He had a long career as a pharmacist, even managing his own pharmacy at one point, but now Anthony Scalisi has followed a calling he had into the world of full-time ministry. As a result, he’s now the pastoral intern under Pastor Steven Broers at Emmanuel Lutheran Church of Fontanelle.
Scalisi arrived in town in mid-July, but he began at the church at the beginning of August. He comes to Adair County by way of Staten Island, New York, but also has spent time in Cooperstown, New York, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
“I moved upstate New York to Cooperstown and got heavily involved with the church there,” he said. “I just started doing things for the church, being very involved, working on the church council, I was the council president and I assisted with the worship services and other aspects the pastor would ask me to do.”
One day, it occured to Scalisi that there might be more to ministry than simply helping at the church occasionally. Maybe he could do it full-time.
At that point, Scalisi admits it was a scary thing to consider reentering post secondary education after so many years away from it, but he eventually landed at Trinity School for Ministry, an Anglican seminary outside Pittsburgh that also raises up Lutheran pastors and pastors of other denominations.
While Scalisi said Staten Island isn’t as hustle-and-bustle with wall to wall high rises like Manhattan, he said he enjoyed his time in the quieter area of Upstate New York where he describes there were “more cows than people.”
Scalisi and his two brothers had been raised in the Roman Catholic church. He moved to Cooperstown, which is best known as the home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, in 1999.
“I had a good, diverse career in pharmacy work in communities, hospitals and nursing homes, but I finally decided to go back to school and follow a career into ministry,” Scalisi said. “I really enjoy working in the church, working with people, helping people in various capacities, and I very strongly believe in the Word of God, the Bible, God’s message.
“There’s always been a lot of criticism of the church but I’ve always said that members of the ministry are human beings just like everybody else and they make mistakes just like everybody else, but that does not change God’s message for us and what Jesus Christ did for us,” Scalisi said. “That’s what we have to hold onto.”
Scalisi will work under Broers for the next year, preaching a few times each month at ELC and helping with all other duties a pastor would normally perform. Following that year, the Lutheran Churches in Missions for Christ, which ELC belongs to, will have the chance to hook Scalisi up with a church of his own to serve. In the meantime, Scalisi is excited to be in Fontanelle.
“From Staten Island, this is a big change, but from Cooperstown, no. Cooperstown is just like this, a very rural area,” Scalisi said. “I’m used to farm country, I’m used to the life and difficulties of farmers, and I really feel for them. I’m used to rural small town areas. Pastor Steven and everyone here, so far, has been very welcoming, very warm, friendly and helpful. I still have a very good feeling about it.”