Alan Crippen on America’s First Christian CEO, plus the business partners who funded the anti-slavery movement

Business On Purpose Conversations
Business On Purpose Conversations
Alan Crippen on America's First Christian CEO, plus the business partners who funded the anti-slavery movement

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The philanthro-capitalists who funded the anti-slavery movement, and Christian CEOs from the 1600’s

Can business practices and profits change society? Alan Crippen, Executive Director of the Faith and Liberty Initiative talks with us about two little-known Christian business owner stories from early American history.

We unpack how the Tappen brothers, Arthur and Lewis, helped to transform American society through their business practices and their radical generosity.  Then we discuss whether John Winthrop, perhaps one of the first Christian CEO’s in American history, helped cast a vision for what would later become the United States.

Plus, listen in to hear what it means to create a city on a hill through your business.

Conversation highlights:

–How have Christian business owners contributed to the story of American liberty?

–Arthur and Lewis Tappen had a “bigger transformative effect on America than any other brothers in our history.”

–The Tappen brothers took a radical approach to business, using their business to both lower the cost of goods, and to deploy their profits to bring about social change.

–Their business wasn’t without its struggles—they even experienced bankruptcy.  But they cared so much about business ethics that they started a business credit and reputational agency to improve business ethics and practices across the country.

–Arthur Tappen’s intense time-management strategy resulted in no seating in his office.

–“The Tappen brothers had big hearts in addition to keen business acumen.”

–They founded Oberlin College, which mandated racial integration and the admission of women, in the early 1800’s before the Civil.

–Learn how the Tappen brothers bankrolled the early anti-slavery movement and funded the legal defense of the enslaved people on the Amistad, plus brought the gospel to their community in Africa.

–What price did the Tappen brothers pay for living out their faith and standing up for biblical principles in their business and with their wealth?

–Was John Winthrop one of the first great American CEOs?

–John Winthrop came to American in pursuit of religious freedom AND business profits, as leader of the Massachusetts Bay Company.

–He planted a business, a church and a state in the new world.

–Despite being a businessman and governor, some have said Winthrop preached the “most influential sermon of the millennium” in 1630 (despite being a lay person).

–His famous sermon was “casting a social vision of the possible.”  It contained within it “the DNA of what would become the United States of America.”

–Multiple American Presidents have cited and built up Winthrop’s sermon and his vision of what was possible in a just and harmonious society established upon God’s laws: a shining city on the hill.

–How we succeed (or fail) in business is of greater importance than whether we succeed (or fail).  Are you creating a city on a hill through your business?

Connect & Learn more:

Connect with Alan:

Learn more about the Faith and Liberty Discovery Center:

Check out Alan’s podcast Faith and Liberty Rediscovered.

Read John Winthrop’s famous sermon.

Connect with Aaron: