This book tells the remarkable stories of seven exceptional entrepreneurs who founded huge business empires and became world leaders in their fields
despite continual setbacks and adversity. What, then, was the secret of their
success? These brilliant businessmen publicly acknowledged that they drew
the courage, strength and wisdom to turn difficulties into opportunities and
disasters into triumphs from their Christian faith. It inspired their business ethics and practice and earned them a reputation for integrity, quality and outstanding care for their customers and employees. All of us, whether in business or not, can identify with some of the pressures these men endured and the pain they suffered. The purpose of this book is to let them show us, through the lives they lived and the things they said, how the faith that inspired them can inspire us.
Full Colour booklets priced at £2.00 are also available on each business that are
featured in the main book. A 45min DVD is also available on each business priced at £10.00
William Hartley Booklet William Hartley DVD
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Peter Lupson is a former schoolteacher who has also worked in publishing. For many years a Chief Examine for GCE Advanced Level German, he is the author of a number of successful German text books as well as the widely acclaimed Thank God for Football! about the church origins of famous football clubs. This book was the basis for a TV documentary series which he wrote and presented. He is married to Evelyn. They have a son and a daughter and four grandchildren.
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PART 1 …. by Terry Young
I first came across Peter Lupson when I read Thank God for football!, so I was ready for interesting stories with humorous asides that would tell me how Victorian Christians changed their world. I was not wrong. I love Peter’s way of preserving and reposting important narratives from our Christian heritage that are being erased from the curriculum and public debate. I didn’t know, for instance, how many of our top clubs were set up by Christians, nor why they did so, until I read Thank God for football! This time, Peter’s focus is business rather than pleasure, so he picks 7 Christian men who either died or were born in the 19th century and whose businesses are household names. Most you will know: William Colgate, Thomas Cook, William Hartley, Henry Heinz and James Kraft. The rest are known through their products: Henry Crowell (Quaker Oats), and Anthony Rossi (Tropicana). It’s not just that they were successful businessmen: they were the very best. One became the largest supplier of animal feed, although we remember him for his breakfast brand. Another opened one of the largest jam factories in the world.
It’s not simply that they were influential Christians, although they were. While we think Heinz means ketchup, 57 varieties, or beans, the obituaries of his day recalled him foremost as a ‘churchman.’
PART 2 …. by Terry Young
Lupson tells us about real people, who experienced tragedy and failure and went the extra mile. When Henry Heinz went bankrupt, he kept a log of all his creditors and paid each back in full. Henry Crowell’s health was so poor, his prospective mother-in-law stopped the engagement, lest her daughter become a young widow. When they finally married, the marriage was tragically short. And there was usually a seminal encounter with God that changed their lives, sometimes mid-career. The book is fun in its own right – short biographies bursting with optimism and energy. We encounter Thomas Cook, for instance, sleeping on the floors of the trains he had filled with working class passengers intent on seeing the beauties of nature or enjoying their first cultural experience. For 150,000 of them, that meant a trip to the Great Exhibition at The Crystal Palace. We watch James Kraft trying to measure the impact of the new medium by advertising a little-known product on TV – MacLaren’s Cheese – which started jumping off the shelves straight away. I love the way Anthony Rossi worked out how to get his fruit juice from Florida to New York without spoiling. Peter can’t quite keep the door shut on football (or maybe these Christians couldn’t quite stick to a single script) and there is a nice episode in which Hartley helps to extract Everton from Anfield and sets them up at Goodison Park.
PART 3 …. by Terry Young
As well as innovation and entrepreneurial spirit, there is a strong theme of care for the work force – building a garden village, funding a pension pot for all workers, writing to those who fought in the war. There was also a colossal investment in churches, hospitals, and missionary work.The first message is that Christians have played a significant part in creating the world we now enjoy – not accidentally, but because they set out to live and act as Christians. They changed the ethos of a world that believed honesty, looking after workers, and keeping promises were bad for business. The second message is that we all have a responsibility to live rounded Christian lives, to worship faithfully, to work well, and to be generous. I was most interested in connecting their Christian qualities with their business leadership. For instance, William Hartley used business methods: he set up an investment company so that a group of Methodists could fund themselves out of a hole they had dug for themselves with an overambitious building spree. Peter has given me enough material to know where to look for more information. Whatever your interest, I think you will find new and exciting things by reading this, and discover more about how God works. And it won’t take you very long to do so.
In writing his book about entrepreneurs, Peter Lupson set himself some targets. ‘The idea,’ he tells me, ‘was to encourage Christians who are in business, but also to inspire people who are not Christians so that they can see it’s possible to achieve great things without crossing lines.’ In God’s Company tells the story of figures such as soap industrialist William Colgate, jam maker William Hartley and food producer Henry Heinz. Peter developed the concept for the book after listening to the experiences of his son, who was finding that trying to run a business with integrity and honesty in the face of financial challenges and murky practices elsewhere could be draining. ‘To show that he wasn’t alone in refusing to sacrifice his Christian principles, I gathered some information for him about George Cadbury and Joseph Rowntree, who built wonderful businesses God’s way. My son was so inspired that he urged me to write a book about Christian entrepreneurs.’ Feeling that the chocolate success stories of Quaker movers and shakers Cadbury and Rowntree were already widely recognised, Peter studied seven other figures from business history. He says: ‘The spread of these stories is more than 200 years, starting with William Colgate, who was born in 1783, and finishing with Anthony Rossi, the founder of the Tropicana drinks company, who died in 1993.
… CONTINUED IN PART 2
‘I’ve noticed that business practice in general has been constant across the centuries: people are trying to sell things to make a profit. What distinguishes the people I have written about is the way they did business. They were men of moral character who shone like beacons in their generation. ‘We have to remember that at the time when some of the earlier men in the book were doing business, there were no government checks on the quality or purity of products. ‘Henry Heinz started off by producing horseradish sauce as a way to help his mother and other ladies who had to grate horseradish, which made their eyes smart and was awful work. It was already possible to buy bottled horseradish sauce, but it was always sold in dark bottles that you couldn’t see through. All sorts of dubious things would be found in those bottles – leaves, sawdust, even insects. Heinz decided he would use see-through bottles so people could see what they were buying. ‘This kind of integrity established people such as Heinz as trustworthy.’ If Heinz was insistent on transparency – literally and figuratively – and William Hartley decided that only quality ingredients would go into his jam, rather than the turnips others used to increase products’ weight, they were driven by something other than money. ‘It was their faith that inspired their business practice,’ says Peter.
… CONTINUED IN PART 3