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A Businessman Who Put God First: Henry Parsons Crowell

Written By: Jim Swanson  |  Posted: Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

When he died in 1943 Henry Parsons Crowell (often called Harry) was one of the wealthiest and most respected Christian businessmen in Chicago. He had founded and run the Quaker Oats Company since 1901, taking it through various trials to become a world-famous company. Yet he gave away 70% of his earnings, and had done so for forty years! What was the secret to his great success? In a sentence, the life of Henry Parsons Crowell demonstrates the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ on the life of one fully dedicated to Him.

Henry was born in 1855 to Anna Crowell, wife of a Luther, a wealthy shoe merchant. Brothers Edward (1861) and Charles (1862) followed. Their mother was devoted to the work at Second Presbyterian Church West Springfield, MA. There in 1865, Charles Finney preached and a great revival spread through the church. But Luther was already concerned how his wealth would influence his boys and he instructed them on establishing eternal values in their lives. When Henry was nine, his father died. This so stirred Henry that he asked to speak with the pastor in his office. There, he believed on the Lord Jesus Christ as his Savior from sin.

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