First Black minister to head a South Florida Assembly of God Church

Rev. Selwyn Scott reflects on 40 years as pastor

Gigi Tinsley | 10/17/2013, 9 a.m.
This writer’s third interview with the Pastor Emeritus of Revival Tabernacle Assembly of God [RTAG], the Reverend Selwyn McDonald Scott, ...
Rev. Selwyn Scott

This writer’s third interview with the Pastor Emeritus of Revival Tabernacle Assembly of God [RTAG], the Reverend Selwyn McDonald Scott,  proved to be just as interesting and rewarding to as was the first encounter some 15 years ago. Selwyn retired last year [2012] after serving as the pastor at RTAG for 40 years.

Being the first Black pastor to be accepted into the then all-white Assembly of God Association obviously had its challenges. Even at the interview session held for those being accepted as ministers for the Assembly of God Church, he says he was treated differently.

“But I told them that their actions were not strong enough to deter me from doing what God intended him to do and who God wanted me to be,” he said.

In 1969, Scott won the top mechanic award from the Tinmar Company in Trinidad and was sent to Detroit for additional training. When he returned to Trinidad he was offered  a job in the U.S. Virgin Islands with St. John Corp. where he worked for a year. In 1972, he moved to Miami, leaving his wife, Antonia back home with their six children.

The Lord will direct your path

On his first day in Miami, he entered the doors of Hunt Trucks Company on NW 27th Ave — within an hour he had been hired. However, he says he was curious about a business he noticed a few yards down the street— Trailways Bus Line — and so he filled out an application there. By noon, he had a second job offer. He eventually chose Hunt Trucks. Then after several other lateral moves, Hunt abruptly left his blue-collar gigs in 1976 and became a full time minister.

“My last employer wanted me to stay on the job and told me that I wouldn’t be able to provide for my family,” he said. “But that was never my concern. It just goes to show you, when God gives you an assignment, he also gives the provisions.

In 1980, Antonia [his wife] died and I was left to raise six children alone.

But those who choose to live for the Lord and under his guidance and directions are never alone.”

One year after Antonia’s death, according to Scott, a member of his church invited one of her friends, Tomasina Seymour, to church.

“She joined RTAG and for the last 31 years she has been my wife,” Scott said “She has been a ‘help meet’ in every sense of the word and the children and grands love her.”

In addition to their six adult children, the Scotts have 22 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.