R. Conrad Cline graduated Deer Island Regional School in 1964 with particular interest in drafting and other "shop" related subjects.
At age 14 he accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior but knew his actions and certain attitudes were in dire need of deeper commitment after High School.
While at Bayview Christian Camp, he had made a commitment for Christian service and along with Wayne Lambert, also of Deer Island, and with Conrad's father, mother, minister Earl Ohl with his wife and daughter - the happy troupe made their way to Johnson Bible College (now Johnson University) outside of Knoxville, Tennessee where Wayne had already been attending for one year and Earl had graduated from a few years earlier. This was the first time Conrad's father had taken a vacation from fishing since he started captaining out of necessity at 14 years of age.
After two years at JBC Conrad accepted the fact that his academic achievements were nothing to write home about. There was a lot of "growing up" to do yet and as a college buddy said years later, "Apparently the faculty saw more potential in us than we saw in ourselves!"
Conrad returned home and went, (like the Apostle Peter), back to fishing. After one year at home (back to fishing) he began feeling as depressed as he imagined JONAH trying to run away from God. Then Conrad pleaded with God to allow him to go back to Bible College. He asked God to make it financially possible for him to do so and within two weeks he had stocked more money fishing than he had made all year. One could say that he was told to "cast his net on the other side of the boat!"
Returning to Johnson University (as it is known today) he was determined, with God's help, to graduate and make a good academic showing. Starting on the year he should have been graduating from college (since he first attended), Conrad humbled himself with a new approach to study, (as a freshman once again), and graduated four years later with his BACHELOR OF SCIENCE DEGREE. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" became Conrad's MOTTO.
During his final Junior and Senior years in college, he was asked to be intern minister at First Christian Church at Harriman, Tennessee (which then had a membership of some 350 souls) with Lionel Talbot as senior minister. This church ordained Conrad into the Christian Ministry in 1971. After this they sent him to the National Missionary Convention in Portland, Oregon. He flew out west but came back to Tennessee by car, (thanks to two Missionaries from Africa). This encounter strengthened his interest in foreign missions and missionaries first hand. He lost some memorable film ot this majestic trip across Western USA which included pictures of such icons as "Old Faithful" and Salt Lake City, Utah.
As far back as 1964 Conrad had taken a keen, "God inspired", interest in North Burma Christian Mission, which by 1971 were based out of Chiang Mai, Thailand. God works in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform! Later that year Conrad arrived in Ottawa, Ontario (our national capital) where he joined Richard Wright and family with their "foreign missions work" here in Canada. Sunday worship service was held at a school and souls were being added to the Kingdom of God through home visitation and Bible teaching using Christian film strips. Strength and growth comes through adversity and much was learned about Christian service, living in that capital for three years. While living in Ottawa he became a school bus driver for Richmond Bus Lines and took up flying through the Ottawa Flying Club, obtaining his private pilots license in 1973.
Befriended by the former Premier of New Brunswick, the Hon. Hugh John Flemming (who was then a member of the national parliament) Conrad was asked (by him) to speak at a joint prayer breakfast with our House of Commons and Senate members. This honor was further enjoyed when asked by the Queen's representative, (the Governor General of Canada) to attend his annual garden party. It was a little like Paul before King Agrippa but without chains and imprisonment. He was the only person there taking photos, but like the Apostle Paul, didn't expect to "appear before him again"!
Each summer, while living in Ottawa, Conrad returned home to Deer Island for a few weeks to earn enough money for a down payment on a new car (Nissan/Datsun 1200). At that time, the total retail price for his new car would equal the taxes alone on a current small size car. His grandfather was kind enough to co-sign so he could be approved for a first time loan.
While living in Ottawa, Conrad visited various churches throughout Canada and the United States, making Christians aware of church life in our Nation Capital and our need for prayer and he also gave reports on the fledgling work in the Capital. Various churches helped support him while living there.
He also frequented the halls of Government (appealing on behalf of the fishing industry with officials in the federal Department of Transport) and Conrad was partially responsible for having charges dropped against East Coast fishermen over unpaid wharfage fees. After he made an appeal to the Queen, in which he proved certain injustices against these fishermen - the charges against fishermen were all dropped and the whole matter of wharfage and harbor maintenance was moved over to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.
By the end of 1973 Conrad moved back to Deer Island and helped his dad on their large herring carrier but after about one year volunteered to become a Captain on the Deer island Provincial ferry system as the then captains had gone for about one month without a break.
The Leonardville, Deer Island Church of Christ was "home" in every sense of the word. Somewhere along this time line, Robert (Bobby) Morse Jr. came on a mission initiative to Deer Island representing North Burma Christian Mission and the Tribal Children's Hostel he had established in Chiang Mai, Thailand. We sang in churches together and our voice just seemed to naturally blend. Conrad was thereafter involved in that work as he flew Bobby over to Nova Scotia and tried to help the effort in every way he could.
By 1976 Conrad was asked to come as full time minister with the Garnett Settlement and Nauwigewauk Christian Churches. He resigned from the Provincial ferries and took up residents at Garnett Settlement. For three years he ministered full time with these two congregations which were twenty-one miles apart (as the crow flies.
The Maritime Christian convention was hosted at Garnett Settlement, during his tenure there, and many people got to ride in a small plane for the first time in their life. Both churches were able to support full time ministers after his resignation. He lived with Walter and Hazel Branscomb for a time after this at Garnett and worked as a "Social Animator" in Saint John. This job involved chronically unemployed individuals getting back to work.
His photography skills became a small business venture with wedding photography and Tourism contracts by the Province of New Brunswick for aerial and ground photos. Conrad's sister, Julie, once gave him a plaque which said, "There are old pilots and bold pilots but there are no old bold pilots!" (Oh.. the stories that have been told.)
While first ministering with these two churches Conrad and Bobby Morse recorded a long playing album in Flora, Illinois entitled BECAUSE HE LIVES in support of the Tribal Childrens Hostel. You can listen to it by clicking on MORE at the top of this page. In 1981 Conrad was IN THAILAND for three months encouraging the missionaries working with NORTH BURMA CHRISTIAN MISSION. Thousand of photos were taken and many of those photos were used as promotional material for the mission work.
On April Fools Day (while still in Thailand) he proposed to Anna King (an RN working in Saint John) and they were married in June. Conrad's mother passed away from a brain bleed after undergoing surgery shortly after he returning from Thailand. She had been scheduled for surgery one month earlier but through the grace of God, the doctor delayed things until he returned home...God is Good!
Anna and Conrad have two sons and as of this writing are both in their thirties. Jeremy is married and they have two girls. He has his own business called Outdoors NB and their second son, Michael is a member of the RCMP, working in Alberta. His wife is from Alberta.
Back in 1986 the Cline's moved to Deer Island to raise their children and Conrad started Cline Marine Charter tours. He also began work with the Provincial Ferry System during his "off season" as a deck hand and First Mate. Later he worked as a full time Master on the ferries. After concluding his ship masters course on Prince Edward Island, he obtained his ship masters certificate and thereafter started CLINE MARINE INC. a whale watching tour and charter business. This lasted for 18 years after having converted the 60 ft. fishing vessel once owned by his father into a passenger vessel.
Conrad started "filling in" at the Back Bay Church of Christ as minister during these "back home" years and has by the grace of God never stopped since! So far he has only in the past couple of years, "passed out" after preaching his Sunday sermon - but the Doctors say it was because he was suffering from a rare virus and pneumonia.
Having retired now from most other jobs (including much of his lawn mowing business) he very much enjoys and loves FULL TIME CHRISTIAN SERVICE. He loves pointing out to people that Moses did not begin leading the Children of Israel out of bondage until he was 80 years old and as of this writing that is still about 7 years down the road!
With health issues and what have you, the family physician said, "You know you should be dead!" He said, "THE LORD ISN'T FINISHED WITH ME YET!" Faith, prayer and work was the motto of his college and words to live by. "I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST THAT STRENGTHENS ME." R. CONRAD CLINE
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