Dedicating the Historic Lingle Hut
Please see all the photos in our News of Davidson photo album from the dedication ceremony.
Last Saturday was a beautiful day in Davidson. Beyond the amazing fall weather, it was an exceptionally wonderful day for The Historic Lingle Hut at Reeves Temple AME Zion Church.
Members of the community joined with members of the Reeves Temple congregation for the special dedication that has been years in the making.
In 2018 – members of the Reeves Temple congregation began monumental effort to restore the historic building. Funds for the restoration have been raised in a variety of ways – ranging from fish fries to engraved bricks.
In the interim, the effort was impacted by COVID and vandalism. But rather than focusing on the hurdles, speakers at the event focused on the accomplishment that was being celebrated in the formal dedication ceremony.
After opening with a hymn, Rev. Dr. Anthony Davis – the immediate former pastor of Reeves Temple opened the ceremony in prayer.
Rev. Reginald O. Coffey, Pastor of Reeves Temple, read scriptures from the book of Colossians. He was followed by Ms. Maggie Smith – longtime member – who provided welcoming remarks to all those gathered.
Ms. Castella Conner presiding – provided historical background and recognized some of the key players in the restoration efforts. Notably, she told the story that her mother, a caregiver to Mrs. Lingle, was given a sum of money from Professor Lingle’s son. She used that money to finalize the purchase of the historic hut. In turn, the hut was named “the Lingle Hut.” Ms. Conner was followed by Ms. Tiffany McCain who talked about the purpose of the restoration efforts.
At the heart of the ceremony was the dedication responsive narrative that involved all those in attendance. The Right Rev. Darryl B. Starnes Sr., Presiding Prelate – Piedmont Episcopal District of the AME Zion Church – asked other clergy/lay leaders to take turns in participating in the minister role in the reading.
Bishop Starnes began the reading, followed by elder Dr. Wardell Henderson, Rev. Coffey, Rev. Dr. Davis, and then back to Bishop Starnes for the conclusion of the dedication and the closing prayer of dedication.
Following that portion of the ceremony, several speakers made additional remarks. Mrs. Maria Naas and Mr. Kurt Naas talked about their connection to the effort. Specifically, Mrs. Naas was part of the biscuit caper, and the amazing connection to a local fast food breakfast favorite.
Mrs. Lela Johnson – a longtime member of the congregation – was unfortunately unable to attend the event. However, several of the speakers noted that Mrs. Johnson was likely the catalyst of the effort – and here’s where the story makes a turn toward biscuits. As the story was told, one day she mentioned to her friend Maria that she wanted a Hardee’s sausage biscuit. On the way back home, they drove past the Lingle Hut – in the disrepair that had befallen the former hub of community activity – and Mrs. Johnson lamented the congregation’s inability to restore the building.
And thus, over her simple request for a Hardee’s sausage biscuit, the genuine conversation began about renovating the Historic Lingle Hut.
Stewart Gray, Davidson resident and Historic Resources Program Manager, Charlotte-Mecklenburg County Historic Landmarks Commission, was in attendance on Saturday. He was recognized for his support – most importantly for his recommendation of the construction manager – Patrick Parente. His “Poppy Handyman Services, completed numerous historic preservation projects – including the ceilings, wood floorings, painting, etc.
Other contractors and construction companies involved in the project included: McMillan Design team, (design engineers, soil engineers, building, etc); Pacific Builders Inc (foundation and brought in logs); JM Builders (roof); Prodigy Property Solutions; Mr. Charlotte LLC; HEI Hegmann Electric Inc., and last but not least Q&A Junk Removal.
And while the work that has been accomplished is nothing short of amazing – there is still more work to do. There are still more things members of the Davidson community can do to help the congregation
Please consider making a donation – either monetary or by helping out with the following list of needed equipment:
- 18000 BTU mini splits heating / air conditioner
- 18000 BTU mini splits heating / air conditioner
- 40 gallon hot water heater
- Electric cooking range
- Commercial size ice maker
- Storage cabinet/racks
- Folding chairs (5)
- Round tables (8)
- Rectangular tables (4’ square, 6’ long)
Monetary donations can be made via CashApp: $Reevestemplechurch
Editor’s Note: While the Hardee’s sausage biscuit plays a key role in the restoration effort, I would be remiss in not mentioning the role of a competitor’s breakfast mainstay. Mrs. Lela Johnson worked for years at Rusk House on the Davidson College campus. Hundreds, if not a thousand or more, Davidson coeds dragged themselves out of bed on Friday mornings for Mrs. Johnson’s signature egg muffins that were better than anything for sale under the golden arches.