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Hobby Lobby chairman recalls turning point

While its more than 800 locations and $4.3 billion in sales last year rank it among the nations’ largest privately-held retail chains, things weren’t always so rosy for Hobby Lobby, says Chairman Mart Green.

The keynote speaker at the Chattanooga (Tennessee) Area Leadership Prayer Breakfast May 1, Green recalled the company was “on the ropes” in 1984. His father remarked that he didn’t think they would make it, until David Green decided to give the business to God.

“We don’t own anything,” Mart quoted his father as saying. “We’re stewards. When we became stewards, it all changed.”

In a report on the breakfast in the Chattanooga Times Free-Press, Green said the company employs 33,000 and expects to grow to 850 locations by the end of the year despite the downturn in brick-and-mortar retail stores.

Among his many other projects, Green is involved with an effort to translate the Bible into all 6,000 languages worldwide.

“Life’s an adventure for everyone,” he commented. “You might as well do something that lasts for eternity and leaves a legacy.” 

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