Leading Others to the Most Excellent Way
The Most Excellent Way (MEW), a Christian support group for anyone affected by drugs, alcohol, or any type of addiction, began meeting at Olive Baptist Church in 1993. When Ministry Village at Olive was founded in 2008, the local Most Excellent Way ministry became one of MVO’s programs. Scott Heald is the director of Ministry Village’s MEW program as well as the Jail Ministry. Anyone who ventures into an MEW meeting at Olive has the pleasure of meeting Scott and learning how to follow the Most Excellent Way path to addressing addiction. Scott brings firsthand experience on dealing with addiction to his ministry.
Scott struggled with an addiction to drugs and alcohol for 30 years. He credits the Most Excellent Way program at Olive with helping him find deliverance from his addiction in 2002. After finding his way, Scott became involved as a volunteer, working alongside his mentor and friend Eddie Echarri, the first director of Olive’s MEW and Jail Ministries.
Around 2013, Scott was recruited by former MVO Executive Director Stan Lollar to become director of the MEW ministry for MVO, and he has served in that role ever since. “My educational (BA Economics) and work background is in banking and mortgage lending, which has absolutely nothing to do with what I do now,” explains Scott. “But my personal experiences with addiction, my love for God, and my desire to see others overcome their dependence on drugs and alcohol are what drive me.” Scott’s insight into drug and alcohol-related issues also helps him reach out to inmates through the jail ministry, as many of those incarcerated are also struggling with addiction problems.
Dealing with people who are struggling with addiction and have often hit rock bottom might be an imposing challenge to some, but for Scott, it offers him a glimpse into the transformational power of God. “The best part of my job is seeing the awesome power of God in all those who honestly seek Him. He (God) is transforming the lives of people who had given up all hope for sobriety, and one way He is doing that work is through the Most Excellent Way. I also look forward to coming to work every day because of the dedicated and caring team of people I get to work alongside at Ministry Village.”
Scott receives frequent phone calls from well-meaning family members who are watching loved ones struggle with addiction and lose the battle. He spends time talking to them about community programs that are available, but he stresses that it is up to the individual with the addiction problem to reach out for help. “No well-meaning grandmother, mother, wife, husband, or child can force someone else to successfully heal from addiction. The addict must be willing to take the first steps – to reach out for help. We are here to help them on that journey.” Scott stresses that family and friends are always welcome at MEW meetings. Attendees will find support and understanding for the roles they play in the addict’s life, and will feel encouraged knowing they are not alone when dealing with the challenges of addiction.
Scott is married to Diane, and has two children and two grandsons who live in Minnesota. Scott enjoys hunting and is a skilled shooter, heading up the annual Ministry Village clay shoot fundraiser to support the Charis House each year. “I love to visit my family often, especially during deer hunting season.”
Thank you, Scott, for your dedication to MEW, Ministry Village, and all those who are seeking redemption and freedom from addiction. Your leadership and compassion has made a difference in countless lives along the Gulf Coast.
Most Excellent Way meetings are held each week at the Olive Baptist Church Main Campus (Tuesdays and Fridays from 7pm to 8:30pm). Meetings are open to anyone struggling with addictive behavior, as well as the family members and loved ones of those struggling. proactively working to make attendees feel safe by providing large meeting spaces with plenty of room for social distancing, providing masks, and encouraging everyone to come back for the face-to-face support they so desperately need. Volunteers interested in working with MEW can provide encouragement, a listening ear, and prayerful support to those who attend our meetings. If you are interested in learning more about volunteering with MEW, or if you are interested in participating in a Friends and Family support group through MEW, contact Scott Heald at SHeald@ministryvillage.org or by phone at 850-475-1112.
MVO’s Jail Ministry in Escambia and Santa Rosa County jail facilities is facing new and uncertain times, as jails have been closed to outside visitors since early 2020. We pray that as 2021 proceeds, those doors will reopen for ministry, and we will be able to reach those incarcerated individuals who have asked for spiritual support.
The mission of Ministry Village at Olive is to put the words of Jesus into action throughout our community – “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40, NIV) If you are looking for a place to demonstrate kindness to others for the glory of God, give us a call. For more information on Ministry Village at Olive, Inc. and its work in the community, follow them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MinistryVillage, on Twitter @MinistryVillage, visit their website, MinistryVillage.org, or call (850) 473-4466.