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Cycling for a good cause

Retired pastor rides 1,000 miles to benefit ministry

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Posted: May 19, 2009 8:36 p.m.
Updated: May 19, 2009 8:33 p.m.
Cycling for a good cause

Jimmie Tolbert, a retired pastor, is shown Monday at the Parkwood RV Park in Statesboro. Tolbert is riding his bicycle 1,000 miles in an effort to raise funds for the Free Will Baptist Family Ministries in Greenville, Tenn. He stopped in Statesboro for the night.


    Jimmie Tolbert is nearing the end of a 1,000-mile journey.
    Tolbert, a retired pastor from Free Will Baptist Family Ministries in Greenville, Tenn., said “The Lord impressed upon me to take on a mission to help the ministry.” So, last year Tolbert, 78, decided he would bicycle 1,000 miles to raise money and awareness for the Family Ministries.
    Monday, Tolbert stopped in Statesboro as the guest of Wayne Miracle, pastor of New Life Fellowship Free Will Baptist Church. He has ridden 940 miles and he expects to ride into Greenville some time Wednesday.
    “It’s been a joyous and inspirational ride,” Tolbert said.
    He is traveling with his wife Barbara and Jim and Wanda Dunlap. The four have lived in the Dunlap’s RV since the ride began May 4 in Titusville, Fla., where the Tolberts live now.
    Tolbert said he has never undertaken anything like the ride before. He started training back in January and planned to ride about 75 miles per day — half in the morning, half in the afternoon. But on Friday, he covered 102 miles — the most he ever rode in one day.
    “To ride that far ... well, that felt really good,” Tolbert said.
    Tolbert said the goal is to raise $100,000 for the programs at the Family Ministries.
    “I get emotional just thinking about the works the Ministries do,” Tolbert said. “Last year, they helped 180 young people accept Jesus Christ. We helped 100 women considering abortion see a better way and they had their children. The ministry really does the work of the Lord.”
    Miracle said Tolbert is his former pastor and his commitment doesn’t surprise him.
    “Brother Jimmie is one of the most determined people I know,” Miracle said. “His devotion to the Lord and his determination to help others is wonderful to behold.”
    Tolbert brushes off such praise.
    “I’m doing what I should be doing to help others,” Tolbert said. “My wife and the Dunlaps deserve more praise for putting up with me in the RV!
    If you would like to contribute to Tolbert’s ride and the Free Will Baptist Family Ministries, go to wwww.oakstreet.com and click on the link: “Jimmie Tolbert’s 1,000 Mile Ride.”
   
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