Scot, husband of Pam!

Scot was born on February 9, 1963 in New Orleans, Louisiana to John and Polly Finley. He was the first of two children and has one sister. a niece and a nephew. When Scot was two, his famiy moved to Memphis, TN, his parent's hometown. Once there, the family was active in the Southland Baptist Church, a church of similar size to Bonsack. Scot's father was a deacon and his mother was a 7th grade Sunday School teacher. It was at this church that Scot became a Christian, coming forward during Vacation Bible School on June 16, 1971 to accept Christ. Scot was involved in all areas of the church, and remained involved as he grew up.

Scot was the youth council president his junior and senior years and had by then felt a call to pastoral ministry. After high school, he attended Union University, a sister Tennessee Baptist college with Blemont and Carson-Newman. After graduation in 1985, he was awarded a Rotary Club scholarship to the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, by edging out a number of other applicants, where he studied during the 1985-86 academic year. Upon his return to the states, he went on to Southwestern Baptist Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas where he completed his Masters of Divinity in 1988.

After graduating, he returned to his roots in Memphis where he served as a bi-vocational minister at two churches while working fulltime at the Memphis Public Library as the Religion Specialist. There he ordered the religion and philosophy material for the library and helped the public with research. It was during this time that he met his wife to be, Pam, in a single's Sunday School class at First Baptist Church, Memphis. They were married February 12, 1993.

We didn't lose a daughter ~ we gained another Son!

In 1995, his wife, Pam completed her degree in Optometry, and applied for a job in Roanoke, VA so the young family, with two month old Sam, made the move to Roanoke that November. Scot was instrumental in helping Pam "set-up" her optometry business office with Wal-mart and subsequently with Pearle Vision. He performed as her receptionist until they hired one full-time. They purchased a new home in the new Botetourt South subdivision and took early notice of the beautiful church across the street, Bonsack Baptist. They never visited other churches and joined during the Easter Pagent of 1996. However, a few months later, a sister church in the Roanoke Association called Scot as pastor and he ministered there from 1996-1999, while keeping close ties with Bonsack.

In 1999, the family moved their membership back to Bonsack, and their second child, Heather Hope, was born April 4, 2000. When Bonsack created the new position of Minister of Senior Adults, it was one that Scot was very eager to pursue. He had worked with senior adults in one of his two associate pastor positions in Memphis, and loved relating to this age group from the time he was a teenager, visiting with his maternal grandparents and their friends in his home church. He was also given the responsivility of directing the church's food pantry, a growing responsibility that helps hundreds of families in their area. Like the church in general, the senior adult ministry has grown by many hundreds over the past decade--and, as of January, there were 621 people at Bonsack age sixty and over!

"Senior adult ministry is very rewarding for me but also one of the most difficult things I've ever done. I never get used to the idea of continually losing people whom I've grown to love and with whom I've ministered. Yet, I always feel a sense of enormous gratitude for the privilege of having had an opportunity to have known them and to have perhaps helped fill their last years with meaning, joy and friendship."

"Equally important to my ministry at Bonsack is directing our food pantry. Since I was very young I've had great compassion for those who were poor or who sruggled to fit in. When I read the gospels, I know with certainty that it was with these that Christ peopled His Kingdom. I try to make it my business to follow His example. My favorite scripture passage is Galatians 5:1 which reads, 'It was for the very purpose of freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened by a yoke of slavery.'"

Scot also teaches a Sunday School class each week, and the 5th grade class during Vacation Bible School each year. As you can see, Scot is quite heavily involved in the activities of the church. He also teaches a class each month at the Baptist Retirement Home outside of Roanoke, Virginia and another of his church responsibilities is being in charge of the food pantry. Scot loves history, museums and is an avid reader. He also loves sports, and not just spectator sports, but he has served as soccer and basketball coaches for church and local teams, with daughter Heather as a stable member of the teams.

POEM: J. SCOT FINLEY, SON-IN-LAW ~ by David S. Shupe


We have a dedicated Son-in-law, and his name is Scot,
He's a teacher, preacher, husband, father and that's a lot.
But that's not all, as he also has a good business head to date,
Setting up Pam's optometry practice, and delving in real estate.

Scot was born way down south where the 'taters grow,
where an ant stepped on an elephant's toe.
The elephant looked up with tears in his eyes,
And said, "why don't you pick on somebody your size?"

My feeble attempt at a little humor, so don't be a prude,
However, Scot really can be labeled a New Orleans, LA dude.
From New Orleans to Memphis, Tennessee he moved at a very early age,
With his parents John and Polly, and his sister, Lori~all disengaged.

Scot grew up in Memphis and graduated from the Glenmore Academy ~ if you please..
He attended his first year of seminary training in Edinburgh, Scotland overseas,
By beating out many applicants for privilege of winning the coveted scholarship~yipee!
And beginning his ardous stint in seminary training, culminating at end of year three.

Through hard work and much study, which is what it takes to accomplish anything worthwhile,
Scot graduated from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth with a smile.
At completion of seminary, Scot served in Memphis as Associate Pastor of his youth church,
While holding down a secular job in the city performing library research..

Scot's accomplishments and credentials are to be commended, as follows:
...Graduating from theological seminary,
...Served as Pastor for three years,
...Served as Associate Pastor,
...Excels as Bible Teacher,
...Set up Pam's Optometry practice,
...Worked as a librarian,
...Real estate investor,
...Directs Church's food pantry,
...Worked as Stay-at-home Dad. and
...Coaches Heather's soccer and basketball teams.
As you can see, Scott sets his sights high~well, maybe not as high as the Apollo's!

As can be noted above, Scot is just an all around type of guy,
He, Pam and Sam moved to Roanoke, VA and set up housekeeping in 1995.
Where he now serves as Associate Pastor at the Bonsack Baptist Church for the many Seniors there,
Illustrating that he has the versatility to succeed at most any task or affair.

So Scot, thank you very much for your many contributions to family, church and communities,
Thank God that He has given you strength and wisdom to take advantage of these opportunities.
The old adage that "we haven't lost a daughter, we gained a son," is quite true,
You are a very welcome member of our family, we want you to know that WE LOVE YOU!

Now, since you are so accustomed to invoking God's blessings on others ~ you see,
It's about time that some Christian brother pronounced one on you ~ and that's me.
May God bless Scot in all his activities, dealings and undertakings each day of his life,
Bless him with good health, his home, his children and his wife,
And bless his going out and his coming in from this time forth and for evermore,
So that he can say with Biblical John, "He must increase and I must decrease"~never more!

We Love You, Scot

David & Elaine Shupe
September 19, 2011

POEM: HAPPY 50th SCOT ~ by David S. Shupe

Photo of Scot Finley.

(February 9, 2013)

Congratulations, you've reached that magic age of fifty.
You can rest assured that this age is so nifty.
I'm here to tell you that it's better than seventy-eight.
Although whatever years God gives us is great.

Some refer to this age simply as double quarter,
A time in life when we begin to work smarter, not harder.
A time to take stock of where we are, where we're going,
A time to look back and thank God, for it's Him we are owing.

For He has brought you a long ways from where you were,
He has blessed your life with a wonderful family that does care.
He has advanced you financially, but most of all spiritually,
And showered His blessings upon all of you tenderly.

You have much to be thankful for, that's a given,
A good age to be, as you don't have to go where you're driven.
You make the final decision as to what you want to do,
While including God in that decision as He will see you through.

I realize that pride is not a virtue, or something God does endorse,
You can be proud of your accomplishments, with God's help of course.
As an Associate Pastor of a large established, Bible-believing assembly,
Where people are serious about their faith, and are quite friendly.

Where the senior pastor loves God and takes his members to heart,
And the Associate Pastors and staff spend hours doing their part.
In this life, we may not be rewarded for everything we do,
God takes note of giving even a cup of water in His name, that's true.

Training up our children in the knowledge and ways of the Lord is so good.
It's so great seeing Sam and Heather active in church activities as they should.
Something they will always cherish throughout their life, that's for sure,
Then when they get out into the world on their own, they'll be able to endure.

You and Pam have indeed added much to the surrounding community,
By your dedicated service to God and people, while enjoying the opportunity.
So, congratulations on 50 years of life, and your many accomplishments,
God indeed cares, even though you may receive few earthly compliments.

David & Elaine

Photo of Elaine and David.