Seventy-five-year-old Ken Crowell strolls along his massive, machinery-strewn assembly lines, chatting with blue-smocked, smiling workers who hail from Israel's Tiberias region. More than 300 Arabs, Jews, and Christians work tidily together to produce antennas for wireless technology used by Motorola and Samsung. Some employees have been with Crowell's company, Galtronics Inc., for more than 20 years. They find substantial incomes and benefits, subsidized all-you-can-eat buffet lunches, and often, salvation through Christ.
With more than one billion antennas sold and a 400-member church started by his company, Crowell has now opened plants in China (400 workers) and South Korea (40 engineers) that are "trying to duplicate" the Israel model. "They are managed by believers who know the vision of the company," says Crowell. "The future is very good because everything is headed toward wireless."
The company's vision statement is displayed over its factory entrance: "COMMIT THY WAYS TO THE LORD, TRUST ALSO IN HIM, AND HE SHALL BRING IT TO PASS" (Psalm 37:5). By the 1990s, Galtronics had become the largest employer in northern Israel. Crowell describes his vision when he started the company in 1978: "The calling was first to go to an area where there was little or no Christian witness, to give employment to believers and nonbelievers in a safe working environment, and to support the building of a local church."
Today, gospel-oriented, free-market businesses like Galtronics are exploding worldwide as part of a growing movement to generate both temporal and eternal riches. When Crowell pioneered his work, he thought he was simply following God down a sometimes foggy but hopeful path of combining commerce with Christian witness. Now, ...