A successful Christian business man may sound like an oxymoron, but that was R. G LeTourneau. He built big, powerful machinery that could do things that no other machine could do before, but he also believes that a Christian business man owes as much to God as a preacher does (LeTourneau, 1967). Mr. LeTourneau states, “God needs businessmen as partners as well as preachers” (1967). Imagine a man becoming a very successful Christian business man, the founder of LeTourneau University, and a leader of many missionary works.
The proceeding essay will discuss the man, his faith, and my personal reflection of R. G. LeTourneau. R. G. LeTourneau-The Man- Robert Gilmour LeTourneau (November 30, 1888 – June 1, 1969) was born in Richford, Vermont. R. G. Letourneau had little interest in a formal education, and left school at the young age of fourteen. While working in Portland, Organ at the East Portland Iron Works, as a machinist, he studied mechanics from an International Correspondence School, but never finished.
Although he did not earn a formal education he did become famously know for earthmoving machinery, which he was granted hundreds of patents for his inventions. The bulldozer, bridge spans, scrapers of all sorts, rollers, dump wagons, the electric wheel, logging equipment, portable cranes, and many others are examples of his revolutionary inventions. R. G. LeTourneau always had a positive attitude, and did not quit when he faced problems. He prayed about the issues, reviewed them, and continued to work hard until he resolved the problems.
R. G. LeTourneau once said “The only difference between can and can’t is a little extra effort” (1967). R. G. LeTourneau- His Faith-Mr. LeTourneau was also known to be a Christian business man that was very generous. He was the founder of a private Christian university, LeTourneau University, in Longview, Texas as well as a philanthropist to many Christian causes. His life’s verse was Matthew 6:33: “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (1967). He was the fourth child with five brothers and three sisters, and he was described as a restless, impulsive, energetic, determined, ambitious, and a hard worker. He clashed most with his father as a young boy. Later in life LeTourneua married Evelyn Peterson, and helped raise four boys and one daughter. When R. G. LeTourneau turned 30 he dedicated his life to God and did so for the next fifty years. He was respected by his employees and business partners as a Christian business man.
He worked personally alongside his employees, at the controls of his machines, and closely with business partners at corporate meetings. Mr. LeTourneau practiced his faith and communicated it with his employees and others by publishing a paper called NOW, and it reached others worldwide spreading his Christian message. R. G. LeTourneau- My Personal Reflection-Mr. LeTourneau said “When I visualize a 150-ton crane, I want to see it lift 10 ton the next morning” (1967). I have the same personality traits as Mr. LeTourneau, which is being determined and ambitious.
I understand his motivation and vision for inventing new machines. I am personally doing this in my current position at work. I help others by showing them a new way to do things, and assist them with the design and commissioning of the ideas we envision. Another quote from LeTourneau states “If you waste dollars for me, it’s not too serious- I can make that up. But don’t waste my time – it can’t be recalled” (1967). I understand this quote, because I have learned that my time is very important and time management is imperative for me to be successful in my life, both professionally and personally.
I have learned that R. G. LeTourneau was an amazing person, and one of his most impressionable accomplishments was that he founded LeTourneau University. I am filled with joy that I have chosen to earn my business degree from LETU, because I will not only earn my business degree, but will also develop my relationship with God. In conclusion, R. G. LeTourneau “God’s Businessman” was truly an amazing person. He was a great inventor of earthmoving equipment as well as a generous Christian philanthropist.
He founded a private Christian university named LeTourneau University, and conference grounds that carry his name. He believed that God came first and everything else will follow. Mr. LeTourneau was a hardworking man, who preferred to spend his time at the drawing board or spending time on the factory floor with his workers, than live the high-life with other successful businessmen. R. G. LeTourneau suffered a stroke in March 1969, which he never recovered from, and died on June 1, 1969. LeTourneau is known for his earth moving equipment, but will be remembered as “God’s Businessman”.