Alumni Profile: Foundation for Scofield’s Work Laid at Williams
As a young boy growing up in rural Montana, Aaron Scofield had no idea Williams Baptist University (then Williams Baptist College) existed, let alone the impact it would have on his life.
While he was preparing to graduate high school he filled out a questionnaire for the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) that matched him to Williams.
“I knew I wanted to go to a school in the southern part of the United States and I knew I wanted to attend a Christian school,” he said. “One day, seemingly out of nowhere a packet for Williams showed up. I read the information, it seemed like a great fit to me so I applied and was accepted.”
His first time visiting the campus was for new student orientation in the fall of 2003 and it was during this time that God began to work a change in his life. He had a passion for working with young children and pursued a degree in education to teach middle school children. However, God had a different plan for Scofield that he acknowledges he did not even see until many years later.
Scofield surrendered to ministry during his junior year at WBU, and that was not something he had even considered just a few months prior.
“I felt the call seemingly out of nowhere,” he said. “But I felt like I was being led and I began to follow that path.”
After graduating from a seminary in Canada, Scofield and his wife moved back to Montana where he began his career as a pastor. It was during this time that he saw a need for someone to help children in broken homes and Scofield found the path God had been preparing him for.
Across the country, 400,000 plus children rely on foster care each year. In Montana, 3,000 children are at risk and in need of foster care. Scofield said the number of children in foster care could vary by 100 depending on the day.
In 2015 he went to work for Child Bridge, an organization dedicated to helping children in the foster care system. While with the organization, Scofield equipped families with trauma training, participated in adoption hearings and oversaw children reuniting with their biological parents in a safe environment.
He took the knowledge from his time at Child Bridge and has partnered with the state chapter of Promise 686, a national faith-based organization that supports foster families.
“Throughout my time at Child Bridge I had multiple conversations with churches, pastors and families about the specific needs in our area,” Scofield said. “I took those conversations and my other past experiences and tried to find an organization that fit exactly what we needed in our part of Montana.” As the organization’s director, Scofield mobilizes local church communities to support foster families by implementing a step-bystep model called Family Advocacy Ministries (FAMs). FAMs give churches training and tools to serve the foster and adoptive community, as well as biological families in crisis.
Within FAMs, a connecting platform, CarePortal, notifies local churches of requests submitted on behalf of partner agencies, such as Montana’s Child and Family Services, schools, state and tribal organizations. Those requests are relayed through the online system to hundreds of volunteers in the church community. Since CarePortal was launched in the state in 2017, Scofield estimates it has helped nearly 1,000 Montana children.
Currently, Promise 686 partners with over 40 churches throughout the state of Montana and he receives calls daily from others asking how they can help. His hope is to see the organization have a statewide presence.
“I often think back how God has just opened door after door for me in my life,” Scofield said. “I had never heard of Williams before I applied and I firmly believe that the environment of the faculty and staff there nurtured and prepared me for what God had planned for me. I owe a lot to the school and the people for shaping and molding me.”