ my tail!
Your friend in Christ,
March 1, 2013
Please note that Scott did not have life insurance and his church has created a memorial fund for his wife Patti. If you would like to give a donation please make your checks payable to:
Huntington Hills Church of God
In memory of Scott Rathbone
2123 5th St NE
Hickory, NC 28601