Walter R. L. Scragg, 84, Division
President and Pastor, Dies
Headed Adventist World Radio, South Pacific and Northern European Divisions
Walter Robert Lambert Scragg, a retired president of two Seventh-day Adventist world divisions, a former president of Adventist World Radio (AWR), and a former General Conference communication director, passed to his rest on Sept. 20, 2010. He was 84 years of age.
Scragg gave 48 years of distinguished service to the Seventh-day Adventist Church in many leadership and departmental roles around the world.
He attended Avondale College, graduating from the ministerial course in 1945. After completing an arts degree at Adelaide University in 1949, Scragg commenced work as a pastor-evangelist in the Victorian Conference. In 1956 he was appointed as associate speaker for the Australian “Voice of Prophecy” radio program, beginning a career in media and communications work that spanned much of his life. The next year he became Director of the Voice of Prophecy, and in 1959 he was appointed as assistant Radio/TV secretary of the Australasian Division:Sabbath School Department director’s responsibilities were added in 1961. In 1965, he was called to be principal of Longburn College, NZ in 1965.
In 1966, after 18 months of educational work, he was again called back into the Radio/TV ministry at the General Conference. In his new role, hewas responsible for the restructuring the Communication Department of the world church that brought public relations and the electronic media together in 1973. In 1975, at the Vienna General Conference Session, Scragg was elected president of the Northern European Division, where he served for eight years. Hereturned in 1983 to the South Pacific Division, where he served as president until 1990.
Walter and Betty Scragg [Photo: Adventist World Radio]
In 1991, Scragg was called out of retirement to serve as AWR president. “Walter was president of AWR during its early, formative years, and was instrumental in establishing the organizational structure,” said Dowell Chow, AWR president. Chow said Scragg, a former “Voice of Prophecy” speaker in Australia, “was a staunch supporter of and a believer in media, particularly radio media.”
He retired for a second time in 1996. The following year, he was asked to serve as a pastor for the newly formed Fox Valley Seventh-day Adventist Community Church. Then in 1999 Walter came out of retirement the last time, returning to Takoma Park, Maryland, as interim pastor of the Sligo Church.
Walter married Betty Onion in 1951.. She and their three children—Gregory, Bronwen and Mark—and nine grandchildren survive Scragg.
Scragg is remembered by many Adventist leaders and members for his great commitment to media ministry and his skills as a church administrator. He was a big man in both stature and in thought, and the author of several books, including the 1998 adult devotional, “Such Bright Hopes.”
“He was a man of great stature,” said Greg Scott, AWR senior vice president, who worked with Scragg. “He was very well loved and respected by all who knew him.”
Scragg's funeral service will be conducted at 10:30am on Thursday, September 23, at Wahroonga Seventh-day Adventist Church, New South Wales, Australia, followed by a private family internment.
-- Reported by David Gibbons, South Pacific Division, with Adventist Review staff.