AUGUSTA, Ga. ––Ty LaValley, a scouting ministry specialist and a former paratrooper with the 82 Airborne Division, has been named a missionary for the General Board of Global Ministries.
The scouting ministry position in Cote d’Ivoire will be the first of its kind for the New York-based mission agency.
Following psychological and medical testing and training in Quito, Ecuador, he will deploy in November to the west African nation where he will serve for three to four years as a the scouting ministry coordinator utilizing the World Scouting Messenger of Peace program.
Following 14 years as director of spiritual formation for a local church and service as a district executive with the Georgia-Carolina BSA Council, LaValley will investigate the use of scouting ministry as a way to point young people to Christ. He will also investigate ways to use scouting within confirmation classes for the Cote d’Ivoire church.
LaValley is well equipped to serve in the new post.
He is the recipient of a Bachelor of Science degree from Campbell University in Buies Creek, N.C., and a Certificate in Christian Education from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Ill. A former lay speaker and Sunday school teacher, he is a scouting ministry specialist with the General Commission on United Methodist Men.
As a Scout executive he has led 600 volunteers in support of more than 2,000 youth in eight counties around Augusta. He received the Silver Torch Award from UM Men and the Heroism Award from BSA.
“For the first 31 years of my life, my worldview was defined by war; then, while serving on the NATO staff in Bosnia, I discovered how to wage peace,” says LaValley.
He says, he was crushed when his local church eliminated his position as director of spiritual formation. “Little did I know, in the pain of my loss, I would be led to become a professional scouter,” he says. “This proved to be an excellent training ground for this first-of-its-kind mission assignment.”
“Effective missions meets people where they are and assists them in gathering resources and developing ministries in such a way that their capacities are built up,” says LaValley. “Missions must be executed within the context of the culture I am serving in.”
He is married to Cheryl, an elementary school teacher who will teach English in Cote d’Ivoire and coordinate UM Volunteers-in-Mission teams.
The couple has two adult children: Joey-26, an anthropologist whose wife, Dr. Chrissina Burke, lectures at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, and Dana , 19, a music therapy major at Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville, Ga.