The Rev. Scott Ostendorf, who became known as "the pastor with cancer," died Tuesday morning at his home in North Augusta. He was 49.
He continued his ministry as senior pastor of Midland Valley First Church of the Nazarene from the time of his diagnosis June 10 - the day he and his wife, Vicky, celebrated their 27th wedding anniversary - through Christmas, when he shared his reflections with his congregation.
"He served communion from a wing-back chair," said the Rev. Gary Curry, minister of youth, who met the Rev. Ostendorf in the spring of 2002.
The Rev. Ostendorf became Midland Valley's senior pastor in May 2000. During his time as pastor, the church purchased about 60 acres adjacent to its current campus on Jefferson Davis Highway. It added two new buildings, The Dock teen center, and the Family Ministries Center, in a $2.5 million expansion.
In the past six months, membership has grown by about 200, with attendance on Sundays averaging about 630 people, the Rev. Curry said.
When the cancer diagnosis came, the Rev. Ostendorf used the Internet to ask for prayer and posted updates and pictures as he started chemotherapy. The Web site title, My Journey To a Miracle, (www.myjourneytoamiracle.com) was the working title for a book he would write, he said.
"People cannot pronounce my name, but they know I'm the pastor with cancer," he said in an interview with The Augusta Chronicle in November.
Reach Virginia Norton at (706) 823-3336 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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