Bill Linge, pastor of GCI’s congregation in Boise, Idaho, grew up near Seattle, Washington. “I grew up attending WCG from age five. My mother had been listening to The World Tomorrow broadcast since around the time I was born and had requested a visit. About five years later, she was contacted and invited to church.”
After high school, Bill entered the University of Washington. “I was an engineering major with a secondary emphasis in business administration. I was able to complete an MBA post-Ambassador, though I never got back to engineering. I ended up with a career in IT as the paying part of my bi-vocational career.”
Bill attended Ambassador University—first in Big Sandy, Texas, then graduating in Pasadena, California. “After graduation, I was hired by the church’s radio and television department and worked there until 1994, when the telecast was shut down. I accepted a severance package and Priscilla and I looked around for an area in the western U.S. where we could settle down. Initial doctrinal changes had begun (healing, de-emphasis on prophecy, God as Trinity, etc.) and we noticed that not all pastors were on board. In the city of Boise, we found a good economic base, a family-oriented civic community and a church with a pastor who appeared to be open to listening to and studying the changes that were coming out of Pasadena. So we settled down there with the idea of being ordinary church members and possibly raising a family.”
Bill and Priscilla (Taylor) have been married for 22 years. “We have two children: Kayleen (12) and Sean (8). We consider them a great blessing because early in our marriage we were told by doctors that we would be unable to have children, although we always had hoped otherwise.”
After moving to Boise, Bill and Priscilla started serving the congregation. “Priscilla and I supported many of the programs including youth ministry and children’s church, facilitating and hosting small groups, choir and worship. Nevertheless, we never seriously considered pastoring (seeing the burdens that some pastoral wives were under, Priscilla proclaimed that she would never be a pastor’s wife. However, it appears that the Holy Spirit took that proclamation as a challenge!).”
It was a tough time, Bill said. “The path was convoluted and somewhat painful–taking us through the doctrinal changes with its associated divisions and politics both at the denominational level and locally with friends and family on both sides. Priscilla and I were already convinced prior to leaving our jobs with the church in Pasadena that the changes were the result of God opening the eyes of the church; however, we tried to stay out of the fray, expecting older and more experienced members to provide local leadership. But when the local pastor was laid off for lack of local funding and had to begin looking for work elsewhere, the remaining local church leaders would not commit to supporting headquarters. Some even hinted that they might seek independence for the congregation and/or revert back to some of the old doctrines. This is when I found myself being pushed forward for local leadership. After serious prayer and soul-searching, leading to the “voice inside” insistently telling Priscilla and me what we did not want to hear, we spoke to the outgoing pastor and allowed ourselves to be put forward for pastoral training in January 1999. Upon my return, I served as a co-pastor with the outgoing pastor until he left, then was installed as the bi-vocational senior pastor.”
Priscilla, who did not want to be a pastor’s wife, has risen to her calling. “I don’t think I could do the job without her support! She serves as worship leader, sermon critic, private secretary, caterer, youth minister, back-up sound person, neighborhood liaison, encourager, private masseuse, social planner, prayer warrior, counselor, confidante and soulmate (I’m sure I could come up with other roles as well!). But she draws the line at speaking, so that leaves something for me to do!”
What Bill enjoys most about being a pastor is “being able to assure people who have spent their lives under legalism of the unconditional love and grace of God. It is particularly satisfying to watch the growing realization that this is real and that it applies to them. I also enjoy being able to serve others.” His most memorable moment as a pastor was “being able to baptize a co-worker from my paying job and her grandson.”
When asked what he enjoys most about being part of GCI, Bill said, “There is a commonality of background, with a common understanding of the pitfalls coming from many issues to which many Christians in other denominations seem blinded. I am excited by the depths of God’s grace that our Christ-centered, Trinitarian focus continues to reveal to us.”
Bill shared that his passions include, “My family, enjoying our local community, and being able to share news about God’s grace in Jesus Christ with those who are willing to listen.” He feels closest to God “in the openness of the natural outdoors, and in the midst of the worshiping congregation or small group.”
4 thoughts on “Bill Linge”
Memories of yore came alive as I was reading your life story. Talking about commonalities…your experience is not that different than my own. It seems that we both were called to serve the church out of the theological war trenches that so terribly split our fellowship in the 1990’s. When I look over those old Ambassador College Envoys it is disheartening to see how many of our old friends from our college years are no longer part of our fellowship. And, yet, we also know that God is still working with everyone and that some day we will all sit at the same table.
Take care, amigo. It was nice to see you in Orlando.
Hello Bill (William!)
We go back a long, long way and hope you may still remember us! We are happy to hear of your family life with Priscilla and the way that God is using you as you continue your Christian journey. We have happy memories of times spent with you in the past for which we thank you and wish you blessings for the remainder of your journey. We have found that as long as we always “stay in the Vine” as Jesus instructed then we are truly blessed. Our love and best wishes to you both …..
Barry and Wendy Gridley
I served in Seattle in the late 60’s and knew the Linge family – I assume that is the same one you are from – Hope all goes well for you both – I am now retired and living in Reno – Thank you for helping others with our wonderful changes
Bill and Priscilla,
You have truly been a blessing to the Boise congregation and the ministry in the NW. It has been a joy to serve alongside you – not as closely as we would have liked though thanks to the huge distances in this amazing country in which we live!
May God bless your ministry with increasing growth!
Glen (and Connie)
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