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AU News

For Cline, Business and Ministry are Strongly Connected

January 19, 2022
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Anderson University Business Graduate Scott Cline operates his family’s business by Christian principles. Cline, right, is pictured with Cline Hose and Hydraulics associate Russ Roos.

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Scott Cline, a graduate of the Anderson University College of Business, is grateful to Anderson University for a lasting impact made on him personally and in the way he does business. 

Cline is president of Cline Hose and Hydraulics, LLC, a Greenville, South Carolina-based company devoted to helping businesses and industries with industrial/hydraulics sales and support. 

“There’s no doubt that my Christian walk was ignited from going to Anderson; it didn’t exist prior to that. Going to Anderson, I wasn’t a very good student, but Anderson gave me numerous opportunities to get the help that I needed. Anderson did not want me to fail. They gave me every opportunity to be successful. I can attribute what they gave me to how I operate our business today. Now we run our business as I’ve learned doing at Anderson—run your business as a ministry,” said Cline, who earned his bachelor of science degree in management from the Anderson University College of Business in 1994. His oldest son attended Anderson University for a while and his youngest son plans to enter Anderson University next fall as a freshman.

He and his brother Glenn Cline represent the third generation of the business that his grandfather, N.Q. Cline Sr., started. 

“My grandfather was a great Christian influence in my life. He was very Christ-centered in how he operated his life and ran his business; so my brother and I have been blessed with a great mentor,” said Cline, who began helping out in the family business when he was 11. Cline admires how his grandfather took a small operation he ran from his car and grew it into a successful family business. 

“He worked for a company called Standard Oil. He was selling oil out of the trunk of his car, nuts and bolts and about anything he could do to try to make a living for his family. My grandmother’s family would have a cousin who would call my grandfather and say ‘hey, you ought to try doing these drive shafts,’” Cline said, adding that over time his grandfather expanded into other areas. As heavy equipment began incorporating hydraulic systems, the business became devoted to hydraulic hoses, pumps, cooling systems and related parts and expanded from Greenville, South Carolina, to other locations across the Southeast.

Cline is especially grateful for his grandfather’s Christlike servant-leadership.

“There are two things my grandfather used to tell my brother and me. One was ‘you’re never set in business. You lose a customer, you lose an employee, you lose a vendor… you can’t set it and forget it and walk away. It’s a constant change.’ The other thing that my grandfather instilled in my brother and me is that we would rather have the customer’s good graces than their money. That means numerous times that we were at fault, we would give the customer money back because it was the right thing to do,” he said. “We still do that to this day.”

Cline continues to build the family business on this biblical foundation started by his grandfather. 

“It took me a long time to realize that Christ is the CEO of this business and not Scott. Once I realized that, at that point the decisions become a lot easier because they’re on His shoulders and not mine,” he said. “A lot of times as a business owner you don’t have anybody in your corner. You’re on that island by yourself, so, having Christ with me, I’m not on an island by myself. God knows what we need.”

A licensed pilot since 2008, Cline, through Angel Flight, a nonprofit organization, uses his airplane to transport burn victims, free of charge, to the Augusta Burn Center for treatment, or other patients faced with time-critical medical transportation needs. It’s just one way he gives back to the communities he and Cline Hose and Hydraulics serve. Cline and his company also assists the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office K9 unit and sponsors anti-drug and underage drinking ads that air on local radio stations. Every Christmas, company associates contribute their own time and money to families in need to ensure there are gifts under the tree. 

In addition, Cline supports Connie Maxwell Children’s Home in Greenwood, South Carolina to honor the memory of his grandfather, who as an orphan lived there for a period of time. 

“That was near and dear to my grandfather’s heart, because it shaped him as well. He was an orphan who was there; his parents died of the flu. I think it was a few years after his parents passed away that he ended up living in Connie Maxwell.”

Cline is also actively involved in C12, a business and ministry advocacy forum created by Christians in business for Christians in business.

“What God is telling me through C12 is that with business as a ministry I have more chances to interact with people that do not know the gospel and do not know Christ,” he said. “It took me a long time to realize that if I’m going to make a change for Christ, it’s going to start with the people I work with on a daily basis–they see me more than their family sees them.”

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