In the world of today where people do crazy and wicked things for money, in the world of today where people feel you cannot serve God and become very wealthy, some individuals have shown us that God hasn’t changed, these billionaires have given away a fortune through their tithes and other forms of giving, they have used their wealth to promote the gospel by building churches, schools, health centres and changing philanthropy because they held firmly to God’s power to give wealth like He promised in Deuteronomy 8;18.
These billionaires range from long gone Americans like John D Rockefeller to present day business moguls like Truett Cathy (Fastfood restaurant chain), David Green (Arts and Crafts), Jin Sook and Do Wong Chan (Forever 21 clothing line) and Folorunsho Alakija (Oil, Real Estate).
This is the story of God made billionaires, men and women who have let God do business through them. We will syndicate the post by sharing the story of one billionaire per week. I was very excited about doing this research, It is my prayer that the lives of these men and women will inspire you to trust God to fulfill His desire to give us abundantly, exceeding above all that we can ask or think.
John Davison Rockefeller
“God gave me my money. I believe the power to make money is a gift from God to be developed and used to the best of our ability for the good of mankind. Having been endowed with the gift I possess, I believe it is my duty to make money and still more money and to use the money I make for the good of my fellow man according to the dictates of my conscience.”
John Davison Rockefeller (July 8, 1839 – May 23, 1937) was an American industrialist and philanthropist. He was the founder of the Standard Oil Company, which dominated the oil industry and was the first great U.S. business trust. Rockefeller revolutionized the petroleum industry and defined the structure of modern philanthropy. In 1870, he founded the Standard Oil Company and aggressively ran it until he officially retired in 1897.
From his very first paycheck, Rockefeller tithed ten percent of his earnings to his church. He later said, “I never would have been able to tithe the first million dollars I ever made if I had not tithed my first salary, which was $1.50 per week." His church was later affiliated with the Northern Baptist Convention, which formed from American Baptists in the North with ties to their historic missions to establish schools and colleges for freedmen in the South after the American Civil War. As Rockefeller's wealth grew, so did his giving, primarily to educational and public health causes, but also for basic science and the arts.
Rockefeller founded Standard Oil as an Ohio partnership with his brother William, along with Henry Flagler, Jabez Bostwick, chemist Samuel Andrews, and a silent partner, Stephen V. Harkness. As kerosene and gasoline grew in importance, Rockefeller's wealth soared, and he became the world's richest man and the first American worth more than a billion dollars. Adjusting for inflation, he is often regarded as the richest person in history.
Rockefeller spent the last 40 years of his life in retirement. His fortune was mainly used to create the modern systematic approach of targeted philanthropy. He was able to do this through the creation of foundations that had a major effect on medicine, education, and scientific research. His foundations pioneered the development of medical research, and were instrumental in the eradication of hookworm and yellow fever.
Rockefeller is also the founder of both the University of Chicago and Rockefeller University and funded the establishment of Central Philippine University in the Philippines. Rockefeller gave $80 million to the University of Chicago under William Rainey Harper, turning a small Baptist college into a world-class institution by 1900. He also gave a grant to the American Baptist Missionaries foreign mission board, the American Baptist Foreign Mission Society in establishing Central Philippine University, the first Baptist University in Asia, in 1905 in the Philippines.
He was a devoted Northern Baptist and supported many church-based institutions. Rockefeller adhered to total abstinence from alcohol and tobacco throughout his life. He was a faithful congregant of the Erie Street Baptist Mission Church, where he taught Sunday school, and served as a trustee, clerk, and occasional janitor. In 1864, Rockefeller married Laura Celestia "Cettie" Spelman. They had four daughters and one son together. He said later, "Her judgment was always better than mine. Without her keen advice, I would be a poor man.".
Rockefeller died on May 23, 1937; two months shy of his 98th birthday having let his light shine so bright that men had no choice but to glorify Jesus. He has been dead for 76 years and his story still inspires people all over the world. It is indeed true what the bible says that the righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance. (Ps 112; 6)