LU, TRBC worship leader shares incredible weight loss journey
For decades, Scott Bullman has helped lead people to Jesus through his incredible voice. Little did he know, in July 2012, God would lead him into a new ministry that revolved around his lifetime personal battle: his weight.
Bullman, director of the Liberty University Worship Collective and worship leader at Thomas Road Baptist Church (TRBC), shared his story at Liberty University College of Osteopathic Medicine (LUCOM) weekly convocation on Jan. 27.
“I really can’t remember a day in my life when I wasn’t a big boy. I remember going to Weight Watchers for the very first time in the fourth grade,” said Bullman.
The weight continued to pile-on during his childhood. By his teenage years, doctors declared him “morbidly obese.” Bullman says he didn’t suffer from bullying. Instead, he found his identity through being an athlete and a singer.
“But as time went on, all of that began to wear off, and the jokes and the stares and the comments started happening more frequently,” said Bullman.
He met the love of his life, Jamie, in college. On their wedding day, Bullman weighed 315 pounds.
He got into the ministry following college, and the Bullman family moved from North Carolina to Oklahoma before settling at TRBC in 2003. During that time, Bullman says he gained about 10 pounds every year.
“I was always the first at the restaurant for lunch meetings because I wanted to make sure we got a table because I couldn’t fit into booths. I would always volunteer to drive because I knew my big Tahoe had a seat belt extender in it,” said Bullman. “Those airline trips out of Lynchburg? Every time I would have to go out of town on a business trip, and the days leading up to it, I would get anxious about who I would make miserable for about 5 hours.”
On the inside, he struggled with sadness and anxiety. On the outside, he was the funny, smiling worship leader who changed lives.
“That’s one thing that has always blown my mind that in spite of my physical condition and in spite of this stronghold, God still gave me opportunity to stand on platforms and tell people about Jesus,” said Bullman.
The tables turned on July 15, 2012.
Bullman thought it was just a typical Sunday service at TRBC. The Falwell’s were out of town, and Pastor Ken Whitten from Tampa, Fl., was the guest pastor. His message: “Getting Rid of Stinkin’ Thinkin’.”
“The message wasn’t about addictions or strongholds but recognizing needed change in your life and just doing it,” said Bullman. “That’s when I realized, I was hearing directly from God. I cried out to the Lord like I never had before. I was seated right down on the front row. I surrendered my biggest problem to God.”
That afternoon, Bullman called personal trainer Ben Crosswhite and set up his first appointment at Crosswhite Fitness.
“It was the second hardest thing I’ve ever done. The hardest thing was actually going,” laughed Bullman.
Crosswhite helped Bullman with nutrition, exercise, and weight conditioning. But that wasn’t all he needed to shed the weight. Bullman says he started to intensify his prayer life as well.
“I learned that when you begin to pray more regularly, irregular things begin to happen more often. I was no longer motivated by what I could be, I was motivated by what I was becoming,” said Bullman.
What he became was half the man he used to be. Since 2012, he has shed 215 pounds, going from a 58 waist to a 36 waist.
He no longer dreads airline trips and loves cramming his family into booths at restaurants. They also took a special vacation to multiple East Coast theme parks so he could ride roller coasters with his children for the first time.
Outside of his personal life, Bullman’s ministry life has changed as he shares his weight loss journey with others.
“I want the Lord to use my story to help other people,” said Bullman.
Speaking in an interview following convocation, Bullman also tasked student-doctors with helping others as they begin their careers as physicians.
“I think you need to tell people the truth and sometimes motivate them with fear. I think that can still be effective. People need to know that if they don’t do something, they won’t live to see 50. But that just isn’t enough,” said Bullman. “Student-doctors must have an understanding of the emotional roller coaster that those people are on.”
He also encouraged them to take care of their own bodies, even during the grueling years of medical school when that can often take a back seat.
“Schedule exercise and make it sacred. If they can’t go to the gym five days a week, go two days a week. And schedule what you eat too,” said Bullman. “It’s kind of like Bible reading. They must lead by example.”