Robert G. LeTourneau
(The comments below are excerpted from Mr. LeTourneau's obituary.)
Robert G. LeTourneau was born on November 30, 1888, to godly parents. From infancy he heard the Gospel. For a time, he rejected the message, but through the faithful prayers of his parents he was, at the age of sixteen, won to Christ. At 30 he dedicated his life to be God's businessman. He recognized the danger of that dedication being dimmed by his love for his machines, but by the grace of God that commitment extended over a period of fifty years.
He designed and built machines beyond the imagination of ordinary men. He introduced into the earthmoving and material handling industry the rubber tire, which today is almost universally accepted. He invented and developed the Electric Wheel. He pioneered the welding of various metals. His huge mobile offshore drilling platforms are supporting the machines that drill for the rich petroleum reserves under the seas around the world.
He demonstrated his concern for the Gospel witness by establishing regular chapel services and by employing three full-time Chaplains in his manufacturing plants. The monthly publication NOW begun by him reached 600,000 persons during his lifetime and circled the world with its message. He s traveled the world as a witnessing Christian businessman.
Many books about his life have published, including his best-selling autobiography, Mover of Men and Mountains (Zondervan), which is still in print thirty years after his death. This book has been translated from English into several foreign languages. Who can tell how many have come to faith in Christ through his missionary ministry in Liberia, West Africa and Peru, South America? The outreach for God through aid to individuals and organizations by the LeTourneau Foundation has been worldwide.
LeTourneau University which he, together with his wife, founded may well prove to be one of his greatest accomplishments as his influence is multiplied and spread throughout the world by dedicated Christian young people who have studied at the college.
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."