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Hobby Lobby CEO Reaps the Benefits of Generosity

Hobby Lobby CEO David Green started his company in his garage and believes living generously resulted in a better family life. Read Transcript


It's an amazing story, amazing story

of perseverance and faith.

David Green and his wife began making picture frames

in their garage in the 1970s.

They could never have imagined they would end up

with the world's largest privately-owned

retail business, employing 32,000 people in more than 700

stores across 47 states.

It's called Hobby Lobby.

Take a look.

[MUSIC PLAYING]

David Green is the founder and CEO

of Hobby Lobby, a retail crafting giant

with over 700 stores across the country.

David built the company on biblical values

like giving, integrity, and excellence.

In 2014, Hobby Lobby won a landmark Supreme Court case.

The court ruled Hobby Lobby would not

have to pay for birth control in their health care plan.

It was a victory for faith-based businesses across the US.

David says his success comes from putting God first,

especially in the area of giving.

In his book, "Giving it All Away...

and Getting it All Back Again," he shares how the power

of giving changed his life, and can radically change yours,

too.

Well the book is called "Giving it All Away

and Getting it Back Again."

David Green with Bill High.

It's a book you really need to read.

And David Green is here with us.

It's so good to see you.

God bless you.

Thank you.

It's very good to be here with you.

You're the son of a preacher.

You didn't ever have any money.

And you and your wife started, I think, with $60.

$600 is how we started.

PAT ROBERTSON: Oh, $600.

We started our business with $600.

PAT ROBERTSON: You had more than I had.

I had $70.

[LAUGHTER]

DAVID GREEN: Not too easy.

PAT ROBERTSON: What did you do?

DAVID GREEN: Well, God has just blessed us, obviously.

And we've just been able to grow year by year.

We still are at about 50 stores a year.

PAT ROBERTSON: Come on.

How do you do that, David?

Well, God's just been good to us.

We have no debt.

And so with his $600, we do for $4.6 billion, and have no debt.

PAT ROBERTSON: Unbelievable.

DAVID GREEN: And we give half of our profits

to various ministries that we're involved in.

You somehow think that the business is a ministry, not

the other way around, right?

DAVID GREEN: No question of it.

We see it as a ministry.

And we just see that we don't even own it.

God says he owns everything, so we just accept that, and says,

OK, let's just be the stewards.

So my family, my children, my grandchildren,

were just going to steward it.

We're not going to take any stock advantages, anything

of that nature.

So we're going to get to work, if we want to,

and get a salary.

So we see it as God's business.

Well what's the secret of Hobby Lobby?

There's a lot of retail stores out there.

How come you're so successful?

Well I think part of it is our giving.

It belongs to God, and it's His, and we treat it that way.

And so I think without question He

blesses us from the time we started tithing.

So I'm a big advocate of tithing.

Because God says if you tithe, the windows of heaven

is going to open up.

So who wouldn't want the windows of heaven

to open up on you by tithing?

Well they obviously have. on you.

Well, look.

The Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch just

was confirmed to Supreme Court.

He was on the circuit court the side of that case.

What was the problem in that case

that came before the court?

Well the problem was in the health care mandate

for our company is we had to provide four drugs that we

know would take life.

We offer 16 different contraceptives in our program,

but there was four that we just couldn't agree with, because we

knew it would take life.

So they were abortion pills then?

They were abortion pills.

And so the government says, you're either going to do it.

Or with number of employees we had,

it would have cost us $1.3 million a day as a penalty,

and so that's where we found ourselves.

So what happened?

Well, we took it to court and we lost at the local level.

We took it to the Tenth Circuit.

We lost again.

They said, we're not going to give you relief on this.

And basically when they say that, they say,

you're either going to do this or pay this big fine.

But the Tenth Circuit, finally when we had the entire--

we came back and asked the entire court to look at it.

And so I think because of Gorsuch being the one that

really tipped it, we had relief until we could get it

to the Supreme Court.

And their ruling was one?

Well, it was a 5-4 that we don't, as a business,

have to provide these particular drugs that we just couldn't see

ourself doing.

PAT ROBERTSON: Well, it was a landmark case.

But you offer all kinds of contraception.

You weren't against--

DAVID GREEN: Exactly, exactly.

We offer 16 different kinds.

PAT ROBERTSON: 16 Different.

DAVID GREEN: Right.

And yet the government wanted to impose

on you the penalty you had to provide abortion drugs.

Exactly, exactly.

I don't know why at the Supreme Court

we didn't have a 9-0 instead of a 4-5,

because I can't comprehend how that a government can tell you

that you're going to provide a pill and a drug that

will be abortive.

Well, it's been a help.

Has it helped your business, by the way, the publicity?

There's been a lot of publicity with it.

Yes.

Well during the period of time, we

had a lot of people picket us and come against us,

but we also have a lot of support.

So God has been good, and we've continued

to have same-store increases for the last 20 years.

So God has definitely been there.

It's a miracle.

And you're growing is $4 or $5 billion a year now?

This year, we'll do $4.6 billion, and we have zero debt.

And we add about 50, 60 stores a year,

so we're very, very profitable.

And what's good about it all is the things

we can do in terms of the ministries

that we're involved in.

Well, you've helped so many.

This is a museum of the Bible.

You've got this magnificent with all these exhibits.

How'd you come up with that?

Well, I think the Lord just gave that to us.

We didn't intend to do it.

We bought a couple antiquities, and we thought

someone else would do it.

And then we bought some more antiquities.

And today, we have like 45,000 different antiquities.

And the project in Washington, DC

is a billion-dollar project when you take

the building and antiquities.

And we have a lot of people come alongside us as well.

But it's all going to happen.

And so November the 17th we'll open

this Bible museum, which we have such love for, God's Word.

DAVID GREEN: November the 17th.

November 17th of this year.

PAT ROBERTSON: Of this year they'll open in Washington.

Exactly.

Is called the Museum of--

The Museum of the Bible.

It's two blocks off of the mall, and it's

five blocks from the Capitol.

So we're placing God's word in the middle of Washington, DC.

So we're really excited about it,

because we think as well as you do,

of course, that we need to get back to this word, God's word.

The last thing, you have decided

with all this money that's coming your way not to give it

to your children.

You're going to give it to the Lord.

Well, we want to give it to the Lord.

And we think the worst thing we could do

is encumber our children with a lot of value

where they may or may not work.

But I'm not worried about my children, anyway.

But it just seems to be the wrong thing to do.

So we see ourselves as just the stewards of it.

And we're not touching the business, other than the salary

you make.

I make the same salary I did 11 years ago.

So this is not about me.

It's about the ministries and the thing

we can do for ministry.

You could spend enormously on yourself,

and you deny yourself.

You don't do any of that.

No.

PAT ROBERTSON: You just live on a simple salary.

We have a salary the same.

I don't think I'll ever get a raise.

I should get one, but anyway--

If I were the board, I'd vote you a raise, too.

DAVID GREEN: I'm going to put you on the board.

[LAUGHTER]

Well, listen.

Thank you for this book, "Giving it All Away."

It's available on Amazon or wherever books are sold.

Exactly.

Hey, it's available at Hobby Lobby.

You can go in there and get it.

Go to Hobby Lobby, and get a book, and buy some things

in there.

It's a beautiful store.

And David's going to be the featured speaker

at our chapel today.

You can join us live at noon on CBN.com.

We'll be live streaming service from Regent University Chapel.

So what more fabulous [INAUDIBLE] This

is a great testimony of a humble man and his dear wife

making an enormous business that's giving it all away,

and that's the name of this book.

David Green, thank you, my brother.

God bless you.

DAVID GREEN: Thank you.

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