LIBERTY – Scott Hamby, 13, died in July, 1985.
The injuries from his bicycle and pick-up truck crash were severe: a fractured skull, head lacerations, a pelvic girdle broken in two places, seven broken ribs, a collapsed lung, two broken vertebrae, a damaged spleen and liver, and a broken thumb.
More than three hours into surgery, doctors pronounced him dead and gave the news to his family. His father began phoning friends and family members.
But, approximately 15 minutes later, the Great Physician worked. Medical equipment that was not designed to shock a patient’s heart malfunctioned. The jolt of electricity brought a pulse back to Hamby’s heart and gave him new life.
Today, Hamby, evangelist and founder of the Scott Hamby Evangelistic Association, proclaims how others can find new life in Christ. The Hamby Evangelistic Association’s vision statement expresses this message clearly: “Revitalize in Christ!”
Hamby also spoke at the Fellowship of Missouri Baptist Evangelists conference in Springfield in February. He, his wife Julie, and their three daughters live in Liberty.
Hamby always lived in a Christian home during his childhood. His late father was an associate pastor, and his mother was a pianist and choir director.
“I had the opportunity to hear the gospel over and over,” Hamby said of his pre-accident life.
At age 11, he publicly gave his heart to Jesus as an evangelist spoke.
“I knew without a doubt Jesus entered my heart. I knew within a year he called me to preach. That was bigger than my conversion.”
Despite a clear ministry call, Hamby’s desire to be a policeman “overran my call to preach.”
As a teenager, he built a dirt bicycle as funds allowed. One July day, he rode it with two biking friends. A friend’s mother sent them to a pool to check on a sibling.
“That’s my last memory before the accident,” he said.
Suddenly, a pick-up truck hit Hamby, making the teenager airborne. Coming down, he hit the truck a second time, went under it, getting wedged against a locked, skidding truck tire. Then he emerged from under the back of the truck onto the pavement. A nearby policeman summoned help from a hospital six blocks away.
The ambulance crew lost his heartbeat repeatedly.
“I lost enough skin the paramedics could easily diagnose my injuries.” Hamby said.
During surgery, Hamby flat-lined and was declared dead. After the unexpected equipment malfunction brought Hamby back to life, the family was updated. Surgery continued four more hours, including a spleen removal and some 200 stitches to repair his liver.
Hamby next remembered awakening in the hospital and seeing a partially fuzzy image of his father motioning not to talk due to a throat tube that doctor’s had inserted.
“God saved my life,” Hamby says.
Although he was expected to be in ICU for 2-3 weeks, within four days Hamby had a regular room. Nurses, doctors, and patients from other floors walked by to see “the miracle boy.”
“I spent a lot of time waving to people I didn’t even know,” Hamby recalled.
Some 10 days after the accident, he left the hospital in a wheelchair.
“They said I’d probably never walk again,” he said. “After two months, I was on crutches. I practiced cursive writing a lot because they said I’d have trouble. I kept talking, because they said I had to work on it. I pushed myself in physical therapy and was told I’d reinjure myself. I was told I couldn’t weightlift.
“They didn’t know if I could have children. I felt I would be a burden, that no one would want to marry me. These were lies Satan whispered to me for years. The more I was told I couldn’t do something, the more determined I was to do it.”
As a result, Hamby graduated on time with high grades, and the 120-pound teenager and was able to do 200-pound bench-presses.
By high school, “God’s call to preach was irresistible.” Hamby began to lead Bible studies at school and often used his injuries as an opportunity for witness. He often wore shorts, even though his siblings and peers called his scarred knees “headlights.”
“I used that as an opportunity to share the gospel,” he recalled. “I’d say, ‘God saved my life. Let me tell you about it.’”
Hamby graduated from Southwest Baptist University, and was mentored by the late evangelist Jack Stanton. He worked full-time for five years as a police sergeant, and for 15 years as a paid part-time officer, preached and was a company executive. Throughout his ministry, Hamby has used his second lease on life to call churches to revival.
“I long to see the church come back to the foot of the cross and let it impact us,” Hamby said. “God revived my life physically. My ministry is to revive Christians spiritually.” ν