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CBN Family Mourns Passing of Scott Ross: A Lifelong Christian Broadcaster

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A longtime member of the CBN family has passed on to his heavenly home – reporter, host, and beloved TV personality Scott Ross.  

Scott was known for his storied career in radio and TV, joining CBN from the early days of the ministry. More than that, he was a father and grandfather, husband to his wife Nedra, and a friend. On Friday, he passed into eternity. 

Scott Ross is well known to 700 Club viewers for his many years hosting multiple CBN programs, and his always entertaining, in-depth interviews with Hollywood stars, musicians, and public figures. 

In an interview with Country music legend George Jones, Scott asked: 

     Scott: Feel forgiven?

     George Jones: I really do. I really do.

     Scott: You can accept that. You're not angry with yourself anymore? God loves you, you love you?

     George: I'm not angry with myself like I was. No, sir. 

Prior to his television career with CBN, Scott was a major player in New York City's radio scene, leading to his program being syndicated on over 200 stations, earning him 5 "Billboard" awards.

During those days running with the music industry's top artists, he was forced to re-evaluate his walk with the Lord, which had begun when he was a child. He shared about his faith journey in an interview broadcast on the 700 Club in 2018, appearing with his wife Nedra. Scott explained:

     "I was from Scotland, my dad was in ministry. I'd given my life to the Lord when I was five. Came to America when I was 10. Uh, but the challenges of a new culture and a number of other things, I-I walked away from the Lord for a long time. 

     So, when I was in New York, I-I wasn't really walking with the Lord.  So, I came back to the Lord in a small church outside Hagerstown, Maryland where my mom lived, where I'd lived, and I came down to visit her, with Nedra, and mom wanted me to go to church. And, I went to church, but I stood in the parking lot and got high first, on grass. I got high and went to the church.

     And – but I always say this. I sat in the – way in the back where the Lord couldn't see us, but in the middle of this church service, someone had a 'word'. There were two people there that the Lord was calling and said, you know, 'Come back to me. I'll take your cares, your worries. Put them on me.'" 

Scott, along with his famous wife, Nedra Talley Ross of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame super-group, The Ronettes, would depend on their deep faith to get them through very difficult times. They often reminisced about their early days together in an interview with CBN's Andrew Knox:

     Andrew: You did pretty well for yourself.

     Scott: Not bad.

     Andrew: Of course, a lovely lady, when you met, she was a Ronette –

     Scott: Right.

     Andrew: You were captivated right from the beginning?

     Nedra Talley Ross: Actually, you met me at 16, before all the "Be My Baby."  So –

     Scott: And she-she became my baby.

     Nedra: (LAUGHS) 

For Scott and Nedra, living in the South as an interracial couple proved challenging. They became concerned it would even jeopardize CBN's future, since Scott was now part of the broadcasts. Scott recalled: 

"Uh, we were doing some TV, and uh – to Pat Robertson's credit, I was – I was really accosted by some people, so-called Christians, who wanted to know – same thing "Where's she from?  Interracial marriage, etc."  And uh there were people who did not want to support the fledgling CBN at that time, because of our marriage.

But, uh, Pat stood with us and-and said, you know, 'They – it's not the money, it's not the issue.  And these two are married before God and that's that.'  And uh so we had that kind of support, you know?"

     Andrew Knox: Did these experiences just bring you two closer together or did they create tension for you?

     Nedra Talley Ross: If anything, it was us against the world. … 'We are who we are.  And we're sticking together.'  And actually, when we started to pray together was on our honeymoon, which we really didn't know to do that so much. We had come to the Lord and had a real experience with Jesus.

     Andrew: Together?

     Nedra: Together.

     Andrew: So, the foundation of your marriage has been praying together?

     Scott Ross: Absolutely.

     Nedra: Uh-huh.

     Andrew: Every day?

     Scott: Right. Every day. 

In front of the camera, Scott enjoyed hosting the daily talk show "Scott Ross Straight Talk." He also had many memorable one on one interviews with big names from Hollywood, like Mel Gibson and Jim Caviezel regarding "The Passion of the Christ".

     Scott Ross: Obedience is a big word. 

     Mel Gibson: Obedience. (laughs)

     Scott Ross: Obedience. I remember someone saying to me once: "It will, it costs you to obey God. It costs you more not to."

     Mel Gibson:  Yes. Yes.

     Scott Ross: What did you bring to it? Uh, not just as an actor. But, how do you prepare…

     Jim Caviezel: Yeah.

     Scott Ross: Prepare to play the Son of God?

     Jim Caviezel: It's a great question: How do you prepare? Um, you know, by fire. Uh, I was playing it, looking back there were two words was: unquenchable fire.  

Within hours of the planes hitting the World Trade Center towers on September 11th, 2001, Scott rushed to New York to tell the stories of survivors and heroes and to minister to the people of New York City. Reporting from Ground Zero, he was joined by Columbine chaplain Bruce Porter who prayed: 

     "Reveal your Son, Jesus Christ to them. Through the seeds that have been planted by the many, many Christians who have come here to pray for this place. We thank you Father for your grace abounding even where iniquity greatly abounds. That even though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death here, we will fear no evil. And we ask you Father to embolden our people in America, to embolden them and encourage them."

Scott was briefly sidelined when he faced an extremely serious cancer diagnosis in 2015. He learned much about the Lord during this health battle.

He later said, "You know, the Big 'C' is not cancer. It's Christ. The Big 'C' is not cancer, it's the cross. The Big 'C' is Calvary. The Big C's commitment, it's covenant. So, it's not cancer."

"When the Lord's talking to Jeremiah and he says, 'I took you into a desert,' uh look at all the times that God was quiet, he didn't answer. That's where trust comes in. That's where faith comes in. And you have to hold to that. You must," he said.

In later years after his recovery, Scott often traveled to Israel, bringing viewers in-depth stories from the Holy Land, focusing on biblical archaeology and tensions in the Middle East. 

In one of those reports, Scott said, "For people who, from my world view and from my Christian view, we take very seriously the Psalmist when he says, 'Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. May they prosper who love you.'"

Scott will long be remembered for his significant contributions to the 700 Club and the worldwide ministry of CBN. 

CBN remembers and honors Scott Ross: 1939-2023

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CBN News is a national/international, nonprofit news organization that provides programming 24 hours a day by cable, satellite and the Internet. Staffed by a group of acclaimed news professionals, CBN News delivers stories to over a million viewers each day without a specific agenda. With its headquarters in Virginia Beach, Va., CBN News has bureaus in Washington D.C., Jerusalem, and elsewhere around the world. What began as a segment on CBN's flagship program, The 700 Club, in the early 1980s, CBN News has since expanded into a multimedia news organization that offers today's news headlines