In California, during the Jesus Movement of the 1970’s, thirteen-year-old Scott Hesler made a decision to follow Christ. He was the first in his family to come to Christ, followed quickly by his parents and sister. So profound was the impact, two years later he made the decision to be a pastor at Forest Home Conference Center in the mountains above LA.
During his school years Scott worked various blue collar jobs (drill press operator, assembly line worker, watermelon picker, construction worker, warehouse stock boy – even working a salmon season in Alaska). He is a graduate of Taylor University in 1979 (BA in Christian Education) and Dallas Theological Seminary in 1983 (ThM in Christian Education). Since 1983, Scott has worked as a youth pastor in California, a volunteer area director for Young Life, a leader in Surfing Expeditions and Adventures, a church growth consultant and national director in Australia for Church Resource Ministries, English pastor in a Chinese church (Silver Spring, Maryland), and interim pastor in Washington, D.C. and West Virginia.
Since 2006 he has enjoyed teaching God’s word and equipping leaders here at PBC. Throughout his life Scott has been involved in overseas missions in places like Nigeria, Mexico, China, Russia, and more recently, has helped PBC develop a long-term relationship with a network of 200+ pastors in Malawi, Africa.
The primary joy of Scott’s life is his family. In 1984 he married Laurie, who has wisdom, discernment, and a heart for the disadvantaged. Laurie has a Marriage and Family Therapist license and is trained as an Art Therapist. Scott and Laurie have four children: Kaleigh (1987), Elissa (1990), Hayden (1995), and Matthew, whom they adopted from China in 2006.
Growing up in a Christian home in New Jersey, Tom came to know Christ at a young age. As a second grader, he lived in the jungle of Peru for a year while his parents served as short term missionaries with Wycliffe Bible Translators. Later, he decided to go to college to study to be a youth pastor because of the positive influence and relationship with his youth pastor growing up.
Tom graduated from Messiah College in 1996 with a degree in Christian Education/Youth Ministry and a minor in recreation. He also earned his Masters of Divinity from Biblical Theological Seminary in 2006. He has worked with students throughout his adult life, first as a volunteer leader with Young Life, then as a college campus minister for the Coalition for Christian Outreach. For over 11 years, Tom was the youth and college pastor at New Covenant Fellowship Church in Mechanicsburg, PA. He loves interacting with students and pointing them to Christ. Tom also has a passion for counseling, discipleship, connecting students to one another, and missions. He has led many youth missions trips within the U.S. as well as foreign trips to England, Jamaica, Belize, and Mexico.
Tom’s family is the greatest joy of his life. He married his college sweetheart, Heather, in 1998. Heather earned a degree in International Business from Messiah College. She has a huge heart for students and enjoys discipling girls and serving alongside Tom in his ministry. Tom and Heather have 3 children: Katelyn (2001), Caleb (2003), and Cayden (2006).