Scott Strobel (Pastor)
Pastor Strobel grew up in the Roman Catholic Church in the state of Illinois. He attended eight years of Catholic Grade School, along with two years of Catholic High School, before finishing high school in a public school. This upbringing gave him a moral awareness, and an awareness of heaven & hell. At the age of 18, under great conviction for sin, and disillusioned with this world, his primary goal became making sure he was going to go to heaven when he died.
He made an appointment to speak with his priest and told the priest, "I just want to know I'm going to heaven, how can you know you are going to heaven?" His priest replied that no one really knows for sure. Trying to figure things out on his own he thought, "If I give my whole life to God, then surely I will go to heaven." The only way he knew how to do that was to become a priest. After much contemplation and soul searching, he decided if that's what it took, that's what he was going to do. His priest connected him with a high school seminary, and with the boys there, he visited two college seminaries. At those seminaries he saw that the priests and the students had nothing different than the partying, and rock & roll that he was trying to escape and overcome.
Previously a high school friend of his had told him that he had gotten saved and that he should talk to his pastor. To this point, Pastor Strobel had blown off the invitation because he believed that he was in the one true church. After he found no help from his priest and the seminaries, he finally decided to call his friend and make an appointment with the pastor. On Friday night, April 25, 1980, he attended a youth meeting where he and his friend were the oldest young people there. But what he was really waiting for was to talk to the pastor. As soon as the study was over he approached the pastor and they sat down to talk. Pastor Michael Todd presented the clear-cut plan of salvation from the Bible. Unlike the priest he met with before, Pastor Todd answered his questions, and showed him the answers in the Bible. After having his questions answered and understanding what the Bible said about how to be saved, he bowed his head and believed on the Lord Jesus Christ for the salvation of his soul, receiving God's free gift of eternal life.
Having already wrestled with giving God his whole life, Pastor Strobel soon took steps to prepare for the ministry. A few months after getting saved, he attended a year of Bible School at Fellowship Baptist College in East Peoria, IL. The following year he spent a year studying at Hyles-Anderson College in Crown Point, IN. After school was over that year, he went to work at the Roloff Homes in Corpus Christi, TX. He wound up staying there for eight months working at the Anchor Home for Boys. After this he would go to help a friend of his try to start a church in Billings, MT.
While there, after a period of fasting, just seeking to get close to the Lord, the Lord impressed him to go and finish school at the Pensacola Bible Institute in FL. He took a three day Greyhound Bus trip and arrived in Pensacola in the late summer of 1983. There he soaked in all the Bible he could, especially enjoying the teaching of Dr. Peter S. Ruckman. He graduated from PBI in 1986, and stayed around for another year. Then five weeks after marrying his wife Renée, they took off from Pensacola to arrive in Western New York, where he become Pastor of the First Bible Baptist Church in Lockport, NY. His first service as pastor was July 12, 1987, and he has been serving there as pastor since that time. His experience at three different Bible Schools, along with the Roloff ministries and helping a friend start a church, gave him a well-rounded education, both in the classroom and in the field. Even so, 30 plus years as a pastor have furthered his education even more! Some stuff, you just can't learn in a classroom.
Through the years the Lord would bless Pastor Strobel and his wife with a total of seven children. Five boys and two girls, which arrived in that order! After all of those years in the ministry, Pastor Strobel likes to quote from the song Amazing Grace which says, (slightly modified), "Through many dangers, toils, and snares we have already come, 'Tis grace hath brought us safe thus far, and grace will lead us home!"