S.C. engineer, pastor named director of national scouting ministry
LEXINGTON—Steven Scheid, a licensed local pastor in the South Carolina Annual Conference, will assume the post of director of scouting ministries for the General Commission on United Methodist Men June 1.
Scheid will replace Larry Coppock, a 21-year veteran with the commission, who leaves the post to become executive director of the nondenominational Strength for Service Corp.
Gil Hanke, top staff executive of the commission, announced Scheid’s appointment March 12.
“In my first phone interview with Steven, he made it very clear why he was applying for this position,” Hanke said. “‘There are two entities that I really love: The United Methodist Church and Boy Scouts of America,’ said Steven. ‘To think that I could work at the place where those two great organizations connect presents an opportunity that would be amazing.’”
Scheid was licensed as a UMC local pastor in June; the Eagle Scout has 10 years of experience as an adult leader of scouts.
“Steven has served as our chartered organization representative and our chaplain,” said Eric Cassity, scoutmaster for Troop 518 at Red Bank UMC, Lexington. “Together we have grown a small troop of nine boys into more than 50. Besides anchoring our troop’s spiritual life, Steven has led the troop to all four BSA National High Adventure bases.”
Cassity also notes Scheid’s passion and abilities as a trainer. Scheid has taught the “Introduction to Outdoor Leader Skills” Wood Badge courses, and classes on the role of a chaplain, Programs of Religious Activities with Youth, youth protection, Venture Crew planning and “Leave No Trace.”
“Steven has a rare passion, and it really comes through when he is teaching,” Cassity said.
In 2008, Scheid was one of the founders of Venture Crew 518 and served as the adviser and chaplain.
“There was disconnect between the troop and the church at that time,” Scheid said. “We worked on this connection using the PRAY program, and the scouts’ own service. By 2012, the troop and crew were well established ministries of the church.”
Scheid said the scouting movement of recent years has become afraid to recognize the founders’ idea that scouting is the application of religious principle to the formation process.
“I have sought not to preach but to facilitate the discovery of a relationship with God,” he said. “I started as mentor to youth, moved to mentoring adults and then to leading in sharing with the council at large.”
In 2013, Scheid attended the United Methodist Scouting Workshop at BSA Sea Base in the Florida Keys, and he became a scouting ministry specialist.
It was at that training event Scheid first learned of the position of national director of scouting ministry.
“Although I do not want him to leave our troop, like any true follower of Christ, Steven adheres to God’s call,” said Lori Norris, assistant scoutmaster for Troop 518. “Without a doubt, he is the most Christ-like person I have ever met.”
A graduate of Tennessee Tech University with a Bachelor of Science in industrial engineering, Scheid serves as production manager and sole management representative at the Orangeburg site for Ecka Granules of America. He is responsible for purchasing stock, sales, invoicing, staff management, training, budgeting and maintaining all legal requirement for the multimillion dollar plant. He has served that company since 2008.
“My sales experience will cover the need for fundraising,” Scheid said in a letter of application. “My project and plant management will make stewardship and personnel management routine. … The key soft skills that are needed for the director of scouting ministries position are an excellent fit with my gifts and commitment.”
At the same time, Scheid serves as a part-time pastor of Oak Grove and Calvary UMCs in Swansea.
Scheid comes from a large scouting family. His father, Roy, gave him a passion for the outdoors as their family camped in the Rocky Mountains when Troop 643 was not on camping trips. His mother, Kathy, taught him to teach and care for children. Scheid and his wife, Connie, will soon celebrate their 25th anniversary. Together they have journeyed through college and both have served as licensed local pastors. They have two children: Richard and Cathryn, who is married to Matthew and has two sons: James, 6, and Ryder, 2.