Results of a recent study indicate that American entrepreneurs pray and meditate more frequently than non-entrepreneurs. This new research could perhaps explain the interesting number of God-fearing men and women who have founded and built wildly successful companies in America and even with the changing social tides and increasing wealth, continue to cling to their faith.
- Hobby Lobby Stores Inc., headquartered in Oklahoma City, Okla., is not just one of America’s largest privately owned businesses. Last fall, the arts and crafts giant’s founder and CEO, David Green, was billed the “largest evangelical benefactor in the world” by Forbes and he told the publication that everything in his $3 billion empire belongs to God. “If you have anything or if I have anything, it’s because it’s been given to us by our Creator,” Green told Forbes.
- “So I have learned to say, ‘Look, this is yours, God. It’s all yours. I’m going to give it to you.'” According to Forbes, Hobby Lobby is 100 percent family-owned and on their list of America’s 400 richest people, Green sits at No. 79 with an estimated net worth of $4.5 billion. The company also employs 22,000 workers in 525 stores nationwide.
- Forever 21
With recorded revenues of $3.4 billion as of November 2012, Forever 21 is ranked #121 on Forbes’ list of America’s largest private companies. The company’s owners, Korean immigrants Do Won and Jin Sook Chang, are born-again Christians who credit their success to direction from God. In a Business Week Magazine report, Mrs. Chang explains that when they were starting out, she went to the top of a mountain in Los Angeles to pray. She said God told her she should open a store and that she would be successful. The couple hope to devote themselves to missionary work when they retire. If the business venture hadn’t worked out, explained Mr. Chang, he would have become a missionary.
- Tyson Foods
Tyson Foods, Inc., headquartered in Springdale, Ark., is one of the largest meat protein and food production companies in the world with $33.35 billion in sales. According to a Wall Street Journal report, Donnie Smith is not just the company CEO but also a Sunday School teacher. The Bible, he explains in the report, is his “favorite book.” “My faith influences how I think, what I do, what I say. There are a lot of great biblical principles that are fundamental to operating a good business. Being fair and telling the truth are biblical principles,” he says.
Chick-fil-A is America’s second largest fried chicken chain and no stranger to Christians across the country. The company’s founder and CEO, S. Truett Cathy, is a devout Baptist who has been very vocal in his opposition to same-sex marriage. He has a net worth of $4.2 billion, according to Forbes. The company has more than 1,600 stores in 40 states. All Chick-fil-A stores are closed on Sundays so employees can attend church.
- Marriott International, Inc
With more than 127,000 employees and $11.81 billion in sales, according to Forbes, Marriott International, Inc. is a force to be reckoned with in the hospitality industry. The company’s founder, John Willard Marriott, was a devout member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when he was building the business. Even though Willard has passed away, his values live on in the company, which recently stopped offering pay-per-view pornography in the hotel rooms of its various properties.