Church Leader and Communicator Dies

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Walter Robert Lambert Scragg, Born in Auckland, New Zealand, on November 17, 1925 passed to his rest at Lady Davidson Hospital, North Turramurra, NSW, on Monday, 20th September, 2010—aged 84. 

Ordained at the Victorian Camp in 1956, Pastor 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, Walter commenced work as a pastor-evangelist in the Victorian Conference. In 1956 he was appointed as Associate Speaker for the 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 for the Australasian Division which was combined with the Sabbath School Department in 1961 until his call to be Principal of Longburn College, NZ in 1965. 

Pr Scragg was elected President of the Northern European Division, which he held until 1983, when he returned to the South Pacific Division as President until 1990.

Pr Scragg behind the microphone, Circa 1958
 

This period in educational work only lasted 18 months when in 1966 he was again called back into the Radio/TV ministry at the General Conference and was responsible for re-structuring the new Communication Department for the world church that brought public relations and the electronic media together in 1973. In 1975, at the Vienna General Conference Session, Pr Scragg was elected President of the Northern European Division, which he held until 1983, when he returned to the South Pacific Division as President until 1990.  

In 1991, Walter was called out of retirement to be Director of Adventist World Radio for the world church—returning once again to his interest in the media. He retired once again in 1996.  The following year, he was asked to serve as a pastor for the newly formed Fox Valley SDA Community Church. Then in 1999 Walter came out of retirement yet again, returning to Washington DC to pastor the Sligo Church.

Walter married Betty Onion in 1951. She was a vital part of Walter’s career. Betty’s willingness to support and participate actively in his ministry was key to his success. They have three children—Gregory, Bronwen and Mark—and 9 grandchildren.

Pastor Scragg is remembered 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; the author of several books and was awarded a doctorate.

Pr Scragg’s funeral service will be conducted at 10:30am on Thursday 23rd September at Wahroonga Seventh-day Adventist Church, Fox Valley Road Wahroonga, to be followed by a private family internment.

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