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Prayer at work

Retired minister leads Bible study at auto dealership

Prayer at work

Prayer at work

Dr. Robert Lingle, seated behind a bo...

     It all started with the purchase of a car.
    Dr. Robert Lingle, new to the Statesboro area, stepped into Superior Automotive of Statesboro, looking for a vehicle, and met Cleve White.
    “I traded my truck for a car,” Lingle said, “and then went back for tires. We became very friendly, and Mr. White invited me to have prayer with him twice. I asked him if he wanted to have Bible study with his workers, and he was very glad to start one.”
    And so began a once-a-week, morning Bible study at Superior Automotive of Statesboro, owned by Cleve and Venus White.
    “We knew he was a man of God,” Cleve White said. “When he said, ‘Let’s do Bible study,’ I asked him when he wanted to start. ‘Monday,’ he said, and it’s been a blessing ever since.
    “We read the Bible, and he deciphers Scriptures for us,” he continued. “We share prayer requests and pray. It’s been a blessing for the dealership.”
    Lingle, a graduate of Covenant Seminary, New Orleans Baptist Seminary, Stetson University and Messiah College, a retired minister and a member of Eastern Heights Baptist Church, moved to Bulloch County to be close to one of his six adult children. He said he is delighted to live in Statesboro.
    “I’d been praying for a local ministry since the move,” Lingle said, “and God said to me, ‘Why don’t you approach Cleve White about a Bible study?’”
    Lingle not only serves as Superior Automotive’s Bible study facilitator, but considers himself “on call” to minister to the workers there.
    Never tiring of ministry, Lingle continues his outreach in an international capacity with Serve Academy Sabatia, a private Christian school in Kenya.
    Established in 1996 by the Rev. Paul Ligono, the school serves 350 students, preschool through eighth grade.
    Lingle and his wife and high-school sweetheart, Gloria, have visited Kenya several times, with Dr. Lingle traveling there six times.
    Speaking of his wife of 60 years, Lingle said: “It was love at first sight. We met at Bible Club.”
Lingle remembers how he came to know the man responsible for the school and said: “God works in mysterious ways. I met Rev. Ligono in ’92 when I was in Houston for a Southern Baptist Convention. I was staying with a friend who told me he had someone I needed to meet.”
    Lingle became fascinated with the project and has taken teams over to Kenya to work or raised money ever since that meeting.
    In fact, he has raised so much in building funds and scholarship money that the Kenya school building, almost completed, will be named “Dr. Lingle Hall.”
    Not sure if he’ll get the opportunity to return to Kenya, 80-year-old Lingle plans to continue raising funds for the school. And lead Bible study. And minister to Cleve White’s employees. And fill in as teacher and preacher when needed. And be a devoted husband, father, and grandfather.
    And ask God, “Where do you want me to serve today?”

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