Rev. Harry E. Scism
United Pentecostal Church International
1934 ~ Present
While Ellis and Marjorie Scism were attending the Bible Training Center in Oakland, California, Harry Ellis Scism (named after Harry Morse) was born on March 9, 1934.
After Living in Tieton, Washington, where Harry's sister, Ferne, was born, the family mved to Idaho. Harry was baptized in Jesus' name at nine years of age. The Family eventually made Oregon their home. Here his father served as district superintendent for the Northwest District. Ellis and Majorie had felt a burden for India for over fourteen years. They were given missionary appointment and plans were made to travel to India. Thankfully, Harry received the baptism of the Holy Ghost after an all-night prayer meetings in Bend, Oregon, before leaving for India.
On January 30, 1949, Harry, at fourteen years of age, along with his mom, dad, and sister ferne waved goodbye to their family and friends from the deck of the China Mail, not knowing when they would meet again. As the ship was leaving, somebody asked Harry's grandfather how he felt about the departure of his caring son. His answer was: "I would rather see Ellis's bones bleach on the shores of India than for him to miss the will of God."
The sea voyage of two months took them to many ports in six nations and finally to Madras, India, by the end of March. Harry arrived in India at fifteen years of age to begin a new and very different life.
Harry was placed in a boarding school in Kodaikanal, South India. His parents spent time in this hill station when possible to escape the heat of the plains and to be with their children. During his four years in Kodaikanal school, Harry hiked with a group of boys to Berijam Lake. When the dugout canoe filled with boys overturned, Harry, not knowing how to swim, almost drowned. He was pulled out by a classmate and revived.
After completing high school at ninteen years of age, Harry, who had already become involved in missionary work when going to the pains during the school holidays, was appointed as an assistant missionary. As a licensed minister with the United Pentecostal Church, and as an appointed missionary, his work began in 1953. He was grateful to receive along with his father and mother $50 per month as personal support.
Following two years of missionary work, Harry, with his family, returned to the USA for furlough in 1955. He has planned to spend four to five years in Bible college and secular college. At the beginning of the first year attending Conquerors Bible College in Portlnd, in prayer he felt he should return to India at the conclusion of the first year of study. Edwin Judd, as dean, did everything he could to equip Harry during that year for work in India. At the conclusion of the school year, Harry married Audrene Hruza, from Rupert, Idaho. Their honeymoon was spent traveling on deputation.
In October 1956 they began working in the Bible school in South India. Here their first child, Stanley, was born. They felt the need to evangeize and plant churches in North India. At last, they made the long 2000-mile trip by jeep to language school, where they studied the Hindi and Urdu languages.
In time, they were able to open churches in North Central India. The Lord blessed them with a daughter Loretta. They founded Calvary Bible Institute, which over the years has trained hundreds for the Northeast harvest.
T.F. Tenney, asked Harry to go to Thailand to travel with Billy and Shirley Cole for three weeks. One day Billy Cole told Harry that there was a plan to have four regional field supervisors to work under the director. He then stated that Harry was being considered for the Asia/South Pacific Region. He also expressed that he felt this was the right choice. Billy Cole explined that this would involve a lot of travel and being away from the family. Immediately Harry answered that he was very happy in India and did not want to be away from his family. He was not available.
Returning to Bancock, one evening in the Landrover, Bro. Cole stopped beside the highway. He laid his hands on Harry's head and began to prophecy. The prophecy gave assurance that if Harry would do the will of God, God would keep his hand on his wife and children. Harry knew that God was speaking to him. When T.F. Tenney contacted Harry a short time later, he could not say no.
Eventually, Harry and family moved to Manilia, Philippines, as this was a central location for the region and travel was easier. Travel was extensive and expensive, so he, with his family, arrived in Portland at midnight from Hong Kong in January 1976 to raise more support.
Early the next morning he was awajened with a call from Robert McFarland, general secretary of the UPCI, explaining that with T.F. Tenney's resignation as General Foreign Missions director, the General Board had appointed Harry to fill the unexpired term. He then asked, "Will you accept this appointment?" Robert McFarland explained that he had to have an answer within two hours.
Harry and Audrene moved to St. Louis in May 1976 where many adjustments had to be made. Harry had said several times that he would never want to live in St. Louis and work at headquarters. Now here he was in the middle of a huge responsibility, not even knowing where to begin.
The general officials, executives, and office staff were all so kind and patient. At times, Harry and Audrene longed to return to the mission field. They felt so out of place in St. Louis. Eventually, with the help of the Lord and the kindness of many, they felt more comfortable in this new responsibility.
After two years of sickness with cancer, Audrene passed away in October 1989. Missionaries and nationals all over the world loved her. The staff at the office was so kind and patient as Harry struggled with grief and heartache.
On December 8, 1990, Harry Scism and Helen Stewart of Columbus, Ohio, were united in marriage. Helen has been a wonderful wife and has traveled extensively around the world in missionary work.
Harry and Helen both knew two years in advance when they should step out of this heavy responsibility. The General Conference elected a wonderful and dedicated general director, Bruce Howell.
For twenty-five years, Harry was privileged to serve as general director. He traveled all over the world meeting precious people everywhere he went. The missionaries he served were outstanding. The North American church each year increased their foreign missions support. Those were indeed wonderful years. His co-workers at WEC were great friends.
Harry and Helen are now appointed missionaries traveling to different parts of the world in teaching and evangelism. Looking back over the past fifty-plus years of missionary work, Harry makes this observation: "My life has been a pilgrimage-constantly learning, growing, and maturing. An unseen hand has guided me throughout this pilgrimage. I have been kept by His power. only because of His grace wil I someday be able to see my blessed Redeemer face to face." Audio Recordings of Harry Scism are available in the audio library of the Apostolic Archives International.